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Short version:

After a long search on this site, I was unable to find any feedback on something I flagged. After posting the original incarnation of this question, I found out that there is flag information but it is available only to some users. I propose making it clear on one or both of

  • the help page about flagging, and
  • a dialog box upon submitting a flag

where (and under what conditions!) feedback on flags can be found.

I also propose we (possibly the best fix, which removes that conditionality)

  • Make the user profile "helpful flags" line show up for all users

(Most of the confusion came from that being hidden until users have a flag accepted.)
(Note that this last is not the same feature request as All users should see their flag history as soon as they make a flag)


Long version:

There has been some discussion on giving feedback to flaggers

and after searching for "how do I know what happened to my flag", "how do I follow the result of flagging something", "how do I find out what is happening on something I flagged", and with best results "feedback on flagging" I finally found those discussions and was pretty certain there was no way at all to know what happened as a result of you flagging something.

...but I was still not entirely certain.

Reading the help pages actually does not help. If you search the help pages for "flag", your best hit is https://meta.stackoverflow.com/help/flagging, which contains the misleading statement "Anything consistently flagged by our community members will be investigated, and we will always follow up."

I have now figured out that "we will always follow up" does not mean "we will always follow up with you" (there is automated feedback, but no human 'following up' with you), but I would not blame anyone for taking that meaning ( http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/follow-up ).

Since the help pages are not clear, I was left to plough through old questions and answers.

Well I clicked through all the tabs in my profile page, and did not see anything like either one of those.

(For the "Marshall" and "Deputy" badges to be based on something on which there is no feedback, by the way, doesn't seem right, so I am thinking there must be feedback but it is just extremely difficult to find. ...but that doesn't prove anything, so I guessed I could only know for sure after stumbling on the right old question and answer.)

At some point, it seemed easier to type out a detailed feature request rather than keep looking.

----Edit: Based on Kate Gregory's screenshot, and the fact that my profile page does not have the helpful flags line, I adding a 3rd option for fixing this problem.

So to save people from wild goose chases like mine, I suggest we do one or two or all of:

  1. On the help page about flagging, amend "[...] we will always follow up." to "[...] we will always follow up on it, and you can always get feedback on things you have flagged...[link or directions]"

  2. In a dialog box that comes up upon submitting a flag (probably best in the thanks-for-flagging box, but possibly in a dedicated one just for the first few flags), show the message "Please note that feedback on your flags can be found...[link or directions]"

  3. Make the user profile "helpful flags" line and count show up for all users (i.e. even if the helpful flag count is 0).

(Please feel free to post separate answers arguing for implementing and not implementing whichever of these fixes. There are 8 different combinations!)

  • There is limited feedback for flags, just click on the number of helpful flags in your own profile to see it – Mad Scientist Jul 4 '13 at 15:04
  • Where?? I have looked under all the tabs ("summary", "answers", "questions", "tags", "badges", "favorites", "bounties", "reputation", "activity", "responses", "votes") and all the sub-tabs under those and do not see anything like that. That's kind of the problem. ;) – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 15:11
  • Note (in case it's not clear): The screenshot below does not apply for thousands of people, so it does not address the main issue. – A.M. Jul 5 '13 at 1:35
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On your profile (reached by clicking the link next to your rep at the top of every page) there is a link:

Flag link on profile

Click it to see a summary of all your flags and how they were disposed.

Apparently this shows up only once you have at least one helpful flag - if you have flagged and it was declined or is waiting for review, you do not get the link. See https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/132040/147247 and All users should see their flag history as soon as they make a flag - the latter being a feature request you can vote up.

  • My profile page does not include that line. ...so I guess it does not show up if the quantity is 0? I have the "Citizen Patrol" badge, but nothing there, so either my flag was not processed yet, or it was unhelpful. – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 15:18
  • It only shows up if you are logged in. You are logged in right? – Robert Longson Jul 4 '13 at 15:21
  • @RobertLongson Yes, I am definitely logged in. I was looking at every corner of my profile before I posted this. – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 15:29
  • (at)KateGregory, about your edit with the link to about the specific feature request for seeing flag history as soon as they make a flag: I will vote that up, but this is a different feature request. For one thing, you are unlikely to find that discussion unless you already know how the system works. Also, even the 3rd of my three requested fixes is not the same. I don't see any reason to hide the count even from users who have never flagged anything. Showing it might even have the side benefit of encouraging people to flag. – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 15:33
  • More importantly, though, then the user interface would be consistent. After my failed search for feedback, had I not gone the extra mile and posted this request, even if my flag were counted as helpful later today, I might never notice the new UI element on my profile page. I would have already assumed there is no feedback, and called off the search. – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 15:40
  • (at)KateGregory, could you please put your clarification above your screenshot so that people skimming don't think this was just a case of me missing the obvious? (The screenshot is certainly valuable (as is the link to the related question) as background info, but it isn't an answer to the question.) – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 16:26
  • you don't need the (at) - answerers are notified of all comments on their answers. That's why the system takes it away when you use the @ notation. I understand that to you the only flaw is that the link is hidden for those with zero flags. However other people, with helpful flags, have in the past asked where the flag summary is, so I think the answer is fine as-is. Your question uses different words than those other questions (see the Related list) and could be found by someone searching who used your wording. – Kate Gregory Jul 4 '13 at 16:37
  • Not only does the "helpful flags" field not show up for a user when a they have had no handled flags on record, it's also the same for moderators looking at said user's profile. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 4 '13 at 16:58
  • Other people will still find the answer to their question even with the clarifying text on top of the screenshot. – A.M. Jul 4 '13 at 19:12

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