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With the new flag decline reasons in place, we have the ability to give a custom reason. It looks like the length limit on that field is pretty small.

The flag that sparked this question was about reversing serial downvotes and my original message was going to be

Not manually, but there are vote-fraud prevention scripts in place. If your downvotes were from the same user, they will probably be reverted. You will need to run a rep recalc when that happens. Keep an eye on http://programmers.stackexchange.com/reputation.

That was too long, so I shortened it to

Not manually, but there are vote-fraud prevention scripts in place. If your downvotes were from the same user, they will probably be reverted.

That was also too long and the final message was

Not manually, but there are vote-fraud prevention scripts in place.

What's the maximum length of a message we can leave? Can there be an error message or a character counter or a physical limit on the length of the field to make the limit more apparent? Can the limit be increased to make the messages more meaningful?

This is the kind of flag where not responding is at best rude, leaving a comment is potentially revealing private information, and it's not dire enough for a private message, so the decline reason in the flags seems like the best way to go.

Edit: the more I think about this, the more it seems to me that this is also an argument for allowing to mark a flag "helpful" and leave a message with it. Docking someone 10 points on their flag weight for contacting a moderator with a legit concern feels wrong.

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Especially +1 on increasing the limit. The whole point of the "other" field is using it when none of the short-and-sweet pre-bottled responses are appropriate. –  Willie Wong Sep 20 '11 at 17:36

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The current maximum message is 200 characters; your second version (143 characters) should have worked fine (and indeed, I've just tested that locally and it did work fine). I will try to investigate why it didn't allow that (did you perhaps paste the value?), and see what we can do to improve the UI there.

In case the repro is browser-specific, what is your browser?

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Any possibility of allowing optional feedback for 'helpful' flags, @MarcGravell? –  Lorem Ipsum Sep 27 '11 at 22:02
    
@yoda what is the use-case there? –  Marc Gravell Sep 27 '11 at 22:05
    
Gilles has a few in his post. Besides, there are cases where the user is honestly trying to be helpful (e.g., a new user who flagged an answer for being incorrect, which happened on DSP 30 mins ago). Now I agree with him, but I won't delete the answer because it is only technically incorrect. I'd like to mark it as helpful (or neutral) and educate him on the right thing to do. I do not wish to ding him for being helpful. I do not think flag-weight is useful on lower traffic sites and believe it should be abolished. (continued...) –  Lorem Ipsum Sep 27 '11 at 22:20
    
(2/2) However, with a punitive -10 attached, I'm being forced to think twice, despite my disdain for flag weight. Since he's a new user, I do not think he's all into the whole flag-weight thing, but I honestly wish we had a feature to educate people without "punishing" them. Perhaps an option to "Dispute", just like 10k users can, while giving feedback (maybe the same set of options as that for 'Declined'). If they repeat, then jolly well bring down the 'Declined' hammer. –  Lorem Ipsum Sep 27 '11 at 22:22
    
@MarcGravell Oops, sorry, I somehow missed the notification of your answer here. It's possible that I pasted the value. I think I pasted in my first version and then edited it down to the second one. –  Anna Lear Sep 27 '11 at 23:26

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