What is the effect of the Offensive flag?
The offensive flag is designed to eliminate truly offensive posts and to penalize the authors:
- 3 flags: post is banished from the front page.
- 6 flags: post is locked, deleted, and the first revision owner loses 100 reputation.
- 1 flag from a moderator has the same effect as 6 flags from normal users: instant destruction.
- Because a question with 6 flags is locked, a 10k reputation user cannot undelete it.
- Each offensive flag counts as a downvote for calculating the post's score.
When should the Offensive flag be used?
Even if a post is a bad post for some reason or other, it is probably not offensive. The Offensive flag is meant to be used only in extreme cases, like hate speech, or abuse.
For example, if a user posts obscene images to the site, that should be flagged as offensive. But if someone says something bad about your favorite technology, that probably doesn't apply.
As a rule of thumb, if you can't justify something as being hate speech, or abuse, you shouldn't mark the post as offensive. Instead, you should down-vote the post.
When you decide to flag a post Offensive, you will get a warning dialog. Take this time to decide if the post is really offensive.
Is there any way to remove Offensive flags?
There is often no need, as offensive flags expire after 48 hours if the thresholds aren't reached.
Rolling back a post to a previous state will revert to the number of offensive flags from that particular revision. This allows the OP (or someone else with edit rights) to rollback a post that someone else made offensive in a later revision. However as a general user, once you mark a post as offensive, you cannot take it back.