I seem to be attracting them lately, not just here as well.

They are the kind who come in with a homework question - you know, the kind with absolutely no attempt that screams to my cynical mind "PLZ HELP ME, DO MA HOMEWORK" kind of question - you know the type.

We give our stock standard comment about it being a homework question. I tend to use one written by @MARamezani

This is a homework question. We have a policy which states that ‎you should show your thoughts and/or efforts into solving the problem. It'll make us certain that ‎we aren't doing your homework for you. Otherwise, this question may get closed.‎

With 'homework' linking to our meta post about it.

I flag it as off topic, for the homework without effort reason, normally, this is the end of it. Many members make improvements and the question becomes quite good, answerable and a worthwhile addition to the site.

Sometimes, and seemingly increasingly so, you get the ones that want to argue.

I respond with a reminder to read the policy, and lately, links to the 'Be Nice' and behaviour expectations pages in the Help Centre.

Usually at this stage there is a tired old accusation that we are closing the question due to not being able to understand it - with them cheerfully neglecting to read the expectations and to make alterations to their question to conform with the quality standards that 99% of people adhere to.

These comments are flagged and in many cases, a mod will reinforce the expectations of civility and all is calm once more.

But lately, one here and one on another site in the network - it starts to get ugly - with the user swearing, making idle threats etc. All of which are futile, not worthy of responding to and are flagged.

Is it just me, or are some of the homework vampires getting more hostile?

Just to clarify, I am not upset or hurt in anyway - just perplexed by that behaviour

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am going to use a modified version, written by @DelPate: Welcome to Chemistry.SE. Take the [tour] to get familiar with this site. This appears to be a [homework question](http://meta.chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/141/), please share your thoughts and attempts towards the solution. It'll make us certain that ‎we aren't doing your homework for you. $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 25, 2015 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ I took the liberty to set some flags and guess what: the system works! Told you so ;-) $\endgroup$ May 25, 2015 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ You didn't get bitten did you? $\endgroup$
    – ron
    May 25, 2015 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @ron lol, thankfully no $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 25, 2015 at 22:58
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    $\begingroup$ @KlausWarzecha absolutely! I am very impressed in how quickly this was handled! $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 25, 2015 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ @santiago The most important thing is that if it's spinning out of control, just flag and walk away. Don't try to engage further. Some people just don't get it, and they never will, so attempting to reason with them is fruitless, unfortunately. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 25, 2015 at 23:41
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    $\begingroup$ @jonsca absolutely! After the comment with the 'Be Nice' and behaviour expectations links, I stop responding, but merely observe and flag $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 25, 2015 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ You made me famous!... Pfft, like I already wasn't. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    May 28, 2015 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ So there going to be a new tag, Homework Vampire ? $\endgroup$
    – bonCodigo
    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ lol, I doubt it $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


1. Relax...

... and close the question as off-topic, just as you did.

it starts to get ugly - with the user swearing, making idle threats etc.

2. Relax...

... and flag the comments, just as you did.

So, far the system works. Some of these fellows already got suspended for a whole year. Others will follow.

3. Relax...

... and if it makes you feel better, think one of the following:

  • J_dete! T_ p_ta madre!
  • B_gger off!
  • Go and b_il your head!

You may insert vowels of your choice here, while you relax and have a good one :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Frankie say, "Relax!". $\endgroup$ May 25, 2015 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ I am indeed a very relaxed santiago :) $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 25, 2015 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ I am a Rilakkuma - a relax bear! $\endgroup$ May 26, 2015 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ This is very, very good advice - and the great thing is, that I am not deterred from greeting new members. $\endgroup$
    – user15489
    May 26, 2015 at 10:58

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