How does one flag potentially offensive usernames like "Anti-American Anti-Zionist".

And more importantly, should we be allowing such usernames in our community?

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    Seems sufficiently to simply flag any of their posts using the In Need of Moderator Intervention reason, and use the provided box to highlight their usernames. – Semaphore Jul 26 '19 at 15:12

As sempaiscuba said, the words themselves are kind of a marginal case on offensiveness. If I were to try to make a hard rule, I'd say the first half is out of bounds since its referring to a nationality, while the second isn't since its referring to political opinion. However, if I take into account the history of the words, the first half tends to be used in some rather benign circumstances, while the second has historically been used as a label to both promote and justify mass murder. So no matter which way I look at it, half of it is probably offensive. I can chose to interpret the whole thing as benign, but I have to do some mental gymnastics to do so. (I'm inclined to think this may have been by design)

I went and discussed this in the moderator chatroom, and was pointed to this post as the canonical source for dealing with offensive user names.

I believe that if you're asking and answering questions or leaving comments around with your name attached to it, then it is better (and I would go far as to say make it a policy) to not have any objectionable/vulgar content as your display name.


There is a place for reasonably vulgar words used in a non-offensive, targetless manner. That's in your profile in the "About me" section.

The executive summary is that user names are special, as they are plastered over every post the user makes, and other users are forced to type those words to interact with your posts. For that reason, if anyone plausibly finds a username offensive, it should probably be flagged and reset. We are trying to be a welcoming community, and people should not be forced to type things that they consider slurs to participate.

If the user wants to baldly state that they are anti-Zionist and anti-American in their profile that's OK. If they want to put those exact words in a post, its debatable. But if someone flags that as offensive in a username, I'd feel compelled to reset the name.

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    Which brings the question: is there any standard way to flag the username? – Denis de Bernardy Jul 26 '19 at 15:06
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    @DenisdeBernardy - I think the only way is to flag a post by that user, and in the flag explanation say its for the name being offensive. Same as with offensive profile contents (although there the standard isn't going to be quite as tight, of course). – T.E.D. Jul 26 '19 at 17:56
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    Assuming you did it, thank you for doing the right thing and resetting the username. There's more than enough hate out there, and this site in particular is one where it makes the least sense to turn a blind eye on dog whistling. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 26 '19 at 18:12
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    @DenisdeBernardy - I figured it was safe to consider the meta question itself as a flag. I will note that the user self-reports as a resident of central Asia, so its quite likely those terms don't have quite the same connotations to them that they do in the US and Europe. IOW: Its possible this was an innocent misunderstanding, now corrected. – T.E.D. Jul 26 '19 at 18:31
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    I've serious doubts, given the well organized nature of international hate rings are, and the proximity to Afghanistan (which has a long history of resisting Western interests), that this was an actual innocent misunderstanding -- unless, perhaps, the OP was some prepubescent adolescent. But let's leave the conversation at that. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 26 '19 at 19:08

This has been asked and seems to have been addressed in this question on Meta:SE.

Personally, in this specific case, I'm not sure that the username is actually offensive. For all we know, it may simply be an accurate description of that user's views. In any case, it does give some advance warning of potential bias that might appear in questions or answers from that user, and perhaps might also highlight that we should be aware of the possibility of 'push questions' from that account.

If questions or answers posted by that user (or any other user for that matter) violate the SE Code of Conduct, simply flag them for moderator attention.

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