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In light of users complaining about their flags being declined because the post was edited, can we indicate alongside each flag in the mod dashboard if the post that was flagged has been edited or not? Something like a simple

N x Edits since flagging.

This way, moderators will be reminded that they might have to check the revision history to grok the reason for the flag. Note that this is different from this proposal, which requested that the moderators be shown the original version of the post. The response has been overwhelmingly negative, and rightly so.

My request would merely require a simple check to see if any edits have been made since the flag was raised and a short notice. The view that the moderators get should still be the current version.

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There'd be a minor bump in the road however. Flags raised within the 5-minute grace period for edits might not capture edits made in that time. So it's not quite fool-proof. – Jeff Mercado Sep 25 '11 at 21:16
@JeffMercado Does a post really need to be flagged in the grace period? Why not give a person the chance to fix any errors? That's why there's a grace period. – user149432 Sep 25 '11 at 21:18
@MarkTrapp: I would usually wait after the grace period to flag if necessary, doesn't mean that others will be as patient. – Jeff Mercado Sep 25 '11 at 21:19
What would really be nice is a way to revoke flags. – Mateen Ulhaq Sep 25 '11 at 21:36
Why in the world would you call bug reports "whining". – Lance Roberts Sep 25 '11 at 22:03
@LanceRoberts ummm, what? Complaining about a declined flag is NOT a bug. – Lorem Ipsum Sep 25 '11 at 22:03
@JeffMercado If they're not patient, then they've got to learn the hard way. – Lorem Ipsum Sep 25 '11 at 22:04
@yoda: And I wholeheartedly agree. As I said, it's not quite fool-proof and those fools will do this and come here to complain about it. – Jeff Mercado Sep 25 '11 at 22:09
@yoda, Flags being declined because the mods didn't see that edits changed the questions IS A BUG. You shouldn't call people whining because they point out a problem with the system; problems exist, and they should be pointed out so that they can be fixed. – Lance Roberts Sep 25 '11 at 22:59
@LanceRoberts When did we start calling human oversight a "bug"? I must've missed that memo. – Lorem Ipsum Sep 25 '11 at 23:45
@yoda, not sure what you're talking about. The bug is that SE isn't letting the moderators know about the changes (which your request addresses somewhat), so they don't have all the information to make a decision on. A second bug is that a user can't remove or modify his flag himself, when the question has been edited. If you want to call these features, go ahead, but I'll keep calling them bugs. – Lance Roberts Sep 25 '11 at 23:51
@LanceRoberts Missing features are not bugs, which is why this post and the other ones are tagged "feature-request". When existing features break, then you have a bug. – Lorem Ipsum Sep 26 '11 at 2:42
Even with the "disappearance" of flag weight, I still think this would a very helpful feature. – Al E. Jun 15 '12 at 17:12

Flag weight is not a good reason for anything, you're suggesting another bandage on a broken leg.

However, this is a good idea, because it helps the moderator. That way, when a moderator sees a flag about a former version of the post, he'll know not to scratch his head wondering what the flagger could have had in mind.

And ideally the moderator would have access to the version that the asker saw, even if the post was later edited in the same 5-minute window.

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If a user wants to flag inside the 5-minute grace period, they should be prepare for a shot. After the grace, it's all on now. – random Sep 25 '11 at 21:15
@random The point is to help the moderator. – Gilles Sep 25 '11 at 21:18
It's not helping moderators if users keep flagging posts before they're allowed to make use of the grace period. Users still put placeholders in their quest for FGITW. If it's still like that after the five minute scumbag mark, it's open season. But they could be in the middle of posting the rest. – random Sep 25 '11 at 21:22
@random That's an argument against the 5-minute window. Why should the flagger have the burden of waiting 5 minutes to flag a bad post? – Gilles Sep 25 '11 at 22:18
Bad posts and incompletes are different, and the former usually don't change no matter when you flag them. – random Sep 25 '11 at 22:25
I disagree with the notion that "[f]lag weight is not a good reason for anything" I see flag weight as being similar to reputation: both are indicators of how well (or poorly) a member is doing in the community. My flag weight indicates, to some degree, how well I'm flagging. If that's "borken" in some way, then it should be "fixed". – Herbert Dec 21 '11 at 22:11
@random - then should we disallow flagging inside the 5 minute window? The would fix this problem just as well as the proposed feature request. – Adam Rackis Dec 22 '11 at 16:23
@AdamRackis: That doesn't fix the problem of the user coming by and editing the post. It only makes sure that an edit history is available, but automatically comparing the flag time to the edit history time is still advantageous. Why should the mod have to compare times by hand when the computer can do it easily? – Ben Voigt Jun 15 '12 at 19:37

I support this proposal.

I just experience the same problem that inspired this feature request.

If I flag something as “not constructive”, for example, and it gets closed for the same reason, I better understand what is and is not constructive. However, when a flag is declined as a result of someone editing their post, I wonder what I did wrong. The only explanation is:

a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

When an answer is flagged because it clearly is not an answer, it’s discouraging to have it declined. I understand that this is a result of human oversight, which is what this proposal hopes to reduce. I’d either like to see this proposal implemented or have the ability to “unflag” — or both.

Some people have mentioned the problem of flagging within the 5 minute window. I propose that flagging simply be disable on a post during that time period. I can’t imagine that such a feature would be too difficult to implement.

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I disagree with disabling flagging in the 5 minute window. It is important that spam and offensive posts be flagged and nuked as soon as possible, when someone sees it. They shouldn't have to wait 5 mins to do that. – Lorem Ipsum Dec 21 '11 at 22:12
@yoda: I hadn't considered that. What about disabling "Not an answer" on answers, and "not a real question", "not constructive", etc. on questions? I don't know how they implement those so it's possible it could be a lot more work than a simple disable. – Herbert Dec 22 '11 at 1:41
What about revoking flags automatically when an edit occurs? That's probably better than preventing the flag in the first place, without knowing whether a ninja edit is forthcoming. – Ben Voigt Jun 15 '12 at 19:38

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