With the movement of SuperUser out into the public circle and away from semi-private beta, there has been an increase in the number of new users and also the backlash from users from other sites who think that there needs to be more strict control over the content. Right now one of the most effective ways of helping control bad content is to use the "Flag for Moderator Attention" mechanism or the Spam/Offensive flags.

The problem with this is that you only have a limited number of flags to use per day, and they can get used up very quickly when the user base is small and the amount of cruft is large.

Therefore I ask whether or not these flag limits should be raised. If you at least increase the amount of "moderator attention" flags, I think it will be of great help to mods to get pointed in the direction of things that need to be taken care of. To be honest I don't know why these types of flags aren't unlimited. Flagging for moderator attention does not have any really negative consequences other than minor inconvenience. It is not the same as having lots of spam/offensive flags where those could potentially kill a question and dock 100 points from a user.

So...raise the limit or make moderator attention flags unlimited. I think the benefits of this far outweight the costs.


10 Answers 10


I would like at least a lot more flags, or unlimited.

Also, I would like the ability to flag a post for a moderator's attention more than once.

  • 5
    I do like the idea of being able to flag something more than once. It makes sense due to the fact that you can flag something, a mod checks in and plays babysitter, and then once their back is turned it burns to the ground again.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 16:57
  • @TheTXI: Right, and they don't even reset. I just can't come up with any reason to have a limit here.
    Aug 19, 2009 at 16:58
  • 3
    The limit probably exists to keep me from sending too many one-way private messages to Bill the Lizard. I do enjoy our morning conversations. At least, that's what my vanity thinks the reason is.
    – Welbog
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:00
  • 1
    Rich B: The only reason I can imagine is so that people don't just spam up the flagging on a single post (even though they are easy enough to wipe out all flags on a single question with a single click). It would be interesting to see flags "reset" after a mod "dismisses" the flags on the mod tools screen. That way multiple flags could be sent.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:01
  • @TheTXI: Except that would cause people to send a second message to see if the post has gotten attention.
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:02
  • Just give us unlimited flags, and no limits on an individual post. If someone is abusing the system, ban them. No problem, right?
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:03
  • Rich B: Not getting any arguments from me on that. It is pretty easy to see when someone is abusing the flagging and then it is pretty easy to deal with them.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:06

I think if you surpass a certain rep level, you could earn unlimited or at least more flags. Maybe with the 3k level? I think it would be a nice 3k reward. It seems like it would go hand in hand with the vote to close and reopen ability.


I would like to see this limit increased and have asked for it before. However my other problem at the moment is during the times I am active I hardly see anyone currently reach their cap on flags. It could purely be time zone related however the first thing that needs to happen is the current set of users must start flagging questions more aggressively for us to handle.

  • Agreed with the need for more aggressive flagging. I would rather have too many flags and dismiss the ones that won't get acted upon than not getting enough flags.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:36

I am strongly for this, as I have recently hit 10k on SO and couldn't even make it all the way down the page of flagged posts without running out.


I'd appreciate if flagging for

  • it is not welcome in our community
  • it is spam

would not be limited.
Within a review in 10K tools all flags might be used already and a severe warning is not longer possible.


Jeff has explained his policy of having a daily cap on nearly everything (except posting questions and answewrs), and gives some good reasons for it in podcast 65. So I doubt that he will remove the limit.

OTOH, raising it to a higher count should be evaluated, maybe limited to the first three public months of SU.

  • For the most part I don't have any problems with limiting the mechanics of the sites, but I don't know why you would want to limit the ability of users to contact moderators.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:10
  • Makes sense for stuff like Offensive flags, as they can cause posts to be deleted (and their authors penalized) automatically. But moderator flags? Worst-case, moderators get annoyed. And pissing off a moderator has gotta be its own punishment...
    – Shog9
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:12
  • What potential for attack could come from allowing users to flag posts more often?
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:13
  • @Shog9: Exactly.
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:13
  • @Shog9: The worst that can happen is somebody writing a bot that spams the mods with thousands of flags, but you're right: That account wouldn't last long. Don't know if this scenario is even realistic, but removing the limit completely just doesn't feel good. Giving it a good raise would be a good compromise. @RichB: My answer does not address the point yours raised about flagging the same post repeatedly.
    – Treb
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:24
  • Even if a butt load of flags came in, we can dismiss all flags on a single topic with a click. The worst case scenario is a flag on every single topic.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:25

That would at least enable me to start flagging more freely/strict in case I think someone else should have a look at it.

  • For the person who downvoted: with freely I mean that I can now flag any post I think needs attention (thus being more strict). Now I just wait until I see something that is really out of hand
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:14

I think that as your rep goes up, your limits go up too. Right now, things stop at 10k rep. What about at 12 or 15k, getting more votes/flags/closes and again at 20k and so on. Maybe starting at 10k, get additional votes/flags/closes every 5k?

  • I actually suggested that very idea on close/reopen votes. I don't see why you couldn't take the same concept and apply it to moderator flagging. I think it would probably be better than towards the open/closing. But I see this possibility as more of a compromise than just an unlimited ability to flag the mods.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 17:46
  • This seems kind of silly to me. At 10k you can delete posts etc, but at 20k you can flag more posts... ? If anything, more flags should be around 2/3k with editing/closing. Aug 19, 2009 at 17:51
  • Then maybe the increase in flagging and voting should start earlier, at 5k? Aug 19, 2009 at 18:17

But if the flags/day limit is raised, then that creates more work for the mods, because there will be more material flagged.

It's a balance, but I think that raising the flag limit may have negative consequences.

  • 2
    one could argue that some of us don't have enough work to do. I would much rather have more flags and then just dismiss the unnecessary ones then potentially have a lot of stuff slip by without attention.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 19:42

I think you could have an unlimited "flag for moderator attention", but it should be rate limited.

One per minute, would probably work.

You could instead increase the limit, if that is for some reason difficult.

   1 m
* 60 m/h
* 24 h

That may be a little high though.

  • If I can flag once per minute I should be able to comment more than twice a minute...
    – jjnguy
    Aug 19, 2009 at 18:40
  • That sounds reasonable. We prevent users from submitting comments and just about everything else too quickly. You could either implement a hard one minute limit or enforce a CAPTCHA.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 19, 2009 at 18:41

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