This one in particular.

We discussed "fun" in other occasions (one, two, three) and as far as I can tell the consensus is that fun is fine in comments, in meta and chat, NOT in answers to serious questions.

I am even more against it if it nets reputation, instead of being a wiki post (and making that post a wiki one now would not solve the issue, in my opinion, since the reputation won't go away).

We removed previous (and later) "humorous" content from the main site. The latest example that I can think of is an answer from @mins that identifies a pen instead of the object that was the subject of the question, why should this one be any different?

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    $\begingroup$ It has been deleted. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Sep 21 '17 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ I think there should be some kind of marking or at least an archive for humourus answers. Of course, there should be no encouragement to write such answers, but I really enjoyed @mins answer and it's a pity that it got deleted and no one can ever see it anymore. $\endgroup$ – Noah Krasser Sep 23 '17 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ @NoahKrasser we could devise a solution, but requires coordination with at least a mod that would lock the post immediately after it is posted, avoiding the situation that had been created with the pen answer, i.e. that the "funny" answer gets more votes than the actual one. Still, this would not be applicable every time, since I, like Jay here below, would not like to see Aviation.SE turn into a possible source for consipracy theories. $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 24 '17 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't that possible to build a wall against humor to regain control of the site? $\endgroup$ – mins Sep 25 '17 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ For those with less than 10k rep who wonder what this is all about, you can find an archive of the question here. $\endgroup$ – Makyen Sep 29 '17 at 3:52

I have commented, on several occasions, to allow for a bit of "fun" as you describe, but I would have to agree that this steps a bit over the line.

A serious answer that contains a little bit of obvious humor is probably okay, but the problem with this one is that it's entirely incorrect and, to top it off, is fairly sardonic so for some folks (who lack context) it may be difficult to tell that the author is being humorous.

Yes, the vast majority of folks would pretty easily pick up on the fact that it's a silly answer... But if the internet has taught me anything it's that there are several folks out there who will see this answer as being possibly true.

This might sound like a reach, but... I'd just hate for an answer on this site to end up being fuel for some crazed conspiracy theory. Like someone saying that it's a chemtrail plane being refueled, for example. Giving them any extra "evidence" to support their claims is simply a bad idea.

I know I know, I'm paranoid. But, then again, I've also seen conspiracy articles citing The Onion as truth so... Yeah. We've got to be a bit responsible here, I think. The right thing to do is to take that answer down. Or, if possibly, edit it to say "Humorous" and lock it up so that no one can upvote it (don't know if that can be done.)

TL;DR: In summary, I think answers should always be factual. I am more than okay with them being humorous on the way to revealing the facts but they should always, in the end, answer the question.


This humorous answer from @mins is actually humorous, and requires no quotes around the word humorous. It actually answers the question: the ball-point pen can be seen in the OP picture. There is nothing offensive in it to any group of people anywhere on earth. It received 65 up-votes from people with a sense of humour, up-voted comments from other users, plus some ephemeral comments from someone who was annoyed about having to scroll.

This one from @SpongeBob was up-voted 13 times, had received appreciating comments from serious users, and had lived for almost three years undisturbed before it had to be deleted.

I don't understand what problem needed to be solved in these two cases. Answers should not be tailored to the lowest common denominator because some poor souls cannot understand the concept of having a sense of humour.

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    $\begingroup$ The point is actually not that it is humorous, but that it doesn't meet the Stack Exchange requirement for the post to actually be an answer. I think focusing on whether or not a post is funny is completely irrelevant. Like on every other site, if it doesn't qualify as a valid answer, it should be downvoted and probably deleted. And while some sites have the odd funny post kept around for historical amusement, if in any doubt, those get deleted too. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Feb 24 '18 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop I'm sorry, I disagree with the first statement: the point is that it is humorous, re the title. There are some highly up-voted answers that are low quality without any reason to smile, this post is not about those. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Feb 25 '18 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ what you are arguing for is using humour as an excuse to keep a post that otherwise is just noise and doesn't answer the question. Why should humour change the rules of SE? What if someone finds something funny and someone else doesn't - who do you listen to? At the end of the day it doesn't answer the question - funny or not. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Feb 25 '18 at 8:00

"as far as I can tell the consensus is that fun is fine in comments"


Things have worsened in 5 months. Now even comment humor is censored. Reading What are the main reason of the 2 fatal crashes of the Russian and Iranian planes and should we be scared to fly this year?, in particular:

  • "Does these 2 accidents means that this year would be a disaster on aviation as we're still in february and more than 200 persons were killed in different areas"

I posted in a comment:

  • "Yes, things come in threes"

which was quickly censored by moderators and replaced by:

"Please let's avoid spreading disinformation in guise of "jokes" in the comments. It does not help people that are unable to realize that they should be read as jokes. Thank you."

I noticed the quotes used around

  • Can we delete this “humorous” answer
  • We discussed "fun" in other occasions
  • in guise of "jokes"

as if these words were not appropriate, or the author were trying to be fun but completely failed.

We're are leveling by the bottom, at the point it's difficult to see where is the motivation to participate under this strict regulation or baby sitting management as I tend to see it rather.

I believe it's excessive and I join @Koyovis view:

"Well done. Who would want good humoured answers on this site, it's an outrage. We would much rather be miserable and berate newcomers."

I believe the recognition of this site as being a good source of information won't come from absence of humor and strict observance of rules, but from answers with good references, pedagogy in explanations, and a dose of rule breaking and fun. Fun is great!

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    $\begingroup$ You did not simply say "Yes, things come in threes", you said that to a user that obviously did not understand another joke in another comment and was evidently alarmed to the point of saying "I didn't get what you mean, so we are in a danger right?". Answering with a joke to an alarmed user is not funny. Fun is great in the appropriate context and a receptive audience. $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 21 '18 at 11:08
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    $\begingroup$ and about "Now even comment humor is censored." could not be further from the truth. You have no idea on the amount of flags cast by people from other SEs we (yes, me too) reject to keep some jokes in the comments. $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 21 '18 at 11:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Federico: "could not be further from the truth"... How do you call removing harmless humor in comments and claim the author is "spreading disinformation" because they wrote "things come in threes...", according to you to "protect" "a user that obviously did not understand another joke in another comment" that was not mine. Disinformation!, not less... I swear I'm not a Russian agency interfering in politics... $\endgroup$ – mins Feb 21 '18 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ I'll be happy to discuss this in chat. $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 22 '18 at 6:30
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    $\begingroup$ @mins Totally agree with you. Demanding justification for a sense of humour is just utterly useless. Deplorable. Imposition of being miserable upon everybody. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Feb 23 '18 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Koyovis you're also invited to join the discussion in chat, remember that comments are ephemeral. $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 23 '18 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Koyovis: I appreciate you taking risk of being blacklisted like me to raise concerns against what is not more moderation, but is now setting a single narrow view. I see this as courageous, and I'll remember you being here when it was time to say stop. When two long time users with a good reputation, not only here but on other stacks start to challenge moderation, other should think twice about it, and ask themselves if everything is actually right at the moment, instead of downvoting opinions. $\endgroup$ – mins Feb 24 '18 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ "remember that comments are ephemeral", at least some humor, in the context. $\endgroup$ – mins Feb 24 '18 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ @mins Agreed. The new moderators should moderate themselves more.. Very much destroys my pleasure in being on the site. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Feb 24 '18 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Koyovis and mins, you're free to take this to the admins, if you think we are overstepping our boundaries. You'll notice that we are simply giving humor more space than we really should. $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 24 '18 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @mins I love humor on the site, and I went out of my way to protect it when I was a more active moderator, but the person asking that question was clearly not a native English speaker, and was clearly confused. I think the mods are just asking you to be a little sensitive to that. If something like this comes up again, talk to them in chat! They're not evil people or mindless drones who enforce rules and feel nothing. Try talking to them as such. They do make mistakes sometimes, but they're also receptive to criticism, and more open to conversations when they don't feel under attack. $\endgroup$ – Bret Copeland Feb 25 '18 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ example. I just rejected a flag on this comment: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/40947/… $\endgroup$ – Federico Feb 27 '18 at 9:21

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