We all know that spam/offensive flags are anonymous. However, there has been an increase of the misuse of the spam/offensive flag on Stack Overflow; people have been using the flag when other moderator flags should be used (perhaps to close the question, very low quality, etc.).

This isn't an attempt to get the flags to not be anonymous. However, in a number of cases where the user has anonymity, if they are performing actions that are suspicious, the moderators have tools or are given notifications (in the form of flags from Community) to that this suspicious behavior is taking place as well as additional details (which we are trusted with) to figure out what's going on.

That said, I'd like for for a notification in the form of a flag placed in the moderator flag queue when a user has five spam/offensive flags rejected (with a resetting count).

The flag would come on the last post that they flagged as spam/offensive that was rejected, as well as a list of the last five posts where the flags were rejected, as well as a link to the user that flagged as spam/offensive.

(Note, as always, I'm open to the details, the point being, some threshold is violated, then the moderators are delivered the details that might prompt action).

This way, the anonymity of the flags is protected, but if there's a general misuse of the flag, moderators can act on it.

  • A somewhat different approach aimed at solving the same problem. I'm rather meh about this suggestion because there's no contextual post of the flagger to use - the most logical thing to flag would be the last place they flagged, but then that means the flag and incident record is attached to someone else entirely, which makes the message confusing at any point the flag isn't live. – Grace Note Feb 8 '13 at 17:11
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    I'd much rather the user be blocked from using them for a period of time with something in the UI telling them why (basically, reiterating what the flag should be used for). Less noise, less work, same goal reached. If misuse continues over time, don't accept the flag at all from the user. – Tim Post Feb 8 '13 at 17:12
  • @TimPost I'd be happy for anything at the moment, frankly. – casperOne Feb 8 '13 at 17:16
  • @casperOne It is being misused. We even abused the community bulletin feature to draw attention to how it should be used. I'm definitely in favor of making it stop, just in a way that doesn't create unnecessary work for anyone. – Tim Post Feb 8 '13 at 17:18

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