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On SO I find myself able to view other users' flag weight values.

Is this intentional?

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2  
It's not a link for other people's, but I can see them too. –  Gabe Apr 20 '11 at 6:06
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Indeed, not clickable like @Gabe commented. And manually typing the URL, like in stackoverflow.com/users/flag-weight/52249, does not reveal the history either. I guess showing it is intentional. –  Arjan Apr 20 '11 at 6:56
    
Just thought I'd add that you can see flag weights on users' profiles when not logged in as well. –  DMA57361 Apr 20 '11 at 9:45
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I see dead flags –  Toon Krijthe Apr 21 '11 at 9:42

3 Answers 3

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Like accepting, voting, and reputation (indicator of content/participation) flagging is another important contribution a user can make to the community. We have dozens of users without high rep, etc. but do an excellent job of flagging and helping us clean up.

You don't have to flag, this is just one way these users contribute to the community, and we want to show that off. Starting last night, flag weight (but not the link and detail) is visible on profiles to everyone.

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Thanks Nick. I have no problem making FW visible for all to see. –  Jay Riggs Apr 20 '11 at 15:58

This may have negative consequences, if someone wants to make a an Exploited Trope of Crying Wolf. That is, someone abuses a user knowing that their flag weight means they won't be believed.

IMO, flag weight should only be used by the user themselves, and 10K plus users.

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Assuming that only the targeted user would want to flag? –  Arjan Apr 20 '11 at 12:34
    
@Arjan: Fair enough, but on old questions it can be like a dark alleyway. –  Andrew Grimm Apr 20 '11 at 12:41

Flag weight is something that is only displayed in exceptional cases. By default, every user starts with a flag weight of 100. As your flags are validated/invalidated by moderators responding to your flags, your flag weight either increases or decreases depending on the moderators' perception of the issue you are flagging.

Frivolous flaggers will be rewarded with lower flag weight, which pushes their flagged posts to the bottom of the moderator flags list. Flaggers who are on target in their flagging will enjoy an increase in their flag weight. An on-target flagger is one who flags posts that actually elicit a moderator response, which could be as simple as a comment giving a user some friendly advice or as severe as an account deletion. In these cases, the moderator will most likely mark the flag as "valid"; thereby, increasing your flag weight.

Flag weight becomes visible once it has either increased to a certain unspecified level or once it has decreased to a certain level. For a majority of users, their flag weight is not exceptional enough in either direction to warrant taking up the extra space in the profile.

UPDATE:

In this Community Wiki Post, they say that a user's flag weight is only visible to him or her, as well as to moderators. However, I have noticed that I can see other users' flag weight for some time. This was either a feature or a bug.

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While this is accurate, the point the asker is making is that up until now you could only ever see you own flag weight, never that of other users (♦'s aside), so either this has changed to allow everyone to see everyone else's weight or something Bad™ has happened. –  DMA57361 Apr 20 '11 at 9:27
    
Hmmm, I've never noticed that I couldn't view other users' flag weight. Either this is new and I'm missing something -- which is quite possible -- or you've not noticed before since only very high or very low values are displayed. –  jmort253 Apr 20 '11 at 9:32
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I'm pretty sure you couldn't when they were originally added to user pages. I'm a ♦ on SU so I can see everyone's weight over there, and when it was introduced I intentionally checked while logged out to see what the visibility was. If you check the change log you'll see 2011-02-22: Users can now see their own flag weight on their profile page when it is sufficiently high or low. This value is also visible to moderators. which I think agrees with me. –  DMA57361 Apr 20 '11 at 9:35
    
I found the same information on the Community Wiki and have updated my answer to make it more correct. Thanks. –  jmort253 Apr 20 '11 at 9:39
    
we still suppress flag weight, both to the user, and to the world, if it is at or near the default. –  Jeff Atwood Apr 23 '11 at 11:03

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