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I have noticed that there is a limit for number of posts that I can flag. The limit value seems to decrease without being restored. Why is there such a limit? We earn the ability to flag posts after gaining certain reputation, that means gaining some trust, why add the limit then?

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can you describe for what purpose you are flagging? – Jeff Atwood Feb 7 '11 at 11:08
We are forced to add reason for flagging anyway.Not sure how this comment is related to my question. – Shamim Hafiz Feb 7 '11 at 11:16
I think Jeff is asking about which type of flag you're talking about – Yi Jiang Feb 7 '11 at 11:32
I was asking in general, not to any specific type. I was just wondering why there is a limit. – Shamim Hafiz Feb 7 '11 at 11:37

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Most parts of the system have rate limits - usually daily. Flags are particularly notable:

  • somebody (moderators, admins, etc) will probably have to review that flag
  • it could contribute towards getting a post deleted maliciously

for both of these, it is desirable to minimise inappropriate use, while still allowing a reasonable level of genuine use.

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What about spam flags? Would they be worthy of a different logic? I frequently see spam waves fought on the Meta Tavern chat, and sometimes users ends up exhausting the daily spam flag pool. – SPArchaeologist May 28 at 10:22

Most simple answer that comes to mind: Trolls.

If people could have flagged as many posts as they wish, trolls could use this to flood the moderators with false reports and cause "real" reports to get no attention.

This alone is good enough to pose a limit.

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While true, this is partially addressed by the new flagging system - if people keep putting false reports, they will get dismissed as invalid and reduce their priority. This will bring attention back to the real reports, but the existence of the false reports would still be a problem in itself. – Grace Note Feb 8 '11 at 15:52
@Grace but how can the system identify false reports? – Shadow Wizard Feb 8 '11 at 15:55
The system identifies the false reports by what the moderators choose to dismiss as invalid. It keeps track of users who keep getting their flags dismissed, and weights the priority accordingly. So if there are many flags, the flags from users who are more commonly dismissed as valid show up above those dismissed more commonly as invalid. It doesn't block the reports themselves, but does block them from completely interfering with site productivity. – Grace Note Feb 8 '11 at 15:59
Since we need to earn some reputation to make a flag, I don't trolls would be a problem. The rep value may be increased. In any case, good or bad everything should have limits and this is what the limiting value is serving. I have to admit that it's a fair enough policy :) – Shamim Hafiz Feb 9 '11 at 6:00
@GraceNote while I will totally accept a reply like "current SE coding would require to much work to do that" wouldn't perhaps be useful to have some flag categories work without limits and ban whoever abuses them? I'm thinking of spam flag... is there any need to limit the quantity of spam an user can daily contribute to remove? – SPArchaeologist May 28 at 10:18

If you are asking in the general sense of "why have limits for anything?", then read this:


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It's a daily limit and the number should be restored the next day - in UTC.

You get a minimum of 5 flags and then more are added as you get more rep.

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The fact that it is a daily limit should be made more clear to the user. – rlandster Oct 1 '12 at 13:26

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