Deweaponizing the flags

Can we make it so that flags only hide posts from the flagger?

Seems like some folks really just need a “I don’t want to see this particular post” button, but all they have is the flag button. I suppose they could just mute an entire thread, or person, but that may be overkill for a single offending post and the flag button is just so shiny and up front while the mute feature is waaaaaay at the bottom, in a drop down menu.

Some people are using the flag as a weapon. But, they’re going to do that regardless of where the mute button is. Making it so that posts aren’t hidden before a moderator gets involved will at least let others make their own decisions.

I mean, sometimes people post scary pictures and my peril-sensitive sunglasses activate. If I could just hide a single posting, I can go back into the not-usually-scary thread without going blind (or deciding for everyone else’s PSSG’s what they ought to encounter).


I didn’t even know that muting was an option. I had to look for it, and it took me a while to find it. But yeah, I agree that the flagging option should be less punitive. Some very benign posts have been flagged.


I think making the mute button more prominent may have prevented a couple of the more recent cases, as I don’t think anyone was trying to weaponize flagging.

On the other hand, it does have that potential.

On the grasping hand, I can certainly see where extremely inappropriate posts might need to be hidden from the community before a mod has a chance to get involved.

Agreed - the flag function is too powerful to put in the hands of every forum user. The mute button should be the one that everyone gets as the default, with a true flag button being something with much less actual impact.

The ideal system would treat flags from different users with varying weights. For super upper level trust members flagging will do the hiding, and for the lower nobodies such as myself they just add to a tally of “hey people are upset by this, maybe it should be looked at.”

In practical practice that probably means something like “if a post/comment/whatev receives X flag votes, then hide it” and different tiered users get different votes per flag use. So like basic users get counted as 1, next level is 2… maybe it’s Fibonacci growth so we get 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… and when you hit like 25 it gets hidden, meaning just one or two high trust users appropriately deem it a problem, or if a whole crowd of lowlevelers use it we’re probably dealing with a real issue and not just one or two lone wolves.


Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?


Am I the only one picturing @Lesley waking up this afternoon with a raging hangover from the episode 3 after party (I am pretty sure she was one of the people in Connor’s “other room”), only to be confronted by a hundred alerts from this forum about flags and whatnot, and the expression on her face that says “Dear lord, what happened last night?”

I am the only one?

Okay, never-mind.


As someone who has been the moderator of public forums, I too empathize with those who have to deal with such issues. I had given some of my users a special phrase they could type into chat that would cause the system to send me a text message, alerting me to take a look right now at whatever is going down. A bit of a nuisance, but I would rather address something straightaway than sift through the aftermath.


I was the sole mod for an official NFL board about 20 years ago. I still have PTSD. [shudder]


Users not deciding what’s good for other users was the main point of my original post.

I suppose a compromise could be that users could set a switch to have posts that lots of people have muted be marked somehow so they can choose to avoid them on their own. Setting your own level of discretion-required would be a choice you could make for yourself.

The switch could be set with all sorts of different options based on your preferences. Like, if you don’t like naughty stuff, a post flagged as naughty could be hidden from you until a mod determines if it’s actually naughty. If there’s no naughty stuff in it, then false flagging consequences oughta happen to discourage flag happying.

That sorta thing. Just not “Nobody should see this because I think so.”


Here’s the thing, though. Flags are about letting the mods know about a post that needs their attention. There’s a tonne of posts that get posted here daily - and that grows exponentially every time there’s an event in the G-plex. I don’t want to sound callous, but if there is a user “weaponizing” the flags and just flagging everything they don’t like and/or disagree with, then it should be up to the mods to have a convo with that user and tell them to knock it the fork off.

I’m not in favor of somehow making certain people’s decision to flag more valid than others (if that’s even possible with Discourse software). It doesn’t benefit the community for a truly problematic post to remain visible for a long time just because it had only been seen by people who didn’t have enough “flag power”.


I’m going to look into what our options are for adjusting the flagging/hiding triggers.

On Monday, though. :smirk:



(Internally debating if posting a picture of a certain former President of the U.S. hugging the flag as a response would itself be flagged.)


state form GIF


That would be nice.

I’d actually like to have the ability to find out who flagged my innocuous, MST3K-standard posts, so I can put them on ignore.

If Crow, Tom, Joel, or Mike said it, I’m saying it.

End of story.

Name names.

They should probably just make the flag button not so easy to accidentally hit, I’ve accidentally hit it two or three times by now just scrolling through the chat. But that could just be me.


I can still see flagged posts if I want to, I just click and it shows up. Is that only allowed for certain forum members who’ve been around for a while?

Just wondering because this topic has come up a few times, and people are acting like they are being denied access to a flagged post.

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When you hit the flag button, another box pops up asking why you are flagging the post. You can cancel out of that, which doesn’t actually flag the post. I doubt there are tons of “accidental” flags due to misclicks.


Not as far as I know.

Among the many “muted” or “ignored” users whom I find tedious, odious, and repugnant, I can still show ignored content if I choose to. On a case-by-case level. Jurisprudence, one could say.

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