In late 2011 some changes were made to the moderator queue that help us process flags more quickly. The main change was that a list of links for grouping flags by type was added to the sidebar.

Flag Breakdown

This change has really helped increase our speed in handling most types of flags on Stack Overflow, as it allows us to focus our attention on one type of flag at a time (so we're not constantly context-switching with each flag that we process). It also allows us to prioritize the time each of us spends moderating (so spam gets handled first, for example).

After using the new system for a few months, several of us have noticed that the "other" and "close question" groups tend to grow faster than the others, and it tends to take a little bit longer to process each flag in those groups. The reason is that several different types of flags tend to get dumped into these two buckets. I propose that some additional grouping and sorting options for these two groups would help us process flags even more quickly.

  1. Allow us to sort the "close question" group by the close reason selected by the flagger. It would remove an additional context switch if we could group all the "off-topic" close flags together and process them before moving on to the "not constructive" flags, for example.

  2. Add the option to both the "other" and "close question" groups to sort by number of close votes. Several of us do an initial quick scan through these groups to look for flagged posts that also have close votes cast by the community. These lists can span several pages of 50 flags, so scanning through them takes some time. It would speed things up if those flags that have additional community support in the form of close votes could be displayed at the top.

I think both of these changes would help us process more flags in less time by allowing us to break off smaller, more focused chunks of the work to be done.

  • Since we're no longer showing close flags to moderators, the additional sorting is no longer applicable. Is there any other kind of sorting you would like in the queue?? Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 17:55
  • 1
    Ah, I guess we could try and group "other..." flags - I'll take a look at them. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 17:57
  • 1
    @JarrodDixon Yes, sorting "other" by any common criteria that you can think of would be helpful. Example: meta.stackexchange.com/a/189533/1288 Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 18:18
  • @JarrodDixon Two other criteria I can think of: 1. We get a lot of questions flagged "other" with the custom message "link only answer". 2. If the flag message contains a link to another SE site it's probably a migration request. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 18:21
  • 1
    Shog and I are discussing having a "filter flags" textbox that will allow mods to filter by the flag type/text, e.g. typing in "answer" will bring back all strongly-typed "not an answer" flags and all "other..." flags that have "answer" in their text. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 18:34
  • @JarrodDixon That would work great. We're getting a lot of "very low quality" and "not a real question" flags in the "other" category lately (for some mysterious reason). That solution would allow us to filter those out for as long as that trend continues. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 18:40


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .