Occasionally, someone posts something that is completely unintelligible or spam. Users then proceed to flag the post. Then the poster edits to replace the gibberish or spam with something more legit. Something like that happened today.

When a few of us flagged the post (as rude/abusive, due to the gibberish*), it looked like this:

enter image description here

The user then edited their post such that it didn’t qualify for the rude/abuse flag. Since they did it within the five-minute grace period, someone now has a flag sitting in the flag queue that is, to any moderator reviewing it, invalid.

Since flags are a big deal, and one can get in serious trouble for misusing spam/abusive flags (due to their firm penalties), we should terminate the grace period (in which the OP can edit their post without creating a revision entry) as soon as a post gets a flag.

We already do this with comments: If you comment on a post, the grace period is terminated. It’s only logical to do the same with flags.


* The validity of that flag might be questionable, but it’s not what we’re talking about here

  • 2
    How often have users been warned by a mod for abusing their flags while they were (unknowingly) victim of this behavior?
    – rene
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 11:43
  • I agree with animuson here: this would be too confusing. I'll also note that your author's other posts were considerably more blatant.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


The only problem with this is it's unexpected - there's no visible trace on that post to indicate to the user why their grace period didn't apply. Seems like it'd be more sane to drop the grace period on something like a vote, which is publicly visible, and is automatically triggered by a spam/offensive flag anyways.

Dropping the grace period on votes also has an inherent fix for a frequently complained-about problem: votes still being locked in even though the post was edited within the grace period. Since the grace period wouldn't apply after a vote, it would not be possible to have a locked vote after any edit.

Not saying I personally advocate this, but it would make more sense than an invisible indicator.

  • 4
    You seam to be very concerned about the grace ending unexpectedly if a flag gets posted. I don't think you should be. I, for example, didn't even know the grace period can be terminated early until today. It wouldn't be any less unexpected to me if a grace period on my post was terminated by a comment than by a flag. I also, probably, wouldn't notice if it got terminated. IMO the kind of people why know all the ins and outs of the system are probably the kind of people who don't post flag-worthy content. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 6:41
  • 1
    We simply don't like doing things that can't be traced in the post's history by a normal user. By unexpectedly here, we mean that a user wouldn't be able to tell what happened to cause the grace period to end because they have no public record of a flag on their post. That is unfair to someone who may have been expecting the grace period to apply but it just... didn't, and they can't find out why without asking.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 7:20

What we need to avoid these shorts of problems is “hidden” edits, so when an edit is done within the grace period is it still recorded in the edit history, but not shown as an edit on the post. But this may be too much work for the benefit it gives.

  • 1
    If moderators were able to see "edited within grace period after flag was cast" at least they wouldn't accidentally invalidate well-founded flags. I'm not sure if this is a viable workaround but at least it would reduce the worst-case impact of the problem.
    – tripleee
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 9:24

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