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Thanks to the answers to this post, I understand what the "More than 20 comments posted" flag means.

But what are we supposed to do with them on the flag tools?

Today, 25% of the flags listed for review were this one alone. (Lots of busy commentators, I guess.) I don't actually disagree with the flags (I can count to 20), so what is expected of us?

Am I supposed to disagree with the flag if I think the discussion is legitimate (which was true of all that I looked at)?

Even if there was a flame war going on in the comments, it may have nothing to do with the post being flagged. What then?

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Wouldn't it be funny if this question got more than 20 comments and then someone flagged it? And then the moderator came to this question to figure out how to handle the flag on this question? –  CanSpice Jun 15 '11 at 22:05
    
Yes it would be. 19 comments to go :P –  jadarnel27 Nov 15 '11 at 6:46
    
It wouldn't work anymore –  Nikana Reklawyks Nov 7 '12 at 0:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

When I see one of these flags:

  • If it has devolved into a support session or any other tangential discussion rather than commenting on the post, I suggest they take it to chat. You can do the same. (Although, does the system now does this automatically?)

  • If it is a comment war, I wipe it. You can help by flagging the post to bring it toward the top of the queue.

  • If there are no real problems, e.g. an old post that has accumulated 20 on-topic, helpful comments over several years, I dismiss as invalid.
    You can help by flagging as invalid. Yes, technically the flag is correct in announcing the number of comments. Don't worry about it.

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This makes sense. In your second point about a comment war -- what flag should I use? (I'm imagining "other" with an explanation of what I see as the problem. What would be most helpful to the moderators?) –  Ted Hopp Jun 16 '11 at 14:49
    
@TedHopp: Yes, "other" would be the best option. –  mmyers Jun 16 '11 at 15:00
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I followed this advice and got: "declined - There appear to be 22 comments—why do you think that an auto-generated "more than 20 comments" flag is invalid?". So this answer appears to be incorrect. –  Awesome Poodles Nov 15 '11 at 4:52
    
@BrockAdams It's only incorrect when you insert that line break. I'm fairly sure mmyers only meant dismissing the "accumulate 20 comments over several years" case as invalid, but with your new line break, you make it seem like you're supposed to flag all >20 comment flags as invalid, which is not the case, because mmyers specifically says to flag >20 comment flag that are on comment wars as valid. –  John Nov 15 '11 at 5:11
    
@John, I didn't read it as I changed the meaning of the answer, merely made it easier to read. Any way, I added in an "on-topic, helpful". Better? And, it was clear to me that not all long strings of comments were to have the auto-flagged tag marked as invalid -- as covered by mmyers' previous 2 bullet points. –  Awesome Poodles Nov 15 '11 at 6:00

I had no idea what to do with the one I saw today, so after reading and seeing that there was nothing offensive or rude in the comments, I found a dupe and voted to close. It doesn't seem like a useful flag. I certainly don't think posts should necessarily be closed because they have too many comments, and I don't think the mods should be deleting comments just because of the number of them.

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