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The Help Center page about the Flag Posts privilege currently states:

What happens when I flag something as spam or abusive?

The spam and abusive flags are designed to automatically eliminate truly disruptive posts through the collaboration of the community.

  • 3 flags -- post is banished from the front page.

There are several (potential) problems with the last sentence in the quote:

  • As far as I can tell, it's not the number of flags that matters; it's the post score. Case in point: a question from today, which was visible with a score of -7. And three flags bring the post down to -3, not -4, which is the threshold ...
  • ... on main sites. On Meta sites, the threshold is -8.
  • Also, this only pertains to questions; an answer with three pending spam flags will still appear as 'modified by <spammer or abuser>' on the front page. A -3 score will grey the answer out, though.

Since the question will still be visible via the other question lists, could this be replaced with something like "Usually, 3 or 4 flags are sufficient to make the post less visible to casual visitors.", or even dropped altogether? I'm open to better suggestions, but keep in mind the same text needs to be used across the network.

(inspired by this EL&U Meta question, which is about the second item in that list)

  • I have been thinking about the same for a while after I stated spending time on Meta. – Nimesh Neema Jun 25 at 9:50
  • Have you checked to make sure that posts with three active red flags aren't actually pushed off the home page? As far as I can tell, those posts are explicitly pushed off the homepage regardless of vote score. – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Jun 25 at 12:40
  • @Sonic I just witnessed an example with a score of -7 and 2 downvotes (so 5 spam flags) on the Meta front page, see the updated answer. I'll update the FAQ. – Glorfindel Jun 25 at 13:23
  • @Glorfindel If you saw it loaded from the live preview, keep in mind that it performs no exclusions (e.g. low-voted questions show if loaded from the live preview). – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog Jun 25 at 13:25
  • True, but I'm 95% sure I hard-refreshed the page this time. (I'm doing at lot of things simultaneously right now, that accounts for the 5%.) – Glorfindel Jun 25 at 13:27
  • @Sonic I saw another instance today, which (after a hard refresh) appeared on the front page with a -5 score. I've cast a downvote, cast a spam flag (it's now on -7) and it happened to be the final one, which means it was visible despite 5 spam flags. I don't consider this a bug but I am going to update the FAQ. – Glorfindel Jun 27 at 9:40

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