I misread the content of a comment, and flagged it. Then I realized that the comment wasn't what I had initially thought. Would it be possible to have the ability to retract comment flags, just like we have the ability to retract flags on questions and answers?

I'm aware of this question from four years ago. But the answer there is just that it's not possible. At the time it was not possible to retract any flags. It is now, but not for comments.

This is a separate which requests that it may become possible to retract comment flags.

If I've realized a flag was a mistake, I think it's unnecessary to keep it in the queue of content the moderators have to look at. Also, it would add an unnecessary "rejected" to the flaggers statistics. Sure, people should think before they flag. But everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

  • "This does not work for comments as the issue of mis-flagging mainly happens on Questions & Answers" did you even read that answer? – Nissa Sep 27 '16 at 0:14
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    @SomePerson Yes, I did read that answer. In this post I've explained that I've occasionally mis-flagged comments. I agree that it's probably less common. But since it does happen, the feature would be useful. – Fiksdal Sep 27 '16 at 0:16
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    I'm adding status-deferred to this and have written it up internally to see if we can get this implemented. – Taryn ModStaff Sep 8 '17 at 14:25
  • Something that may help: Adding a pop-up box saying "Are you sure you want to flag this comment as such-and-such?". This may cause people to check just once more before flagging. – hat Dec 19 '17 at 8:49
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    @Jǝssǝ That won't help, except for the first times. Eventually it will become a reflex to click "yes". – user202729 Jul 12 '18 at 6:30
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    @Taryn any chances this will be considered or done soon? – DarkCygnus Jul 24 '18 at 23:04
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    @Taryn - If you're in a position to re-raise this, it'd be great. Same rationale as retracting post flags (more here). Example: I flag a comment unfriendly/unkind, original author also realizes it comes off wrong and fixes it, and I see it's fixed. No need to waste moderator time, I should be able to cancel my flag. – T.J. Crowder Dec 12 '18 at 15:26
  • Possible duplicate of Cancel misclicked flags – Mari-Lou A Apr 30 '19 at 8:25
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    @Mari-LouA Hi. That question is for questions and answers, not comments. As discussed in OP, that question now has status-completed, but for comments it has not been implemented. – Fiksdal Apr 30 '19 at 8:27
  • @Revetahw retracted the close vote, thanks for telling me. That explains why I couldn't retract a flagged comment, I was looking for an explanation on Meta and thought being able to retract flagged Qs and As was the same for comments as well. – Mari-Lou A Apr 30 '19 at 8:30
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    @Mari-LouA Yeah, it should be the same. – Fiksdal Apr 30 '19 at 8:31

Happy to announce that ability to retract a comment flag is now live network-wide. If you can flag a comment, then you can retract that flag.

It works in a similar way to post flag retractions - click on the activated flag, and confirm in the resulting modal that you would like to retract the flag. Note: you cannot reflag the same flag on the same comment after retracting it - unless it is a custom flag, in which case you are allowed to reflag it.

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    Note: you cannot reflag the same flag on the same comment after retracting it. I just tried, and I was able to reflag (a custom comment flag, I haven't tried with the canned ones). – Glorfindel Mod Aug 13 '19 at 9:42
  • @Glorfindel did you reload the page? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Aug 13 '19 at 10:05
  • Nope, but further testing indicates that doesn't make a difference (I've refreshed both between flagging and retracting and between retracting and re-flagging.) – Glorfindel Mod Aug 13 '19 at 10:09
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    @Glorfindel well for me it disables the submit button (Chrome latest, plain without any scripts installed). First I'd check userscripts/plugins in the browser that might mess with the JS/CSS and cause such a thing. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Aug 13 '19 at 10:17
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    Can you try again with custom comment flags? I've just tried a NLN flag and that one I can't re-flag. – Glorfindel Mod Aug 13 '19 at 10:20
  • @Glorfindel huh, you're correct. The button is being enabled once I type few characters and I can submit a new flag. If Yaakov won't reply here in a few, better submit a new bug report. :) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Aug 13 '19 at 10:34
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    @ShaWiz noted, looking into it – Yaakov Ellis ModStaff Aug 13 '19 at 11:03
  • Cool! Does it work in the mobile apps? – Fiksdal Aug 13 '19 at 17:50
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    Ok, after checking with some folks, it seems that this is the way that it is supposed to operate - you are allowed to reflag a retracted custom flag (works this way for post flags as well). I have updated my answer text above to reflect this. Thanks! – Yaakov Ellis ModStaff Aug 13 '19 at 18:11
  • @YaakovEllis Interesting on the custom flags - do you know what the reason is for the exception? – David K Sep 16 '19 at 12:21
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    @DavidK I do not know the full reasoning, but I believe that it is along the lines of: custom flags allow data entry to specify what it is about, so you might retract and resubmit in order to amend what you are trying to report (since there is no other way to edit it in place). Or a totally new issue may have come up. – Yaakov Ellis ModStaff Sep 16 '19 at 13:02
  • When flagging as rude or abusive, the comment disappears (or at least it has done that for me in the past). If the comment is not there, there won’t be a way to retract the flag. – Cris Luengo Sep 16 '19 at 22:35

When you try to raise another flag, after your flag has been declined by a moderator, there will be a warning that reads:

Your last flag was declined - please review (a link for flags for username) it before flagging this post!

It happened to me more than a few times and no big deal. There is no negative effect on your reputation and you won't be suspended for flagging an appropriate comment unless you do it for a hobby.

I understand why you are raising this issue, but please be careful when you are flagging. If you are not sure, you don't have to flag it. Let others take care of it. Also, comments are not the important part of Stack Exchange format and they are not designed to last long anyway.

If SE accepts your feature request, I would not object to it strongly, but what if users start to overuse or abuse flagging comments and cancelling them? I think cost outweighs benefit here.

Also, you need to note that questions could be edited for your retraction of a flag, but comments can't be edited after 5 minutes of posting.

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    "what if users start to overuse or abuse flagging comments and cancelling them? I think cost outweighs benefit here." ...What cost? And if there is (which I doubt) a problem with cancelling and reflagging simply limit it to only allow 1 reflag. – Cai Sep 27 '16 at 7:20
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    Ok, the cost of implementing the feature makes more sense (I though you meant the cost of using the feature), I don't see the any issue with abuse/overuse though – Cai Sep 27 '16 at 7:45
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    e.g. cost of excessive database calls or maintenance – Cai Sep 27 '16 at 8:01

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