I flagged a comment because it referred to somebody as a
known, rabid male-hating feminist
which seems rather rude and offensive to me.
The flag was declined. Anybody have any insight on this?
To answer my own question, I remain convinced that this comment should be deleted.
Our help center says that we expect users to
Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you because we’re all here to learn, together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know, and bring your sense of humor.
A comment calling another individual (whether a member of Academia.SE or not, it doesn't really matter in my opinion) a "known, rabid male-hating feminist" has no place in respectful discourse. It seems to me like a clear violation of the above policy.
StackExchange is different from many other "communities" on the Internet because we enforce certain standards of behavior, and I believe we are better for it. Offensively worded ad hominem attacks (to borrow a phrase from Mad Scientist) should not be tolerated here.
It appears that you flagged that multiple times. I cleared one of those flags because of the discussion we had here. The comment is borderline offensive, but personally (and, apparently, the other mods agree) I didn't find that it was so bad that it warrants deletion. We have a rather open attitude towards commenting here, and to be deleted I think we've generally held that the comment has to be more directly and blatantly insulting.
Edit: Do note that the mods clearing the flags are just acting based on essentially "statutory law", which is what we think we've done in the past and how the community wants us to behave. As always, if we'd like to act differently please post here, as @ff524 has done.
While I think this comment can be considered offensive, I'm approaching this from a bit of a different perspective. I think that "not constructive" is the more useful argument in this case.
Criticizing the sources of a specific answer is certainly something that should not be discouraged. There is a rather large spectrum between pointing out a bias of a certain source and a plain ad hominem attack, and while the former can be very valuable information, the latter is not useful at all.
I would personally hold the users of this site to a higher standard than the one exhibited in this specific comment. So I think deletion of this comment would be warranted as it is not a constructive way to criticize this source, but a rather offensively worded ad hominem attack.