Offensive opinions ≠ Offensive content

Image source: https://xkcd.com/386/

Yeah, we’ve all been there. Somebody says something so “wrong” (even if it may be factually correct) that it makes you angry.

So you either write an angry response, or report the person for “offensive content” because, well, they offended you.

Now, as a sometimes moderator of stuff on the web, let me just tell you how big of a waste of time reporting everything that pisses you off as offensive content really is.

Moderators don’t have to care about your hurt feelings. They have to care about whether the content is legal or not. If it’s an opinion that hurts your feelings, but is still legal to express, meaning it’s not an incitement to violence (as an example), then all your report does is waste time. The person you’re reporting will never see the report and never know that anyone reported them.

But the moderators have to wade through hundreds of these unnecessary reports just in case one of them is real illegal content. Yes, I know that seems insensitive, but when you see so many people (on both sides of the political spectrum) act like their feelings are more important than everything else on the entire site, then yeah, insensitivity to mewling little brats is something that happens. Especially when you see the same people reporting every little slight.

Moderators exist to protect the site from accounts that violate the law or the Terms of Service. They don’t exist to make the big bad person on the other computer stop offending you. Especially if the thing you find offensive is facts that are breaking through the lies you’ve been led to believe (again, on both sides of the political spectrum).

You do not have a right to not be offended. Remember that before hitting the report button just because someone said something that offended your delicate sensibilities. Block them, sure, but your mods will love you if you don’t overuse the report button.