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While I certainly don't want to write a book every time I flag a post, I find the current 150 character limit way to strict and most of the time I can't explain properly the reason for which I flagged a post.

I propose to increase it to at least 300; 150 is very little, for example the paragraph above alone is over 200 characters and it's barely two lines.

If moderators are in a rush and don't want to read the full explanation they can always stop halfway through.

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Perhaps the character limit should increase with rep? I don't know if moderator flagging is currently a spam problem. –  Jon Seigel Apr 26 '10 at 13:19
    
I don't think a rep limit would have any feasible effect on this. The people who will actually need to use higher char limits probably will have accrued enough rep, so it will be the same as if there was no reputation need. Meanwhile, if there are people who would abuse the system, they would probably do it just as well by using up multiple flags. –  Grace Note Apr 26 '10 at 13:28
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@ccornet: unfortunately "flag for moderator attention" is a one-shot deal. i think being able to flag-for-mod multiple times would be a more useful update than expanding the character limit. (tho expanding the limit is probably easier..) –  quack quixote Apr 26 '10 at 13:37
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"I don't want to write a book every time I flag a post, but the current 150 character limit is too strict. I can't explain properly my reasoning." - 144 chars; learn to be more terse! –  Ladybug Killer Apr 26 '10 at 13:39
    
@quack Is that for a single post, or for a whole day? I was more referring that if flagging was to become a spam problem, it would probably be due to a person who posts multiple short messages across a slew of posts. Length limits wouldn't have any real effect on that, so limitting things based on rep would have virtually no effect positive or negative. –  Grace Note Apr 26 '10 at 13:41
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I'm not sure why the original restriction, that flags be in the form of a haiku, was lifted. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '10 at 13:42
    
@Bill: the feedback reply mechanism from flags is so limited, it's hard to get the necessary encouragement to keep doing it. I never even know which moderator gets to see the haiku, so I can't tailor it to the audience. –  Ether Apr 26 '10 at 14:47
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Anyone who thinks 150 is very little has never used twittter (correctly) - or sent a telegram. Of course, you could also gzip and base-64-encode it in your head and paste that? (actually, really don't) –  Marc Gravell Apr 26 '10 at 15:24
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@ccornet: AFAIK it's for a single post, ever. you may get another if/when the moderators clear the flags on that post, but if that hasn't happened you get the "you've already flagged this" error. i'm not really sure exactly how it works. –  quack quixote Apr 26 '10 at 15:31
    
@ccornet: You get 10 mod flags/day, one per post, and they never expire as far as I can tell. –  Jon Seigel Apr 26 '10 at 15:51
    
Thanks to both of you for clarifying that bit! –  Grace Note Apr 26 '10 at 15:55
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Make it 140 and you can tweet me –  Ivo Flipse Apr 26 '10 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

I actually disagree with this one. Flagging posts to moderators should be kept short and simple. I usually flag them with 'User is spamming' or 'User is posting exact dupes' or 'This question is off topic' rather than waste the moderators time with reading my message.

They'll most likely need to read the question/answers that are being flagged, anyway, so why waste their time with a book on why it was flagged?

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And what if a moderators whats to notify another moderator? SOFU might not be meant to be social, but some form of communication would be nice ;-) Or perhaps we should add a phpBB to the moderator tools! Or a moderator.stackoverflow.com! –  Ivo Flipse Apr 26 '10 at 17:22
    
When mods can't be terse, all hope in brevity is lost. @ivo –  random Apr 28 '10 at 8:42
    
What can I say, I'm not a man of few words! –  Ivo Flipse Apr 28 '10 at 9:38
    
@Ivo But are you a man of few words? –  Rosinante Aug 18 '10 at 22:05
    
Ninja edit! @Rosinante –  Ivo Flipse Aug 19 '10 at 4:29

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