Should the "Black Nodes Matter" question, which mocks the Black Lives Matter protesters, be removed?

Here's the link:

Is it appropriate to make a pun that references a highly charged topic in current events, in a lecture on an unrelated subject?

  • 17
    And how exactly do you know the question isn't asked in good faith? The question is if saying this would be considered appropriate by users here; the overwhelming response is 'bad idea.' Nowhere does OP make a political statement, just an awkward pun. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 16:27
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    @Use001: Sorry, all I see is you making political statements that, to the best of our knowledge, were not made by OP. The other questions were quite different, but we don't have to agree on that. I've heard unpolitical academics make worse puns (e.g., declaring feminism to be like nazi government by someone not even conservative in general - which led to the expected storm of outrage), and would not be surprised if someone actually didn't realize how this is maybe not a good idea, and meant to solicit feedback for safety. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


There are three main paths by which a question can be deleted.

  • Flags: If a question receives enough spam or abusive flags, the community bot will automatically delete the question and feed the spam/abusive detection algorithms. While this question is not spam, the abusive flag can be used for trolling. The question has only received a single abusive flag, which is not enough to trigger the community bot.

  • Delete votes: Users with enough rep can vote to delete questions when the question has either been closed for long enough or is sufficiently down voted. The question in question, is has neither received enough down votes nor been closed long enough for users to delete the question

  • Moderators: Moderators can unilaterally delete a question. We tend to try not to do this and let the community take care of things, but sometimes we need to step in. That said, during the mod elections we were asked about our thoughts on unilaterally deleting things. All the elected mods basically said let the community decide, so we tend to be conservative when deleting things.

As for why I haven't deleted the question. I did not see the question prior to it being closed. It was closed by 5 high rep users rather quickly. The question only has a single flag and there are not a large number of comments. I think the community is handling the issue well and there is no need for a moderator to step in at this point.


I think the question shows utter incompetence as a lecturer, but it's a valid question and should not be removed because I've had lecturers who were actually this socially incompetent, and as such it's a legitimate question. Hopefully someone will learn from some of the excellent answers it's attracting.


Converted from a comment on the main site question (which I now have deleted):

I am European so I probably know very little about this movement and the controversies that surround it, but I am strongly against the deletion of this question. In my view, merely discussing a topic in a civil way should never be censored because someone finds it offensive.

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    It's also really important that this was a question, not a discussion; the OP may have been impressively unaware of the situation but they came here with an open mind ready to ask and listen and learn, not with their mind already made up and ready to discuss and debate.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:54

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