Currently, flags seem to be ordered FIFO, and the suggested review order is top-down. However, in the summary side-bar, the spam/offensive total is highlighted red and listed on top - rightly giving the most prominence to the most urgent flag type.

But you have to filter on spam/offensive to review them. If you followed the suggested processing order, or didn't notice them in the summary, you may not reach them for quite some time.

Shouldn't spam/offensive be listed first in the big list, because they are the most urgent - in line with the suggested review order of top-down?

I don't think the entire list should be in order of severity, because then "low" severity flags would stay at the bottom, creating an "SLA" type of severity and also "low" severity flags may actually be high severity - until a moderator examines the flag we won't know, so an egalitarian ordering for all non-red is appropriate.

Unabashed plug for closely-related feature request: Can the moderator flag queue icon change color to red when there's a red flag in the queue?

  • 1
    I'm surprised it isn't like this -- I always thought it was. Shows you how many Offensive/Spam flags we get. :P
    – hichris123
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:05
  • @hic actually there aren't that many (thankfully, most users are well behaved), but whenever I see one I jump on it as a matter of site quality.
    – Bohemian
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


I'm not a moderator, but I won't let that stop me from answering.

I think the flags should appear in this order.

  1. it's spam

  2. it's offensive/abusive/hate speech

  3. other (needs moderator attention)

  4. it is very low quality

Spam is best gotten rid of as early as possible. Most spam is caught by the automatic system, so probably very easy for mods to always clear the spam flags. Offensive/abusive/hate speech is not very abundant and in most cases it's probably pretty clear right away whether it really is this or not. So mods should be able to clear this flag reason quickly too.

Other is a trickier one. These could be urgent requests, like the one I flagged yesterday where a user kept defacing all 3 of their questions and ended up having like a total of 60+ edits and rollbacks all within an hour time frame. It took way to long in my opinion for a mod to see and take action on that flag. But it did end up with the user account being removed. On the other side, some people may use the other flag for not so serious things or things that don't need to be handled so quickly. But I'd still prefer this above low quality since there are lots of cases where quick action needs to be done on these custom flag types. Low quality is blah, just a post that likely needs to be deleted, which the downvotes can already warn people to stay away until it eventually gets taken care of.

  • Why separate other and vlq?
    – Frank
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:00
  • As a general approach, severe first, others FIFO. If ordered just by severity, low severity flags will never percolate up the list. Old flags have an "SLA" type severity of their own.
    – Bohemian
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:05
  • 3
    @Frank VLQ flags can be dealt with through the review queue. “Other” flags can only be handled by moderators. Sep 23, 2014 at 23:06
  • 1
    I'm agreeing with you on VLQ (and NAA) since, as @Gilles says, the LQP queue is designed to deal with these types of flags.
    – hichris123
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:19

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