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With the close votes currently it shows the number of close votes on a particular question.

I would like the same for Flags for a particular question.

close (2) | flags (3)

A recent use case is this question.

This should be limited to people above a certain level of reputation (10,000)?

Part of me wants to say that flags used to be visible. They aren't visible any more, so if the feature-request is denied, can we have a link to why they were removed?

share|improve this question
This is definitely 10k territory, I don't think there's any question about that. – Jon Seigel Jun 28 '10 at 17:00
Well, I think it should be territory for people who have the ability to close or flag. – jjnguy Jun 28 '10 at 17:01
@Justin: Almost everyone (if not everyone) can flag... – perbert Jun 28 '10 at 17:02
@perbert, then I retract my previous statement. But I don't think it should be a 10k thing. – jjnguy Jun 28 '10 at 17:05
@Justin: Even though this issue exists, seeing flags on a post is a 10k privilege. I don't see how exposing this feature to users < 10k makes sense. – Jon Seigel Jun 28 '10 at 17:08
This was like this in the early days, but Jeff removed it – juanformoso Jun 28 '10 at 17:10
See:… Note that while there has been a good deal of discussion, to my knowledge Jeff has never explicitly stated the reasoning behind the change. Unless it was on UserVoice, in which case it's pretty much lost at this point... – Shog9 Jun 28 '10 at 17:14
There have been some oblique nods towards the idea that flag visibility at lower than 10k rep was causing some inappropriate pile-on and or unnecessary friction. – dmckee Jun 28 '10 at 17:16
I guess I just don't see why seeing the offensive flags needs to be such a restricted access thing. The 10k tools make seeing posts with offensive flags much easier, but that doesn't mean people with less than 10K shouldn't ever see them. – jjnguy Jun 28 '10 at 17:17
I cannot upvote this feature request enough. Where is that super-mega-upvote again? – John Rudy Jun 28 '10 at 17:57
@Dr. Gonzo I take bounties in trade. Except you can't bounty a question. That sucks. – George Stocker Jun 28 '10 at 18:14
Yes, it used to be 2k or maybe 3k rep to see flags on posts. And since most flags age away anyway (although maybe they didn't at that point), it caused a lot of unnecessary angst. – mmyers Jun 28 '10 at 18:15
(-1) for the reasons in my response – devinb Jun 29 '10 at 14:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Jeff's answer here alludes to the fact that these flags used to be visible inline, and he goes on to say:

We have concluded that there is zero positive value in showing these counts to anyone but moderators.

So maybe this supports the "only show it to 10k+ users" suggestion.

share|improve this answer
Agreed. It's already available to us 10K users, but depending on a number of circumstances, is unwieldy to find and see. – George Stocker Jun 28 '10 at 17:27
@George: Yeah, it would be nicer if it was inlined again so we wouldn't have to search through the lists of 10k+ tools to find stuff. – gnostradamus Jun 28 '10 at 17:44

I will break my response into two separate sections.

Flags indicator visible to any < 10k users

This is a bad idea. But before you just take my word for it, we should actually examine what kind of behaviour it could cause, and what purpose it would have.

First off, there are three kinds of flags. Offensive, Spam, Flag for Moderator Attention.

If a question is offensive, you should flag it. This flag is fundamentally about whether or not this is offensive to you. It doesn't matter if other people have flagged it as offensive, because you are not making a judgement call about them, you are making a judgement about your own personal opinion.

If you notice that other people have flagged it (presumably as "offensive") does it make it more offensive to you?
Will you re-read the question and find out that it is in fact offensive?

If so, then the feature has already become negative, because it is causing people to modify their behaviour. When it comes to offensive we want users to be making their own judgements.

Spam is largely similar. The post is either spam in your opinion or not. The opinions of others don't really matter here.

Flag for moderator attention
This should not be included in the indicator, becasue they are fundamentally different. They aren't necessarily negative, they might just be an indication that a moderator's attention is required, and are not commentary on the post itself at all.

That means that if these flags DO appear they are actually misleading the users into believing that someone has flagged it in a negative sense. As I mentioned earlier, this is something we don't want to do even when it is accurate, so we certainly don't want to do it when it is wrong.

Having flags visible to all users is extraneous information that not only do they not need for anything, we actively do not want them to act on it. So why provide it to them?

Flags indicator visible to >= 10k users

This makes sense at least, because the 10k users already have a tool which enables them to view all flagged posts, and all the flags on them. However, this tool is to draw attention to the flagged posts. It is operating under the assumption that the flagged posts need more attention in order to (possibly) be closed down and that the mini-moderators (10ks) should be the ones who go and investigate.

Becasue the premise is that the user has not already seen and evaluated the post themselves, it is superfluous to add an additional marker on the page itself. Once the user has read the post, it is still up to them to personally decide whether or not it is offensive, and the flags of other users should have no bearing on them.

So even at this point, although it isn't information they shouldn't have, it is still information that they simply don't need.

Bottom line
There is no reason to implement this feature.

share|improve this answer
Yeah, but still... – jjnguy Jun 29 '10 at 14:50
Well put. How can I edit my response to incorporate your feedback? – devinb Jun 29 '10 at 15:01
@devinb You -1'd me, but you'll note that my feature request doesn't say to give it to all users -- in fact I explicitly say it should be limited. You created a straw man. -1 for the straw man argument. – George Stocker Jun 29 '10 at 15:08
@George: Your question said "(10000)?" which indicates that you are not firm on that number. So, I broke my response down into two sections. Section one which is for any users who do NOT have access to 10k tools, and the section section for those who do. – devinb Jun 29 '10 at 15:21
I have edited the titles of those sections to make this distinction clearer. However, the second section, which you are apparently more interested in, builds on the first. Which means the first section needs to exist for the second to build upon it. Further, it is not straw man fallacy if I am describing situations that apply to everyone. 10k+ users are included in the set of "all" users. – devinb Jun 29 '10 at 15:22
@Grace what if I was SPECIFICALLY excluding the users with exactly 10000 reputation??? Screw them, I say! – devinb Jun 29 '10 at 15:53
@devinb I agree with this Answer 100%. There is no need to edit your response in any way. I was just being cheeky. – jjnguy Jun 29 '10 at 17:12
@Justin WHOOSH! Normally I'm better at catching those things, I swear! – devinb Jun 30 '10 at 12:52
@devinb Haha, no worries. I'm just happy to give you some much needed practice. (Apparently) – jjnguy Jun 30 '10 at 13:25

You can already see a summary of flagged posts in the 10k tools. I check it periodically especially if I found SPAM on the front page.

I think including them at the bottom of each post (similar to close votes) would just bias some people.

From the 10k tools, I have gathered that some people have a much lower threshold as to what is 'offensive' than I do. For instance, if you think using a certain deprecated function is offensive .. then you aren't using flags correctly. I've seen plenty of posts flagged as such that contained no offensive / hate speech whatsoever, in any revision.

I think its useful to see the flags as they happen, but I don't see why the 10k tools aren't adequate for this.

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