The new possible comment abuse flag is raised whenever a user adds many non-constructive or rude comments.

Yesterday, a user added 4 rude comments, thus raising the flag. 4 minutes later, they deleted the post. Once they deleted the post, the PCA flag was automatically cleared. Hence their act was never made known to the moderators.

Thanks to a custom flag by another good user, we managed to catch the user and sent them a warning. But what if the user was not flagged?

Hence, I request that PCA flags must not be cleared on a post, even after the owner of that question has deleted the post.


1 Answer 1


Handling the large volume of flags is very time-consuming and burdensome on those who have to have to manage them, so whenever an issue can be mitigated by other means, lightening the flag load through automation is a big help… the vast vast majority of the time.

I can appreciate that there was a transgression and you want the user dealt with, but the saying goes "if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?" Not every moment of bad judgement has to be chased down by an all-seeing Moderator explicitly.

Sometimes such issues are resolved through civil discussion, or perhaps the user simply had a change of heart, but if the public spectacle has been removed, the urgency of the situation has already abated. If the behavior continues, the flags will come up again (incidentally, deleting a lot of posts shortly after submission will also be flagged).

Moderators were meant to be exception handlers when the community and system processes fail. In this scenario, I think it is reasonable to call the problem resolved and move on unless it comes up again.

  • 1
    So status-deferred? May 15, 2017 at 15:39
  • 2
    Bhargav, this is a conversation. I'm not making that call. May 15, 2017 at 15:41
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    In many cases, this might be true for flags that are cleared when something is deleted, but the "possible comment abuse" flags are intended to point out patterns of problematic behavior. They are triggered by comments on multiple posts, not just the one being removed. The removal of the latest post may not indicate that the core issue has been resolved. May 15, 2017 at 16:21
  • @BradLarson Hrm. If deleting 1 of {n} comments clears that condition entirely (essentially restarting the count at zero), that sounds more like a [bug] than a [feature-request]. May 15, 2017 at 18:16
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    @RobertCartaino I filed this bug report, which looks like it's going to be closed as a dupe of this FR. If the rude comments are on the person's own post and he deletes it that's one thing, but if they're on somebody else's post and the deletion had nothing to do with the commenter, I don't think we should hide those. Oct 4, 2017 at 0:21

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