Recently I gained over 10,000 reputation network-wide. However, now when I am in The Comms Room I receive a notification that there are flags to act on, but when I click on it, there are no flagged messages.

To be clear, I have had over 10,000 network-wide reputation for at least a couple of weeks, and yet I have not seen this particular notification until today.

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  1. Gain 10,000 reputation network-wide.
  2. Enter chat and wait for a message to be flagged.

Expected behavior:

  • When notification of flagged messages appears, flags to be acted on exist. The notification can be removed by clicking on it.

Actual behavior:

  • When notification of flagged messages appears, there are no flags to display. Clicking on the notification does not remove it.
  • The fact that you get notifications is expected, just not that the circle refuses to go away even though there's nothing left to act on.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:47
  • It only went away for me after a refresh
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:48
  • 3
    There have been several reports of this, so this is very likely a bug.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:39
  • It continues to be an issue even after I've exceeded 10K rep again. Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:42
  • @MichaelHampton The 10k threshold that's relevant here is the network-wide combined rep, so I wouldn't have expected any difference there.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:48
  • Indeed. I've cut down the question and steps to reproduce based on my greater understanding of the issue. Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:51
  • @balpha, out of interest what happens when the network gets to 97 sites and someone can get 10k rep network wide by getting 200 on one site and then going and getting the association bonus on all the others? Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 18:32
  • 1
    @Ben You can actually fulfill the 20 rep requirement for chat by just registering on 20 sites (at least for chat.se). That's a known loophole (and similar to what you describe). We'll close that eventually, but it hasn't turned into a real problem yet.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 18:38
  • I was under the impression that this was due to flags being cleared before you saw that...maybe not after all.
    – tombull89
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 9:04
  • It still happens. I've encountered it twice. It is possible that this only occurs when the chat window is blurred. Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 15:32
  • @balpha: This is not fixed. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 11:58
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Please don't revive age-old bug reports like this one that were (once) fixed. Open a new one instead with current details.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 12:02
  • @balpha: Okay but it'll be an exact dupe. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


I have found (and fixed) one issue that does indeed cause this. Since this issue should be rare, and given the amount of people who have reported this, I'm not totally convinced that this was the only issue. Hence I'm not calling this yet; I'll be watching it for a while.

Please let me know if you see this again (or don't see it again for a long time).

Note that your "expected behavior" is not at all expected – if a new message is flagged, you should very well get a notification of this.

Update. As several people (including myself) noticed, this indeed was not the main issue. As always, the problem was with cachingand timing. The flag count that's displayed to you is cached on the server side, and this cache is only cleared when a new flag-relevant event happens. When your chat client receives a flag event, it queries the server for an updated flag count to display to you.

However, since you received the flag event from the websocket server (this issue wouldn't have appeared for users without websocket-supporting browsers), but get the flag count from the regular webserver, it can happen that the latter hasn't processed the new flag event yet and thus hasn't updated the cache yet, while the former is already happily handing the event out to clients.

This is fixed now. This involves changes both on the server and on the client, so for the full benefit, you'll have to refresh your JavaScript (but even with the old JS, it should be less likely to happen now).

  • 2
    Just happened, so it's not fixed.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 19:54
  • Happened to me aswell just minutes ago
    – pauska
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 19:57
  • In case it helps, I dismissed the flag as valid and the flag count increased to 2; not sure if it was coincidental timing or part of the/a bug. And I've still got the bubble over 5 minutes later.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:00
  • 1
    Yeah, I've actually seen it myself today. So this definitely wasn't the only issue.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:04
  • Also, why were you posting this 12 hours ago? I know SE means a lot to a lot of people, but pushing fixes at 4am?
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:07
  • @Kevin Check my profile for my location :)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:19
  • @balpha ok, 10:30pm is better, but that's still some dedication.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 20:31
  • @Kevin Now you have to check your date math.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 22:22
  • 1
    Oops, I'm seeing it again this afternoon. I also updated the question; hopefully it's more clear now. Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 16:21
  • Seeing it again. Persists across refresh (must be cookie related?) chat.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/11971780#11971780
    – sehe
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 9:11

You are seeing the chat flags because you have over 10k reputation network wide. When you click on the flag and find nothing there, this is most likely because someone else already handled. All moderators in chat rooms and non mods with suitable privileges get poked by the chat flags so they generally get handled fairly quickly.

  • 1
    OK, then the problem is it doesn't go away. :) Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:31
  • It happened to me too. (It doesn't go away.)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:31
  • 1
    I should also note that I've had over 10K network wide for some time now, and this is the first time I've seen this notification or the chat flagging system at all. Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:33
  • @MichaelHampton Do you mean the badge showing the flag count doesn't go away?
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 15:35
  • @kiamlaluno The badge showing the flag count does not go away when clicked on. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:23

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