When I decline a flag, it is sort of a pain, because I have to click Decline and then select or write up a reason as to why I declined it.

This makes sense, I fully support that, even though it's a pain.

However: Don't make ♦ moderators select a decline reason on Community's flags. Community flags a LOT of stuff, some is useful, some is not. So why should we have to explain ourselves to a roving bot?

Also: Registered users (anyone who doesn't have a diamond or works for Stack Exchange), can NOT see Community's flagging history, so it doesn't even help, if users wanted to look at that and see why we declined a particular flag of Community's.

In short, let us decline flags from Community without having to explain why.


3 Answers 3


One might say there's a possible merit to analyzing reasons, but I don't really buy that argument.

However, at the same time, I don't think there's really any important point to dwell on it and change mechanics. Just pick a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it - if you're declining a flag, Community certainly ain't lying about the mechanics. But it can be wrong about whether there's any need to investigate it - hence, there's no evidence to support the need for investigation. Just pick that prebake without thinking - that way, you don't need to waste time explaining why. It's already done for you.

Alternatively, have some fun with it. I certainly have been known to do this every now and then.


In fact, really, I think we should keep the functionality just so I can read what I can presume to be random's dismissals of Community. ♪

  • 5
    Grace Y U SO MEAN 2 COMMUNITY? Mar 14, 2012 at 22:11
  • 3
    What are you saying now?
    – random
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:15
  • 3
    Those extra clicks get reaaal annoying when Community goes on a dumbflag spree. It's just polish, sure, but polish goes a long way in making us happy.
    – user154510
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:19
  • If a 10k user ends up disputing a Community flag (because 10k users do see Community's flags, just not Community's flagging history), and a moderator rejects the flag with reason X (rather than just letting it "fall through" as disputed), doesn't the 10k user see X in their flag queue? Mar 18, 2013 at 5:17

So why should we have to explain ourselves to a roving bot?

Being that Community's flags aren't affected by its helpful flag count, why are you even bothering to make a choice? I dismiss all Community flags as valid, even if they weren't particularly helpful

  • 8
    Because it skews Community's stats. I want it to be a close (or at the very least a rough) approximation of how many flags Community has given us that have been helpful.
    – studiohack
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:12
  • 4
    @studiohack But it doesn't actually do anything. It doesn't affect Community's flag placement in the queue, and Community doesn't sit at home at night crying about their terrible helpful flag count like I do; the stats have no impact Mar 14, 2012 at 22:16
  • 2
    Yeah, that's going to skew even the most basic analytics. I don't know if they use any info right now but if there aren't plans for at least something basic I would be very annoyed. Community's flags are a PITA.
    – user154510
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:16
  • @Matthew There isn't any current mechanical analysis of rejection stats. Community's job is to point out when things reach a mechanical threshold that typically has an action item associated with it, not so much to learn to be a good flagger so to speak.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:20
  • 1
    If it's got to be at least one click, it might as well be a click that records the truth.
    – sarnold
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:21
  • 7
    While it doesn't directly affect Community's flag placement etc, it could provide a meaningful metric for later analysis by the dev team. For example, if a change is made to the Community bot's behavior, an accurate measurement of helpful vs unhelpful flags before and after the change could be used as an objective performance metric. Mar 14, 2012 at 22:22
  • @DavidPerry precisely my point.
    – studiohack
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:24
  • 5
    @DavidPerry If they want those kind of metrics they should ask for them; we shouldn't be trying to guess what info they might possibly want in the future. This is like how SU merges all their spam accounts into that one user, "just in case". Nobody seems to know what it's for exactly, it's "just in case" the records are needed Mar 14, 2012 at 22:27
  • To be clear, I'm not saying something can't be done with this data, only that it currently isn't used (and I'm not wholly sure what it could be currently used for other than possibly moving up or down a threshold after some detailed analysis).
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 14, 2012 at 22:27
  • For the record, I'm not against the initial suggestion. Even if we were to preserve the "helpful" data for Community, there's little else to be gleaned from a verbose decline reason. Mar 14, 2012 at 22:35

This has been resolved with the new flag dashboard; moderators now no longer decline these automated flags (or mark them as helpful), but instead resolve them, which takes only a single click. Quoting Brian Nickel:

I've implemented single-click resolve for auto flags. If all flags on a post are auto flags, the "Resolve all flags" dropdown button becomes a "Resolve all flags (auto)" button. Otherwise, the single flag resolve buttons (Helpful... and Decline...) become "Resolve (auto)". I don't love the naming there, but I'm keeping it consistent with the other button for now.

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