I asked the question Are taxi drivers in Bangkok expected to round up the taxi fare to the nearest multiple of 10 THB? and received the following comment:

Maybe just enjoy your immense privilege and stop quibbling over literal quarters?

Why wasn't my deletion flag on this unconstructive comment approved? This comment is at best some chit-chat and at worse, rather rude (doesn't seem to abide by the be-nice policy).

  • 1
    My prediction came out, you posted a meta question. I have told you before, some comments do get deleted, others do not. No reason to ask a meta question about. (Going into the chat and asking there might be a better option.)
    – Willeke Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 18:00
  • 31
    @Willeke meta is a proper place for questions about moderation. Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 18:01
  • 4
    Meta is for serious matters, this is not one of those, in my view.
    – Willeke Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 19:31
  • 26
    @Willeke Why a flag was declined/not acted on is a matter for meta. I am with the OP here
    – Xnero
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 21:27
  • 13
    @Willeke meta is for anything meta, serious or not.
    – o0'.
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 22:49
  • 23
    @Willeke Responding to a moderator's public put-down of a comment flag is a serious matter. Moderators (whether acting wrongly or rightly) should not be free from scrutiny.
    – JBentley
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:52
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    @Willeke: There are so many truly nonserious questions on Meta such that this one makes more semse.
    – guest
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 17:32
  • 1
    The whole thread has become a right mess now, given all the people commenting (incorrectly, I might add). I've moved it to a chat. You can address issues in there, but not in comments.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 3:49
  • @MarkMayo thanks Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 3:56
  • 1
    @Willeke That is clearly a flippant political message, and designed to signal their position, disparage all others, and claim a moral high ground. It's gross and dishonest. In light of my recent exchange with you and the other moderators via mod message, where you said "please leave that sort of political content out of posts in future", how do you feel about it now? Or are certain politics okay on Travel SE?
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


It's a judgment call, but I do see a few points in favor of deleting the comment:

  • The OP already stated that the comment made them uncomfortable (by flagging it).
  • Speculating about another user's privilege is at best unnecessarily personal and off-topic, and at worst ad-hominem and rude.
  • Our code of conduct states, among others,
    • No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language.
    • Focus on the content, not the person.
    • When in doubt, don't use language that might offend or alienate.
  • 9
    In addition---and, as a European, I might be wrong here, so feel free to correct me---"privilege" seems to have become a politically loaded term in the US recently, which might make matters even more complex/controversial.
    – Heinzi
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 5:52
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    I don’t the comment speculates on the OP’s privilege. They are a westerner who can afford to travel to, and live/work/holiday, in a foreign country where the majority of the population live on a dollar or less a day. They are objectively privileged, both absolutely and relatively to most Thais.
    – Darren
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:17
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    @Darren You are right, it doesn't speculate. It outright presumes, as you are doing. You have no idea about what the OP can afford relative to most Thais, and you certainly don't know that OP's privilege (if any) is "immense".
    – JBentley
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:55
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    @JBentley well done on so substantially missing my point.
    – Darren
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:56
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    @Darren Your point was quite clear. You stated that OP is "objectively privileged, both absolutely and relatively to most Thais", and you also made a statement about what the OP can afford. None of which you can possibly know unless you have access to OP's financial information.
    – JBentley
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:57
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    @JBentley OK, I do have to spell it out. Average daily income in Thailand is less than $8 a day. For a good chunk of the population it’s less than that. As a European (OP is in Netherlands) they are significantly likely to have an income far above that based on no other knowledge. Based on the fact OP has access to the Internet and is able to afford travel to another country, it can be taken they are not in poverty even by European standards. That puts them well above most Thais in terms of wealth, social status, education and all those other things that can be summed up as “privilege”.
    – Darren
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 15:10
  • @JBentley slight correction. The original asker of the question is American. But the point stands.
    – Darren
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 15:11
  • @Heinzi It is a blatantly anti-white phrase at this point. You are automatically "privileged" just for being white, and virtually all good things you have in your life you did not earn or deserve, because they were stolen through racism. It is exactly the kind of pop-politics that seems to always get a pass, and when you push back on it (in comments because the mods decline your flag), they delete your comment and send you a mod message (yes, they did this to me two weeks ago).
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:09
  • @Darren You have missed the point about the question in the first place. The question is "Oh, so do all Thais round up like this, or are the cabbies trying to cheat me?" And you thing it's appropriate to answer "Well, just pay it, you can afford it? That's what equity is." Firstly, plenty of people reject "equity" as a premise in the first place. Secondly, the question, and this site in particular, is designed to bring understanding about travel and foreign lands. Does pushing this new critical theory libearlism do that? No, ironically, it does the opposite while claiming to be the answer.
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:13
  • @user27701 not sure why you’ve brought race into this, I think that says more about you than anyone else. Re. Your second comment. I said nor implied any such thing. Please don’t put words in my mouth just so you can make a pseudo-intellectual argument against what I (didn’t) say.
    – Darren
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:06
  • @Darren Do you really want to make the argument that this use of the word "privilege" is not about race? Good luck with that. But then you use that specious assertion to paint me as a racist. Cute, but that doesn't work anymore. Calling people racist is a lazy way to win an argument.
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:17
  • Your words are indeed what I summarized and dismantle, as you said "That puts them well above most Thais in terms of wealth, social status, education and all those other things that can be summed up as “privilege”. Your entire point is "You can afford it, so just pay it, that's equity." Your use of this dialectal inversion is right out of their propaganda. None of this answers the question, and it pushes a dubious politic.
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:17

To add to Heinzi's answer it also doesn't fit with the site's policy on comments:

Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid answering questions in comments.

The comment in question:

  1. Does not ask for more information.
  2. Does not suggest improvements.
  3. Borders on answering the question in the form of a frame challenge, along the lines of "Don't bother worrying about whether or not Thai taxi drivers overcharge tourists, just pay the difference anyway".
  • 1
    How does this answer the question on why it wasn't deleted? (I upvoted anyway)
    – guest
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 13:48
  • @guest By subtly suggesting that at least one mod is highly sympathetic to this pop-politics and passive-aggressive, anti-white, critical theory nonsense, maybe? There are literally no checks on moderation of comments. They do whatever they want.
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:16

The comment was not deleted because it did not break the rules. It is realistic, to the point, and not rude.

It may not feel positive for you, but it is not rude and it tells the truth, in my view.

  • 16
    If the decision not to delete the comment came from you, which I believe it did, I believe you should disclose it as this might bias your answer. Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:53
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    How do you know that it is realistic and "tells the truth"? Are you privy to OP's financial information?
    – JBentley
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 11:56
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    The comment in question is easily one of the most offensive I have ever seen on Travel. I cannot understand how anyone would consider it "not rude", let alone a site moderator. Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 2:33
  • So you are a mod that's okay with this stuff, and eager to allow it in comments, even when it very clearly is rude, disparaging, and POLITICAL. Did you also decline my recent and similar flag on this comment, which has that high and mighty "please don't assume everyone is like you" sneering tone? Are you the prime mover in my recent exchange with "the moderation team" via mod message?
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:21
  • User27701 I will not discuss your case outside moderator team messages, but I can say I was not the one who send the original one to you.
    – Willeke Mod
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 18:30
  • @Willeke Of course not. Will you delete it then, if I post a meta about it, since I think it shows moderator malfeasance? I notice you didn't even ping me, I guess in hopes I won't reply and you'll get last say. This kind of passive-aggressive behavior doesn't look good.
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:21
  • Will you answer my comment on the question, addressed to you?
    – user27701
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:22
  • No, I do not answer your comments.
    – Willeke Mod
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:27

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