Maybe this is my bad, but when I flagged a question as "not welcome in our community" I didn't notice the small "spam/offensive" writing at the bottom. Now, again - maybe it's just me, but when I flagged a question as "not welcome in our community" I meant to say that there wasn't even a slightest effort (made by the OP) to solve his own question. Of course that eventually the question was closed but from another reason and of course that my flagging was declined as it was from the wrong reason.

My suggestion/feature request is to make clear, when you choose a flagging reason, what "type" of flagging is it. Maybe change the font of the "spam/offensive" at the bottom to bold red or maybe even change the text from "not welcomed in our community" to "spam/offensive".

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    I'm not quite sure I follow. The radio buttons are pretty clear and the descriptive text is boxed with the button and only shows when clicked.
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:30
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    @awoodland I'm saying that even though there is a description in a font which is almost transparent, that it would be better to stress out that "not welcomed in our community" means "spam/offensive". maybe even change the text from "not welcomed in our community" to "spam/offensive"
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:34
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    @awoodland: The descriptive text is pretty clear, but – even on Meta – everybody just calls them offensive flags. Why not label it it is offensive?
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:35
  • @Dennis - exactly!
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:36
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    @alfasin Ok, I see what you're asking for now (spam and offensive are two separate flags though). I think the "not welcome in our community" text is deliberate though because it conveys (at least in my mind) a message about what the flag is appropriate for that "offensive" alone leaves a little ambiguous.
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:37
  • @awoodland I think that "offensive" is much stronger than "not welcome in our community" even if "offensive" is a little ambiguous.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:46
  • downvoters - It would be highly appreciated if you take 1 min of your time to share your thoughts!
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:53
  • I see that an interesting debate has started here. will it "automatically" get in some kind of feature-requests" queue ? or should I actively do something in order to escalate it to SO developers ?
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:26
  • Agree completely. "not welcome in our community" incorporates "off topoic" and "low quality." +1.
    – user1228
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:44
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    @alfasin: Aside from placing a bounty (it's way too early for that), posting the request is all you can do. Some request get addressed within minutes, others are 3 years old and haven't been addressed yet.
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:51
  • Stupid question. What kinds of questions that get closed ARE welcome in our community? Jul 8, 2013 at 10:40
  • @WalterMitty thanks for your comment Walter, I do tend to post stupid questions every once in a while, sorry if you're offended in any way.
    – Nir Alfasi
    Feb 17, 2014 at 3:04
  • In retrospect, my comment was stupid. Feb 27, 2014 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


When I first saw "it is not welcome in our community," I thought it should be used for something that is not acceptable from the community behind that Stack Exchange site, such as bad questions, or off-topic questions. (Off-topic questions are surely not welcome; differently they would not be closed.)

The text that appears when selecting that option should make its meaning clearer, though.


I can understand that "it is not welcome in our community" could be confusing, as offensive, abusive, or hate speech are offensive, abusive, or hating independently from the community using that site; for example, if Stack Overflow were not used from Italians, and I said something offensive in regard of Italians, that would still be offensive. (Disclosure: I am Italian.)

"It is not welcome in our community" could be replaced by "it is offensive, abusive, or hate speech"; that would probably help who doesn't click on the option to see the description, or clicks on the option, and immediately clicks "Flag Question" without reading the description.

I am perfectly fine with the option as it is described now (probably because I am used to it, and I know what its purpose is). If changing the option text can help new users, I am not against it. Since the "it doesn't belong here" flag has been expanded to "it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate…" also the "it is not welcome in our community" flag could be changed.


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    I think this would be a much better solution than just renaming it back to offensive - it makes the short text accurately cover all the possible cases still.
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:14


Label the offensive flag it is offensive:


The phrase is not welcome is our community can apply to a lot of things: Posts that are off topic, not constructive, show no research effort, etc.

That's why we all call those flags "offensive flags". Even the popup calls them offensive flags (freehand circle). Last but not least, the Meta about them is called "How does the Offensive Flag work?".

Also, it is offensive combines much better with the flag's description:

This question contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.

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    This is not a counterproposal - that's kind of what I suggested :)
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:49
  • I must have misinterpreted something then. The only particular suggestion is found was changing the style of the spam/offensive area.
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:52
  • I wouldn't consider "RTFM" written 20 times to be offensive per se, but it's certainly not welcome in our community. Likewise for "your code is hopeless, you should give up now". Both of those are also not an answer, but they're actively malicious rather than just plain old not an answer - it's actively trolling that ought to be handled as such.
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:53
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    I'm sorry, but if the description of not welcome in our community is offensive, abusive, or hate speech, it can't be the first if it isn't the latter.
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:56
  • So calling it just "offensive" on the dialogue would make it less clear that it covered the "abusive" (trolling) and "hate speech" things too which fit better under the "not welcome" umbrella.
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:08
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    For what it's worth, the reason you hear so many people call them "offensive flags" is that they originally were officially called "offensive flags." I don't remember why the name was changed, but it might be worth looking into if you're interested in this proposal.
    – Pops
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:11
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    @awoodland: Then call it it is offensive, abusive or hate speech (still shorter than it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate). But personally, I find trolling and hate speech pretty offensive.
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:12
  • @Dennis - I agree with that wording
    – Flexo
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:15

... when I flagged a question as "not welcome in our community" I meant to say that there wasn't even a slightest effort (made by the OP) to solve his own question

You're using flagging for the wrong thing. That's what downvotes and close votes are for. Moderators shouldn't be involved in this process. Your confusion comes from your misuse of the flagging system.

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    [gimme-teh-codez] questions should get closed as not a real question. If you don't have enough rep to vote to close, flagging is appropriate.
    – Dennis
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:54
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    @meagar I totally agree, I said that it was my bad - and I'm saying it again: I misused the flagging system. My point is, that it wasn't done on purpose, it was done due to the un-clear term "not welcome in our community"
    – Nir Alfasi
    Jun 14, 2012 at 18:57

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