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It has been brought to my attention by one of our moderators (here) that they are unable to enter a free-form response to comment flags.

This is unfortunate in some cases where there is e.g. a pattern in a number of flags, or where it is obvious that a reply is in order -- notably when someone uses the free-form flagging reason on a comment.

I think this should be changed at least for the last scenario: What use is there in leaving a free-form flag if the response isn't free-form?!

Implementing this feature request will make it easier for moderators and users to interact without resorting to meta, chat, or e-mail. If those measures are somehow deemed necessary by the moderator, it also provides a natural platform for them to indicate this.

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    Flags aren't really meant for back and forth discussion. Not sure what would be the value in this. – yannis Jan 7 '15 at 10:22
  • In general, I'd like comment-flag handling to better match post-flag handling. Limited options and the inability to see who raised the flag are a couple other problematic point, IMHO. – user642796 Jan 7 '15 at 10:23
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    @Yannis: Sometimes comments are flagged to draw attention to the moderators about some other point. On math we just received a flag on a comment pointing out that a bounty wasn't awarded to some answer (free-form saying "something might be wrong with the bounty system"). The system actually worked as designed, however communicating this to the flagger (who wasn't anyone who had been previously involved in that question) was not an option. You can say that it was inappropriate to flag the comment, but it does happen; at least moderators should be able to communicate that fact to flaggers. – user642796 Jan 7 '15 at 10:28
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    @ArthurFischer You can't expect a feature for every potential misuse of the flagging system. – yannis Jan 7 '15 at 10:31
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    @Yannis: Not all cases I've come across when a response would be nice (to either give reasoning for (in)action or inform users about the site and its better use) are due to misuses. But even so: shouldn't there be a way to at least inform users about common misuses (and from my experience the ilk of my example above are not uncommon). When a user flags non-spam posts as spam, I can give a response that points them to the SE definition of spam. I'm not looking for a conversation, but hoping that they'll improve their flagging. "declined" may not get the point across quite so fully. – user642796 Jan 7 '15 at 11:05
  • I can't see the harm in having a way to do this, but I also can't think of a good way to implement such a feature without affecting the existing workflow. It'd probably require an extra decline button. Comments are very low priority and I don't think a lot of moderators would appreciate having to click extra buttons in order to decline flags on them. The one-click decline with no reason works in the vast majority of cases here. – animuson Jan 7 '15 at 14:53

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