I think this can be an issue. When I've been in chat, I've had flags from rooms I never go in, and the flag (obviously) refers to one line of chat which has been flagged. I find it difficult to check the context of that flag with the current tools.
Now while some things can clearly be held as offensive without any further thought (e.g. bigoted behaviour and slurs, direct personal attacks on people), it does raise some issues:
- It can be difficult to know how to deal with some flagged items without knowing the context of that line within the current chat in that room (e.g. is the line "out of place" with the conversation around it or does it fit the topic and tone of conversation in that room at that time). I defy anyone to visit the Server Fault chat as a non regular and work out whether or not the chat is "normal" for the room...
- It can be difficult to know how to deal with some flagged items without knowing the culture of that particular room (I'm a regular in SF chat and while I would say it was perfectly "civil", it can be robust).
- Without context its difficult to know if there are a group of people in a chat being "uncivil" and flagging others who reply to them in kind.
- I respect the idea that some people might find "Holy Hell" to be rude and flag it. But this is the problem with consistency because plenty of other people, myself included, would see little wrong with that generally (context again rears its head, because it IS offensive to use language like that to taunt someone you know would find it offensive).
Just to be clear about this, while I have own my opinion about how things should operate, the main point for me is that whatever is done, should be done consistently.
I accept that this suggestion isn't perfect and carries a risk of its own (abuse not being stopped as quickly as possible) but I suggest that you do not get flags for a chat unless you are a regular in that room / that "set" of rooms (e.g. where the room is part of a set of rooms associated with a site).
I hope that this will mean that you will always have some context for the general culture of the room / associated site at the very least if you get a flag for a chatroom.
The next question is how would you decide that someone is a "regular" in a chatroom. Perhaps you would need to have received the "Outspoken" badge on your account for the associated site?