I don't speak Russian, and probably many users don't. Should there be some way to send flagged messages in chat that need to be reviewed and aren't in English preferentially to users who are more likely than average to be able to read it? Perhaps based on membership in sites related to those languages?

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Happened again ~03:00z 21-02-2020

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  • Are you talking solely about chat flags (as in your image), or regular mod flags on network sites?
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 28, 2018 at 16:08
  • @uhoh I was asking whether this has to do with flags raised on a site, because that's what Jason was assuming. I've edited the question to clear this up; feel free to roll back parts of it if I made an error.
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 28, 2018 at 16:15
  • @HDE226868 Looks good, thank you!
    – uhoh
    Dec 28, 2018 at 16:20
  • What about non-English chat messages which SE doesn't have their language site counterpart (e.g. Tamil)? Also, how can SE detect which language it is? Dec 28, 2018 at 17:23
  • 2
    Even just sorting by site chat (like SO Russia) would be helpful. Most chat flags I've seen are invalid ones from the RuSO room. They even managed to crash the entire SE chat once. Dec 28, 2018 at 18:50
  • 1
    @MetaAndrewT. language detection is pretty easy. There are libraries for that. I don't do .NET development, but something like this should do.
    – Josef
    Feb 21, 2020 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


I could have sworn its come up a few times - mostly with the $lang.so sites.

These are a pain, and at least as moderators go we often leave them until a 'native language' moderator (not necessarily for the site).

Language detection is hard. I often do a quick triage with google translate and it sometimes misdetects the language - and these are dedicated tools for the job. (Relatedly, someone suggested autotranslating flags - and many of the problems and solutions seem to fit here too).

And its hard to work out who can speak/read a language well enough to moderate. Many of these communities are smaller - if you prioritised 10k and mods for say, the russian SO site, they'd be folks already in the room, and seeing both the flags, and context and able to deal with it. Though, that makes me wonder if adding a "kick" style warning and BONG to the room for mods, 10kers and ROs when there's a flag would help. Ideally just for the room, though in theory you might do it for rooms associated with the relevant site.

As for languages with no sites associated, though. You're just going to have to remember who speaks what, and hope they're around. There's no flag on SE that indicates I can read tamil, both badly transliterated, and in the proper script.

  • This is probably the least of SE worries, but since it just happened again (and this time it the item contains a clickable link) I've added a second screenshot to the question.
    – uhoh
    Feb 21, 2020 at 3:07

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