Most of us have, to some degree, experienced an antagonistic situation in which we feel our answer was harshly criticized or in which we are charged with unfair criticism of an answer.
In my experience, these situations rapidly escalate, and despite knowing that I shouldn't, I've been drawn into destructive exchanges in these situations. In these instances, I've been slightly disappointed by my own behaviour and come away irritated.
I wondered whether there was a code of conduct or a policy in these situations? If not, I propose the following:
If you feel someone's comment on your answer was inappropriate:
- If the comment is bigoted, slanderous, or otherwise gratuitously offensive, report it and don't further engage with that user.
- Re-read the comment - was it so bad? Did the commenter address a problem with your answer? If so, ignoring the provocative nature of the comment, politely respond.
- If the user persists in making comments that you feel are offensive or provocative, stop interacting.
- You might feel irritated that unfounded objections in a comment are there for all to see, but a competent physicist will see beyond those comments.
If someone's feels your comment on an answer was inappropriate:
- Re-read your comment. Was it unnecessarily rude or provocative? If so, amend or delete the comment.
- If you feel the comment was reasonable, don't escalate or write further comments. You've raised your objection to the answer - your warning will be seen. There is no merit in a further series of destructive comments.
- If the offender user persists in contacting you, ignore them and/or report the behaviour to a moderator.
If nothing else, this can be my personal code of conduct. If I followed it in the past, I think it would have avoided unpleasant situations. This isn't the final word on this topic; I'm sure there may be many helpful alterations and additions to my rules.