We now have various sites in other languages. That's great, and I am quite pleased to see this diversification. However, that raises some problems with chat flags. Since the chat network is site-wide, flags are shown to all high rep users and mods of the network. This can be an issue if the flag is from, for example, SO.jp and one doesn't understand Japanese.

Not only can we non-Japanese speakers (or Russian/Portuguese whatever) handle them, there is a real danger that we mishandle them. Either because a user just goes "Wot?" and dismisses a flag off hand as noise, or because of misunderstandings inherent in any attempt at crossing the language barrier.

So, could flags raised in chat rooms associated with a non-English site only be shown to

  • Mods of that site
  • High rep users of that site (or at least, high rep users with an account on that site)

We currently have sites, and associated chat rooms, in

I may have missed some but, in any case, more are coming.

I think that would be better for everyone since it would mean the flags get the attention they deserve and the rest of us are not distracted by flags we can't really judge.

  • Does this happen much, given the different characters of most non-English sites?
    – James
    Jun 14, 2015 at 14:07
  • 2
    @James It happened to me 3 times in the last two days. I assume the actual volume is much higher and will only grow as the non-English sites expand. I've already seen flags in Portuguese and Japanese.
    – terdon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 14:11
  • 2
    @James they're already limited to mods and high rep users. My suggestion is to limit to only those mods and high rep users who speak the language in question. The only way I can think of to do so easily is to check whether that user is high rep, or at least has an account, in the relevant language's site. That's not perfect, I know. For example, I could happily handle flags in French, Spanish, and--if the sites were to appear--Greek and Catalan, despite not being high rep on any of those sites. I just don't see any other way of doing it though.
    – terdon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 14:26
  • @James also, I am not talking about pings, this is about flags.
    – terdon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 14:29
  • 1
    I don't understand the decision to have multiple language sites for the same topic. Why not upgrade the software to support multiple languages and translation? Otherwise you will eventually create dozens of sites for the same subject, and segregate knowledge on the same topic solely based on language which is not logical. I assume the powers-that-be have considered this, I'm just curious how they reached the decision.
    – Shon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 15:52
  • 7
    @sss4r this has been discussed many, many times. Search the languages tag. Also, bear in mind that translation software is still very very bad. You can't automatically translate with decent accuracy.
    – terdon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 15:58
  • I didn't know about the languages tag, I'll take a look, thanks. Also, I wasn't referring to translation software, but awarding rep and badges to users for performing translations.
    – Shon
    Jun 14, 2015 at 15:59
  • 2
    @sss4r that is a different topic but start with this blog and this is one question
    – rene
    Jun 14, 2015 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


This is a good idea, but there is one major consideration that needs to be taken into account: what about multilingual users?

For example, I speak (some) Spanish. Enough that I've managed to get a few posts up on Stack Overflow in Spanish (a.k.a. ESSO), and occasionally participate in chat there. I know one of our other moderators (tchrist) is also at least bilingual English-Spanish, and can often be found in ESSO's chat.

If we're going to only show non-English flags to non-English users, I want a checkbox that lets me see those flags again - because as a moderator, if I can process Spanish moderator-only flags, that increases the number of mods who can, which is currently pretty low. Spam/offensive/inappropriate chat flags are slightly less of a problem because more people can handle them than just mods, but this checkbox should be available to everyone.

  • 2
    Agreed. I could handle Spanish, French and—if the sites were to appear—Greek and Catalan, despite not being high rep on any of those sites.
    – terdon
    Dec 9, 2015 at 17:05

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