Seriously, almost all of the flags I get are in the JavaScript room. Here is one. In case you are tired, it leads to the "Ask a question" screen. I don't care about these silly flags, really. But I wondered if there is something we can do to make the flags more pertinent and save them for when things really are obscene. If I am right and the majority of flags come from a certain place (and assuming most are dismissed) should this chat be closed?

Of course they could go to another chat and similar things happen. I'm not sure how to know what users or how often they are flagging but it seems to be like "the chat room who cried wolf". If nothing else, I would like to bring attention to those who are flagging there. If the chat is that bad then make it a gallery or stop visiting it.


OK, I don't really think the chat should be closed. This was a poorly-formed question from the beginning, because that wasn't my main point of the post. It was more to get a discussion about why it seems, at least to me, that most of the flags (at least lately) appear to come from there and if there is anything to be done about it.


4 Answers 4


Should [a chat room with an anecdotally large number of odd flags] be closed?


If a room was generating a large number of valid flags, then yes, that's certainly something to look into. However, you yourself show that the flags are not valid - they're usually users taking offense at not following the JS room rules.

Speaking of rules, those that break them don't really have an excuse. Our bot sends a message to any user with rep between 20-2,000 with some friendly advice and a link to the rules.

We also have the ability to move to gallery whenever problem users arise, and use it instead of flagging.


I am often in the C# chat room. I will visit the JavaScript room on occasion, to say hi, talk about Caprica, or perhaps with some complex or pedantic issue to discuss.

I have enough rep to see the flags, and what I can observe is that there really are not a high volume on average coming from any one place at all. It may seem like JavaScript generates a lot of flags, but break it down a little bit.

JavaScript is one of the largest chat rooms on the exchange, hosts a lot of drive-by student questions or help seekers, and still is not generating all of the flags. If you were to really look at this with a metric of flags per message, then the JavaScript room would probably rate very, very, very low on that metric.

Sometimes there are problematic users who will troll chat rooms. This happens to all rooms and is not any one room's fault. The flagging system is not perfect, and some people feel that spamming flags will speed the problem user into the moderator review.

Fact is, flagging will not generate moderator review. There is however a route to accomplishing that, and I think more chat users should take advantage of it.

First, click on the user actions arrow of the message from the problem user, and select "flag for moderator". Note that this will not go to the regular users, but to an actual site moderator.

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Second, enter a message in detail explaining the problematic behavior.

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But please, for those who are interesting in maintaining civility in chat, do not spam flags. It is just spam.

  • 2
    Thankyou. this! so much this!
    – rlemon
    Apr 5, 2014 at 12:28

The javascript chat room has basically groups: the "regulars", people who habitually hang out there (and people like me who are probably more like "semi-regular"), and the "transients" who just come in, get help (or at least try to), and leave.

Most of the flags, I suspect, come from this second group, the transients, people who come in once, ask a question, possibly don't get an answer, get angry, flag, leave. Or some variation on this theme. So neither gallery mode, nor telling people to "stop visiting" is really a solution to that problem. They wouldn't be affected by gallery mode, and they likely do "stop visiting".

Sure, closing the room would stop the flags, but that'd be a major case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, in my opinion. It'd be destroying a community (the "regulars"), in order to deal with a problem that likely isn't being perpetuated by members of that community. If we're having a problem with the flagging system lets fix the flagging system, not nuke the room that's a symptom of that problem.


You say "stop visiting it" but it's not the regular users who are doing the flagging. As SomeKittens said, we show our rules diligently, remind users with commands like !!format that tell them to format their code when asking us.

As one who doesn't speak commonly in the JavaScript Room, can you provide context that all these flags are valid?

Also, the chat rules more or less dictate "let the owner decide", and yes it says be nice - but blunt feedback on code can offend people (and it often does).

I would also argue that the ratio of on-topic chat : off-topic chat is well in the favor of on-topic.

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