Inspired by an answer to Difference between new-age classical and traditional classical as far as theory?, which refers to two artists as writing "formless drivel":

Most users of this site - myself included - consider certain types of opinion-seeking questions off-topic. However, even when opinions aren't being sought, they might still be given - and I would tend to think that if there's anything we want to avoid on this site for being opinion-based, it would be subjectively negative assessments like this.

Do we allow posts to be disparaging towards artists, works, or genres?

2 Answers 2


Thank you @topo - I have edited out the controversial paragraph and left a note informing the poster there are rules

  • 1
    Sounds reasonable - but do we have any (explicitly stated) rules about negative opinions anywhere though? I don't doubt the opinion in question was honestly given and I genuinely wasn't sure whether a defined line had been crossed... Mar 1, 2019 at 22:50
  • 1
    It fails on the opinion bit - it really reads as a rant. Some sites have an explicit "evidence based" requirement, and we have a post notice option for "citation required"
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Mar 2, 2019 at 0:01
  • 1
    We have 'be nice', and someone's opinion that something is 'drivel' isn't nice. And it's opinionated, and as such, detracts from the answer anyway.
    – Tim
    Mar 6, 2019 at 8:10

I initially considered this as just an irrelevant part of the post, analogous to users telling some completely unrelated story. Since those should be edited out, I believe that unnecessary disparaging remarks should also be removed. In the case User topo morto specifically mentioned, the post is fine without the remark.

Most of the time, the post just makes some passing comment, and the opinionated part can just be replaced or removed, and the answer is still a good answer.

I'm not aware of any specific ruling on this, but I imagine it is covered by "claims should be backed up by evidence". (Interestingly, that means the "formless" part would be okay if they had evidence that the person was writing music that didn't have any discernable form)

I think that the important factors are subjectivity versus objectivity and relevancy. If the poster can point to something that they don't like about the music, such as "this artist only uses 4 chords", then I probably wouldn't remove criticism as long as it wasn't profane or too irrelevant. If someone asked about parallel fifths in a Beethoven piece and then someone answered with "Beethoven just wrote formless drivel and called it music", that would be unnecessary.

TL;DR: Generally, that's not okay.

  • 2
    Can we still hate "Friday" by Rebecca Black, though? Mar 5, 2019 at 18:27
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox - I wouldn't even waste emotion on it. Listened for one minute, then, miraculously, it cut off. There is a God...
    – Tim
    Mar 6, 2019 at 8:18
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox No, it's good clean fun fun fun fun lookin forward to the weekend Mar 13, 2019 at 18:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .