Using flags

When you select the flag icon below another user’s post, you’re offered several paths for moderation:

  • send the author of the post a message
  • participate in collective flagging
  • call it to the direct attention of moderators

Send the author a message

When you see someone post an attitude that you think is not appropriate or offensive, you might want to publicly correct them about it. But followed by one or several responses, this approach easily steers the entire conversation off-topic. So if you want to engage directly, you can instead send a direct message to the author. You can also invite them to discuss the issue in another or a new topic. You can both help keep discussions on the forum civil and focused.

Collective flagging

There are three default reasons for flagging a post: It’s Off-Topic, It’s Inappropriate or It’s Spam.
If a post gets flagged by several users for the same reason, it will be hidden from the discussion and the author of the post will be advised to review it. Here’s how this works in detail:

  1. Enough users flag a post. This could be 3 Basic users, 2 Members, or a mix. Learn more about user groups in Understanding user trust levels.

  2. The post in question is immediately hidden.

  • the post author sees:

Your post was flagged by the community. Please see your messages.

  • the community sees:

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden. View hidden content

  1. A friendly private message is sent to the author of the post, describing what happened, and letting them know that after having waited 10 minutes they have the opportunity to adjust their post.
  • If the post author edits the post, the post is un-hidden and visible as usual.
  • If the post author does not edit the post, it is never un-hidden. If a post stays hidden for 30 days, it is automatically deleted.
  1. If that same post is hidden by a second round of flags, the user is not given another opportunity to edit the post and it must now be reviewed by a moderator.

Moderator attention

A post can directly be brought to moderator attention by reporting Something Else about it.

In any case, thanks for using flags! It’s our approach to distribute moderation powers among the entire community :+1:


Can I see if my post has ever been flagged? I mean I do not want to see who flagged it because that could lead to resentment but I would love to see which of my posts are flagged; this way maybe I could realize that what kind of my messages might seem inappropriate to someone.

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But if you know the moment of flagging, it may be obvious who flagged. So that should be obfuscated too. Some other ways of feedback about how your posts are received are also possible . Maybe every month a summary?

You will be notified of flags when they cause one of your posts to be hidden, just as explained above in Collective flagging. And I’d say that’s actually just the intent of it: providing a frame for community feedback. So, no, if there’s just one or two flags on your post, you are not made aware of it. If another user wants their individual opinion to have an immediate effect, no matter if it’s shared more widely, they should either send a private message as suggested above in Send the author a message, or directly report it to moderators.

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