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I have sometimes been taken to task by a site moderator for flagging something I'd previously flagged -- but the previous flag was raised and cleared so long ago that I had forgotten all about it, and nothing in the flag dialogue warned me. (Seriously, the site where this came up has posts that stick around for more than half a year in bad states. We're not talking about losing track of yesterday's flag.) So what happens is that I raise a flag, later look at my flag history, and see it and a previous flag.

I suppose I could dig through my flag history to see if I've flagged something before, but I've got a lot of flags (and a Marshal badge) and the history isn't searchable, so I'd have to page through it all. What I'd really like is some indicator that I've flagged this before, that would link to the right part of my flag history. (Or show the flags and responses some other way; I'm not picky.) The system already notices if I have another active flag on this post, so some "check for flags from this user" activity is already happening -- can we extend that to handled flags too and not just active ones?

Can we do anything to make flaggers aware of prospective repeat flags before clicking that final "flag" button?

  • 2
    Sounds like a win for users and win for mods (time) to me ! – James Dec 20 '13 at 3:30
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I'll propose a design for this that, by happy coincidence, would also help with this feature request about flag explanations written in vain.

When a user clicks "flag" on a post, the client makes a server call to fetch previous flags. Yes, that's a server call, but the client is going to make that call anyway later (see linked post), so this moves it earlier but still after the user has indicated a desire to act. If the user has previously flagged this post, he sees a dialogue something like this (except that an actual designer should improve on my "developer art"):1

UI mockup showing previous flags and their responses and asking whether to flag again

If the user says "yes", then proceed to the usual flag dialogue. For bonus points: except that now that we know that certain re-flags are going to be disallowed, either disable those options or warn the user.

If this is the first time the user has flagged this post, skip the history/confirmation step and proceed to the usual flag dialogue.

1 There would be no reason to obscure user names in the real implementation; I'm just doing that here.

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