Moderators can include feedback when they handle flags. Especially if they suggest that the flagging user do something, it would be helpful if that information had a way of reaching the user.

For example, I got a flag suggesting migration declined, and a moderator commented:

declined - Question is fairly low quality at the moment and relies to much on external content. Maybe you could edit into shape.

I stumbled on that comment (on which I'd have acted) only about a month later, when the question was already closed, and sort-of answered. A notification would have been very useful here. Would it be possible to add that feature?

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    This is similar to Decision on rejected edits should be displayed as a notification to the editor, except with flags. I commented on the question to that effect as well. I can't stand to think how many users are oblivious to the fact that we even respond to their flags at all. Mar 17, 2013 at 17:40
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    I try to write detailed responses with flag rejections, but lately that's been feeling like a futile exercise because of how few people go back and read them. Every day, we have people flagging us with "plz answer this question, its urgent", many for the fifth or sixth time because they were never notified of previous rejections. Turning to moderator messages to tell people to change their flagging habits is too heavy-handed for something like this. We need some way of making these rejections more visible. Mar 18, 2013 at 15:18
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    @BradLarson: I agree that e.g. a strike-through on the "close" or "flag" option might be useful when close requests have been previously rejected by a moderator, but my feature-request is more about making sure custom messages are being received. I, for one, am actually somewhat flattered that a moderator would take the time to communicate with me.
    – Jonas
    Mar 18, 2013 at 18:17
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    Sorry, I wasn't criticizing your proposal at all (I'm in full support of it), just giving an example why I'd like for custom declined flag reasons to be more visible. We're unable to educate people about what they should and should not flag if responses aren't obvious to them. This leads to problems like questions being repeatedly flagged for bad reasons. Mar 18, 2013 at 18:23
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    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/226361/162102 May 23, 2014 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


Not sure about this, sometimes I prefer to have a flag declined silently, since I expect the user to make a big stink about the decline (this is for specific flags). What would be better is if mods could choose to "reply" to a flag, which sends a notification.

Then again, this is a rather rare case, I guess (I only recall ~5 such flags in the last 3 months). However, Brad Larson's suggestion in the comments is interesting -- ping the user only for custom declines. If you're going through the effort to write that, someone should be reading it.

Either way, IMO anything that makes some or all declines ping the flagger is better than the current system. Though, again, I'd prefer if it was something that mods could choose to do :)

  • I, for one, wouldn't know how to make a stink about the decline other than possibly re-flagging and writing something (which then may not even be seen by the same moderator, so what's the point). I don't really need to know about declines without specific response, though.
    – Jonas
    Mar 17, 2013 at 20:48
  • @Jonas Meta posts and chat are great ways to make a stink. Again, rather rare use case. Mar 18, 2013 at 5:10
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    If you're going through the effort to write a custom response for a flag rejection, I'd think you'd want that to be seen by the user each time. I could see hiding notifications for the boilerplate rejection reasons, but it's somewhat pointless to write a custom flag rejection if they're never going to read it. Your older proposal is a little more robust, but even just showing notifications for "other" flag rejections would go a long way. Mar 18, 2013 at 15:21
  • @BradLarson: Yep, I didn't think of that; editing :) Mar 18, 2013 at 15:54
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    @BradLarson: That's why I was so surprised about not having been notified of a custom message - I expected that moderators would have made sure that they're heard.
    – Jonas
    Mar 18, 2013 at 18:14

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