I was faced today with a bunch of flags from Stack Overflow на русском. I don't speak or read Russian.

So... am I supposed to dig up Google Translate to evaluate the flag? Or wait for some users who understand the langauge to deal with the flags?

The same applies to any non-English Stack Exchange site.

  • The ideal scenario is that you don't see them, but that gets really complicated. It's an engineering issue for chat, and it severely limits the number of eyes on flags coming out of the room, which makes intervention in the case of something truly horribad going on less likely overall, or more likely to be delayed.
    – user50049
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:08
  • 6
    I thought that everyone just randomly clicked buttons for chat flags... is that not what we're supposed to do? :(
    – enderland
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:12
  • 4
    I agree with @enderland, but to be certain to eliminate any possibility of bias use a random number generator like random.org
    – Elva
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:18
  • @gnat but this doesn't appear to be an issue related only to the ru.SO?
    – nicael
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:37
  • @nicael true, edited to reflect that better. Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:38
  • 9
    Как пострадавший от небрежной проверки, прошу: проверяйте только то, что понимаете. Благодарю.
    – user340911
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


If you don't know the site language, just don't review the flags. It's not obligatory - someone using the site will hopefully come and do it for you.


Usually I will follow this pattern:

  1. If something is visually very obviously spam, I will handle it as such;
  2. If Google translate yields something very disturbing, something that is again very obvious, I will handle it as such;
  3. If the above rules don't apply, I will leave it to the users that know the language.
  • 3
    This is pretty much precisely what I was going to answer.
    – user50049
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:06
  • 3
    Huh, looks like you have a spot in SE if you'll ever need a new job, @Pat - you think like a CM. ;-) Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 15:40

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