When a message is flagged as spam/offensive, network wide 10k users are shown a number of pending chat flags.

Chat Flags

As shown in the above image, it is shown that there are 15 messages waiting for review. At the same time, there are no flags to display. If we hover on 15, it says

"flagged as spam/offensive"

Similar questions with a :
New messages flagged blue bubble does not go away
Chat prompts me to act on flagged messages, but there are no flagged messages to display

In those scenarios, they were blue dots but now, it is a number in the top bar.

  • 2
    Hmm. There are 3 flags indicated for a chat-room but there are not actually I think. – Pandya Oct 7 '18 at 16:36
  • 2
    I see this too. – doppelgreener Oct 7 '18 at 18:22
  • Also 8 on chat.SO. – Andras Deak Oct 7 '18 at 21:25
  • 2
    I've been seeing this for several hours too (15 on main chat, same as you). – Monica Cellio Oct 7 '18 at 21:29
  • 1
    These flags can even be seen from Space! i.stack.imgur.com/aYyLw.png i.stack.imgur.com/Rg1LY.png – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 5:14
  • 1
    @uhoh We all are under the same <s> sky </s> server. We are using Chat.StackExchange server. People say that it happens on other servers (chat.SO) too. – Nog Shine Oct 8 '18 at 5:23
  • @NogShine if we only had a base on Mars we could check there as well ;-) – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 5:25
  • It's due to flags being on deleted messages. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Oct 8 '18 at 8:54
  • 1
    Seems to be visible on chat.se and chat.mse too. I can't see the actual posts in chat.se though. Yay bugs. – Journeyman Geek Oct 8 '18 at 9:06
  • The ones on chat.SO are gone now. – Andras Deak Oct 8 '18 at 9:08
  • I can still see it in space chat.stackexchange.com/… – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 11:54

There's a big pile of SQL that runs periodically to correct denormalized star, pin, flag, and mod-flag counts on messages and rooms. It has a bit of a special-case for deleted messages: they always get 0 flags, 0 stars, and 0 pins, thus avoiding the need to delete (or zero out) those associated votes when a message is deleted.

This update query was altered yesterday to...

  • ...be slightly more efficient
  • ...only run once per day

Unfortunately, the change omitted the special-case that ignores votes on deleted messages. And when it runs, it runs for all messages ever posted. So after yesterday's change, it started counting flags on deleted messages...

Fortunately, flags expire after a week, so this only revived flags for flagged, deleted messages from the past week. That's why the count wasn't much, much higher.

Nick patched up the query and ran it manually. Going forward, the counts should be corrected every day.

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