I'm expanding this from a feature-request previously posted as an answer, as requested by dev Brian Nickel back in June. (Yeah, late to the party, I know. Maybe they've even stopped working on improving the new mod dashboard now. Anyway.)
In the new moderator dashboard, flags on posts can either be marked helpful or declined. Clicking on "helpful ..." or "decline ..." gives us the option to enter a custom reason for the flagging user to see. There's also a button to delete the post directly, which automatically marks the flag helpful:
However, for flags on comments we have far less options: it's just "delete", "edit", and "decline". There's no natural way to mark a comment flag helpful without deleting or editing the comment (the only workaround is to delete the comment and immediately undelete it, or make a null edit to it). There's no way to give feedback to the flagger on a comment flag, not even canned reasons to explain why it was declined.
I know comments are third-class citizens and all, but does the comment flag process need to be so basic? Would it be difficult to use the same code for comment flags as for post flags, giving mods the option to provide custom decline feedback or to mark a flag as helpful without just hitting the delete button?
To counter the counterpoints raised in comments on my previous answer-FR:
- This change would waste zero mod time in cases where you just want to delete stuff: if there's a red "delete" button like for posts, you can hit that and bypass the helpful/decline dichotomy.
- It (presumably) wouldn't require much extra design in terms of how the tools would actually work, because it's the same thing you're already doing for post flags.