Last week, I've been dealing with this question. It was about the behaviour of a grand-father against a sick child. The author was the father of the child and the son-in-law of the grandfather.

My answer consisted of:

  1. a checking mechanism for the sickness of the child, and indeed: it was not that bad after all.
  2. a reflection of the childhood of the grandfather.
  3. a reflection of the actual behaviour of the grandfather, that behaviour was not that bad as firstly described.

The author commented on my answer, mostly admitting that I have a point (but the author keeps on insisting, and the author has the absolute right to do that).
It all comes down to "The times, they are a-changing." :-)

I edit my answer, congratulating the author with his good attitude. I received an upvote for my answer. Until then, everything ok.

But then, a moderator intervenes, claiming that my answer is not nice.

So what???
The author has written a question, I have answered, the author reacted, I reacted back and the author upvoted my answer, which means that we are in agreement.
When two people agree on the results of a discussion, it is completely wrong for any third party to intervene! So, please, moderator: if you believe any rule being broken, first verify with the "victim", and only if he (or she) agrees, it's ok to take an action.

2 Answers 2


The way you describe your answer masks how harsh (which even you admitted) it actually was. It certainly wasn’t nice, and could have been deleted as not an answer. The close reason could be changed to not an answer if you prefer that reason.

Be Nice is pretty self explanatory, but it specifically states things like being welcoming and patient and to avoid rudeness and belittling. (It also mentions being respectful of religion.)

The OP was concerned about the effect of second hand smoke on their child. The relative smokes half a pack of cigarettes a day. You started your answer with asking if car fumes have a negative effect on the child, adding that if not, the OP doesn’t have reason to ask the relative not to smoke in the presence of the child.

You also wrote

As far as I see it, there are two possibilities:

  • either your father-in-law is a bad person who does not care about other people.
  • either you are the one, only caring about yourself (and your baby, which is an extent of yourself) and you are seeking for support, even with unknown people, to get excuses to pick on other people, even the parents of the person you claim to love!

If you think that’s nice, there’s not much I can say to help you understand how you violated the policy. And these are only two examples of the many instances of disrespect present in your answer.

It’s irrelevant whether you had a discussion in comments or not, or if you were upvoted. Your answer was disrespectful and belittling, challenged the premise, didn’t offer any helpful solutions, and doesn’t belong on the site.


I’m sorry that you feel that you weren’t treated fairly. It’s never a good feeling to be told that your post isn’t a good fit or that you weren’t being nice.

However, one thing that I think is important to understand is that whether the other person agrees or disagrees is irrelevant. Stack Exchange determines the rules of the site, and in doing so they require everyone to follow those rules for those posts to be allowed to be posted.

This isn’t the same thing as a discussion in the street - you’re not (mostly) wrong about how that should be handled.

However, on a forum such as this we need to keep posts following the rules even if both parties are okay with things. We want people to read posts that are polite and nice, and otherwise follow our rules (answering the question as asked, in particular), because that’s the kind of community we want to cultivate - if we ignore posts that don’t do this, we get more and more posts that don’t … it snowballs, and eventually we don’t have a community but instead an anarchy.

  • When I was a child and I fell on my knee, my mother comforted me, gave a quick kiss on the knee and I moved on. If I fell a second time, my mother just told me not to fall anymore :-) and I grew up to the "strong" man I am now. If my mother would have comforted me every time, I would have a become a crying baby, yelling for his mommie at the slightest thing. Sometimes people have a problem, but sometimes they are crying babies. To those, the best answer is "Don't be such a wuz!"! Blocking that answer is bad for those people, therefore I'm asking you not to draw the "Be Nice" flag too soon.
    – Dominique
    Jun 20, 2022 at 13:28
  • 2
    @Dominique - You seem to be confusing being arrogant with being strong. You’re not the arbiter of right and wrong on this site; the community makes the rules and the mods enforce them if necessary. Jun 20, 2022 at 19:34

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