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I have come across this post on SO where the OP is using harsh and offensive language in comments but using Hindi to the answer that he didn't like. I have flagged the comment but the flag has been declined. Why was it declined?

I used the flag link on the comments and selected rude or offensive, but since the OP is posting similar comments on many answers, I raised another flag using the flag link under the question and selected other and added the following description

The OP is posting very offensive comments in Hindi, please take a look

In the flagging summary I see this response

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

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How did you flag it? (Seems most of the content is gone now btw) –  Bart Sep 6 '12 at 12:43
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Non-English content (no matter it is offensive or not) will be removed from SO. –  nhahtdh Sep 6 '12 at 12:46
    
Comments and answers are deleted (by different mods). –  Toon Krijthe Sep 6 '12 at 12:47
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so why is the flag declined ? –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 6 '12 at 12:47
    
So were both your flags declined? Or was the original flag considered helpful? –  Bart Sep 6 '12 at 12:50
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How can you tell it was declined? Comment flags are not shown one by one, you have only the total amount of helpful vs. declined. –  Shadow Wizard Sep 6 '12 at 12:51
    
@ShaWizDowArd please see my update –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 6 '12 at 13:02
    
@Bart the flag that i raised on the question was declined, I think the flags on the comments are still under review –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 6 '12 at 13:03
    
@ShaWizDowArd Provides a reasonable explanation below. –  Bart Sep 6 '12 at 13:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The offensive comments were most likely flagged (by other users) and removed before the moderator handled your flag, so by the time he saw the question it was clean. No offensive comments hence "no evidence to support your flag".

In general, flagging the comments themselves is the proper way of action. If it's going on for long time (e.g. hour of comments fight) then you can flag the post itself asking to temporary lock it down until people will calm down.

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so does this apply for edited comments too, that is if the OP has edited the comment before the moderator has reviewed it, what will happen in that case ? –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 6 '12 at 13:26
    
@Vamsi same thing "no evidence". I would advice to wait few minutes, then the OP can't edit his comments anymore. –  Shadow Wizard Sep 6 '12 at 14:07
    
@VamsiKrishna Comments don't have revisions; if the user wrote something offensive, for example, and then removed that part, moderators don't know that. They could understand you find offensive a word that for others is not offensive. –  kiamlaluno Sep 6 '12 at 18:32
    
isn't it a better approach for the moderator to see the comment that was actually flagged ? –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 7 '12 at 5:01
    
@Vamsi might be, but that's not how things currently work. –  Shadow Wizard Sep 7 '12 at 16:03

OK, there were a pile of flags on that question, and the offensive comments were taken care of in the end, but I think I see what happened here.

First off, if you see offensive comments, flag the comments themselves as being rude or offensive. That was done here, and the two comments were removed soon after. I see both of the relevant comments being deleted within minutes of having been posted and subsequently flagged.

Your entire answer (where the comments occurred) of

for the difference between this two.

Just refer this Stack Answer

Hope this one will clear your basics about this.

was also flagged by another user as not being an answer, and it was removed. If you want to point to a duplicate question, please do so in a comment, because this wasn't really an answer to the question.

The question itself was flagged as spam. At the same time, you flagged the question saying that someone was posting offensive comments in Hindi. We don't see who originated spam or offensive flags, but I assume it was you who flagged the question as spam. That is an inappropriate use of the spam flag. We can only accept or decline all of the pending flags on a given post, so your flag about the offensive comments was declined at the same time as the incorrect spam flag.

In any case, flagging the question for offensive comments in one of its answers is the wrong way to go about this. When I looked at this now, it took me a while to find the offensive comments, because I was looking under the question. This flag could have been declined by itself for that reason alone, but as I said, it probably got dragged along when the incorrect spam flag was declined.

If you just flag non-English offensive comments as such, and we can't read them, it is our policy to trust the user and simply delete them. This is the same as our policy for flagged non-English chat messages. There was no need to flag the question, and certainly no need to flag the question as spam.

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I didn't flag it is spam, I flagged the comments as offensive and rude, but i didn't see any action taken for sometime that is why i flagged on the question as the guy who posted the question is actually using profane language against some of the people trying to help him, thanks for explaining this –  Vamsi Krishna Sep 7 '12 at 4:58
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@VamsiKrishna - It can sometimes take us a few minutes to work our way through the flag queue and even look at each item, much less act on them. Comment flags are generally sorted to the bottom, as they tend to be lower priority. However, we do see everything that gets flagged, and these comments were removed within minutes of them being flagged, which I consider to be a reasonably fast response. We will take care of these flagged items, you just have to have a little patience with us sometimes. –  Brad Larson Sep 7 '12 at 14:26

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