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This happened years ago now, and perhaps it's a stupidly petty thing to care about, but I came across the comment again recently while Googling myself and was once again a little upset about it.

This comment of mine from 2014 didn't originally read what it reads now. The original read like this:

"I don't think system security is the focus of the question" - then why have you written an answer that revolves around security? Security is your entire reason for advocating that the user types in a code instead of clicking a link. It's absurd to then declare that you shouldn't be expected to justify the security claim that is the entire basis for 50% of your answer just because the question isn't "about" security. Advocating bad UX for the sake of magical, unexplained security benefits and then protesting when someone demands you explain the security benefits is stupid

Perhaps that was rude. Perhaps those final words could've been something softer, like "is silly". But after a moderator (I'm afraid I forget which one, it's been a long time) edited the comments in response to a "Rude" flag, the comment is... much ruder.

"I don't think system security is the focus of the question" - then why have you written an answer that revolves around security? Security is your entire reason for advocating that the user types in a code instead of clicking a link. It's inappropriate to then declare that you shouldn't be expected to justify the security claim that is the entire basis for 50% of your answer just because the question isn't "about" security. Advocating bad UX for the sake of magical, unexplained security benefits and then protesting when someone demands you explain the security benefits is unjustifiable

(Changes bolded.)

I'm kind of upset to have this comment, which I didn't write, attributed to me. I don't want to outright delete it, because the point being made has value. But in its present form it shows a rudeness and arrogance that I'm embarrassed to have attached to my name. The original comment attacked (perhaps curtly) the answerer's post and claims; the edited one seems to be making assertions about what things they have the right to say, and turns a purely intellectual criticism into a bizarre moral one. And it makes me look unhinged - calling somebody's conduct "unjustifiable" is what you do when they've shot up a convent full of nuns, not when they've said something wrong about computers on the internet.

I appreciate that the original mod's edit was well-intentioned, but - at least to my reading - it's backfired. And now the question has almost 10000 views. I don't want to delete my comment, but I don't want the new, ruder version attached to my name. Could a mod edit it back to its original form, or perhaps to some sensible compromise that neither uses the word 'stupid' nor seems to be morally condemning the answerer for merely being wrong about something? I'd accept "It doesn't make sense to then declare" as a substitute for "It's inappropriate to then declare" and "is unreasonable" (without italics) as a substitute for "is unjustifiable".

As an aside, this sort of thing is probably a good reason for mods to never edit argumentative comments for tone. Ideas of rudeness vary, and your idea of polite and professional communication may well be something that the person you're attributing it to would never say and doesn't want falsely attributed to them. That is certainly the case here.

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    I have to agree with JonW on this. I read the edited version as more rational, and less rude than the original. "Absurd" and "stupid" are not rational statements, whereas "inappropriate" and "unjustifiable" are. – JohnGB Aug 22 '16 at 9:31
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    FWIW, Mark, I'd have changed the same two words the same way. My grounds for doing so would have been that "absurd" and "stupid" are about the writer's motivations and/or intelligence. They implicitly deny that what was written could have been merely a well-intentioned mistake. Whereas "inappropriate" and "unjustified" do talk about what was written rather than imputing to the writer a catastrophic lack of sense. (I realise that many people would regard "absurd" and "stupid" as hyperbole, but usually that kind of hype is reserved for friends who can be counted on to forgive) – MMacD Nov 28 '16 at 18:35
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Reading the audit trail of actions on that post it appears that there were lots of flags raised on many comments in that post. Several comments have been deleted (and I've now deleted several more) to clean the whole thing up and that particular comment was edited instead of being deleted because it was relevant but confrontational in nature.

I disagree that the edit made it worse, but regardless I have edited it and removed the closing part of the comment. It now reads:

"I don't think system security is the focus of the question" - then why have you written an answer that revolves around security? Security is your entire reason for advocating that the user types in a code instead of clicking a link.

There are far too many comments on that post as it is. This isn't a discussion forum, it's a Q&A site. Comments are secondary in nature, people visiting the site shouldn't be expected to have to read all the comments.

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    Regardless of our difference of opinion on the relative politeness of the two revisions, I appreciate you removing the content that I didn't want attributed to me. – Mark Amery Aug 22 '16 at 9:33

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