7 replaced http://meta.stackexchange.com/ with https://meta.stackexchange.com/
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Update: declining this in favor of http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/292011/drop-not-constructive-combine-noisy-reword-rude-and-other-comment-flagDrop "not constructive", combine "noisy", reword "rude" and "other" comment flags


I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five yearsa problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourseinappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

Update: declining this in favor of http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/292011/drop-not-constructive-combine-noisy-reword-rude-and-other-comment-flag


I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

Update: declining this in favor of Drop "not constructive", combine "noisy", reword "rude" and "other" comment flags


I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

6 added 167 characters in body; edited tags
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Update: declining this in favor of http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/292011/drop-not-constructive-combine-noisy-reword-rude-and-other-comment-flag


I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

Update: declining this in favor of http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/292011/drop-not-constructive-combine-noisy-reword-rude-and-other-comment-flag


I'm sick of comment flags, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is too. They've been a problem for five years, and they're just getting worse.

Don't get me wrong: rude/vulgar/stupid comments are a plague. We don't want this to be YouTube, and know good and well it could easily go that route. But the current method of handling them is inordinately labor-intensive and still produces inconsistent results.

I'm done holding out hope that we'll find a magic bullet here; any solution is going to make everyone unhappy to some degree. What's important is that we find a strategy that actually has some hope of actually working when it comes to the usual problems.

So here's what I'm proposing:

Three types of comment flags, with actual differences between them

Right now, there are a whopping five choices when flagging a comment:

And guess what: they all do exactly the same thing¹. The only reason we have 5 of them is as an educational tool for flaggers; the system treats them exactly the same, and for the most part so do moderators – the only exception is when someone occasionally writes something useful in the box after selecting "other".

So let's scrap all that, and replace them with...

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

¹ Note: This is not fully accurate anymore. If a user’s comments are consistently flagged as rude/abusive or not constructive, a moderator flag is raised.

5 update based on two years of discussion
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Rude or offensive

Use this flag for comments that are off-putting and violate our Be Nice policy.

These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

The options available should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Noisy

Use this flag for comments that offer nothing of value to either the author of the post or to future readers.

Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

The options available should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Other

Use this flag when there's a serious problem with a comment that "rude" or "noisy" don't adequately cover. Describe it in detail.

These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

Options should be [Delete All], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Rudeness stats

This is kind of a big headache right now: you see someone trolling their way through a comment thread, and clean it up... But it's kinda hard to see if they're making a habit of this. We should be displaying stats on how many rude comments have been deleted along with the flag, but also track this on the profile itself the way we currently do for other sorts of flags. Doesn't have to be fancy; "3000 comments, 2100 deleted as rude" would suffice to let moderators identify problematic users and give them a little sit-down intervention before things got too ugly. As with other sorts of flags, handy lists of the rudest users over the past 30 days should be available in the moderator dashboard.

Visibility of comment flags to high-rep users

Jon's 30K privilege post got me thinking about this: what if high-rep users could see comment flags on other people's comments? Not on their own, of course – we tried this before, it ended badly – but when viewing a thread that had 3rd-party comments flagged, what if trusted users could see an indication of that next to every flagged comment?

My theory is that it'd lead to a lot more pile-on flags, which would then allow the system to automatically handle more of them.

We should also hide flags on comments that the viewer has upvoted, thus making for a simple way of disputing flags - just upvote the comment.

I don't actually think we need this to be a 30K privilege though; we're not offering any additional deletion privileges, just encouraging folks to flag where it'll do the most good. 10K would probably suffice.

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

Rude or offensive

Use this flag for comments that are off-putting and violate our Be Nice policy.

These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

The options available should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Noisy

Use this flag for comments that offer nothing of value to either the author of the post or to future readers.

Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

The options available should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Other

Use this flag when there's a serious problem with a comment that "rude" or "noisy" don't adequately cover. Describe it in detail.

These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

Options should be [Delete All], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

Rudeness stats

This is kind of a big headache right now: you see someone trolling their way through a comment thread, and clean it up... But it's kinda hard to see if they're making a habit of this. We should be displaying stats on how many rude comments have been deleted along with the flag, but also track this on the profile itself the way we currently do for other sorts of flags. Doesn't have to be fancy; "3000 comments, 2100 deleted as rude" would suffice to let moderators identify problematic users and give them a little sit-down intervention before things got too ugly. As with other sorts of flags, handy lists of the rudest users over the past 30 days should be available in the moderator dashboard.

Visibility of comment flags to high-rep users

Jon's 30K privilege post got me thinking about this: what if high-rep users could see comment flags on other people's comments? Not on their own, of course – we tried this before, it ended badly – but when viewing a thread that had 3rd-party comments flagged, what if trusted users could see an indication of that next to every flagged comment?

My theory is that it'd lead to a lot more pile-on flags, which would then allow the system to automatically handle more of them.

We should also hide flags on comments that the viewer has upvoted, thus making for a simple way of disputing flags - just upvote the comment.

I don't actually think we need this to be a 30K privilege though; we're not offering any additional deletion privileges, just encouraging folks to flag where it'll do the most good. 10K would probably suffice.

  • Rude or abusive

    This comment is offensive or off-putting; a reasonable person would find it inappropriate for respectful discourse.

    These should still go straight to the moderators, along with an indication of how many past comments the author of the comment has had deleted because of rudeness.

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Delete + suspend], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

  • No longer needed

    This comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary; it can offer no future benefit to either the author or other readers.

    Should not be shown to moderators unless the comment thread attracts more than threshold flags, at which point an automatic flag should be raised on the post. Note that moderators are already notified when a thread attracts a high volume of comments in a short period of time, so this would essentially complement that by indicating to mods when a thread needed cleanup due to gradual accretion

    The options available to moderators handling these flags should be: [Move thread to chat and delete], [Delete] and [Dismiss].

  • Other

    There is a serious problem with this comment, but it is neither blatantly abusive nor simply unnecessary. Describe the problem in detail.

    These should go straight to the mod queue as well, annotated with the name of the flagger.

    Options should be [Delete All], [Delete], [Edit] and [Dismiss].

4 added 211 characters in body
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3 Everybody knows that "five" means the roman numeral 5 ಠ_ಠ
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2 added 13 characters in body
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