When I want to check how many flags per day, I have to either calculate it (which is frustrating because the number is constantly changing) or wait until either the new day starts or I use up all of my flags (so I get the "You have X flags remaining" message). It would be much easier to either have at the bottom of the flag box, "You have used X of your Y flags today" (instead of "You have X flags left today") and/or have the flagging page show this information.

  • 2
    Meh. That'd also make it inconsistent with the close votes, delete votes, undelete votes etc. etc. etc. I prefer the current system.
    – Ollie
    Apr 10 at 17:18
  • @Ollie How would that make it inconsistent?
    – Anonymous
    Apr 10 at 17:19
  • Because then it'd have to show "You have used X of Y close votes today" instead of "You have X <Y> remaining".
    – Ollie
    Apr 10 at 17:20
  • 5
    You don't have to use up any flags, the flag dialog will always show 'You have X flags remaining': meta.stackexchange.com/q/43327/369802. Which is the only relevant information needed: How often can you still flag today. How many flags you may have had at the beginning of the day isn't relevant to that.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 10 at 17:21
  • 3
    @Tinkeringbell It's useful so I can know my progress of how many flags I earned per day. It should at least be in the flagging page. And I thought you meant that on sites where you are a mod, it would show you how many flags total per day.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 10 at 17:29
  • 4
    Why is that number important? We don't want people trying to flag stuff just to make progress in flagging. We want people to use flags as they need them and we warn them if they're running out for the day.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Apr 10 at 17:31
  • @Catija I don't see why flagging to increase your flags per day is harmful; a helpful flag is a helpful flag and a declined flag is a declined flag.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 10 at 17:33
  • 10
    Being in the mentality of "I need to find stuff to flag so that I can get a badge" is not ok. It tends to lead people to flag thing that aren't worth a moderator's time to address. Taking actions just to get badges, whether that's flagging or voting or reviewing, is generally considered harmful to the ecosystem.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Apr 10 at 17:36
  • @Catija This isn't a badge, it's a privilege that is earned when you have proven that your flags are helpful. Would you make users calculate reputation? Also badges show their progress so this privilege is harder to know your progress then a badge is. If this were a problem, SE would've removed badges long ago.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 10 at 17:41
  • 1
    @Catija I can come up with one point in favor of this: it helps prevent confusing situations like these where it appears you lost two flags even though you only flagged once, if one or more of your flags get declined in the meantime which pushes you over the edge to lose a daily flag. Apr 10 at 17:50
  • @SonictheCuriouserHedgehog Adding extra noise in the form of showing two numbers, or a disjoint number on the flag page (where pending flags are also displayed), is likely to cause confusion too, and probably more than a race condition ever would.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 10 at 17:52
  • @Anonymous: Flagging is a privilege unlocked at 15 reputation, there are no further flagging privileges. Your statement that extra flags are earned when you have proven your flags are helpful is false: reputation can also enable extra flags, so while helpful flags are the most common way to increase the counter, it's not the only one. Your assumption that there is progress to be measured here is also false, because there is no goal to reach to unlock something, like there is with badges, or with reputation to unlock the next privilege.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 10 at 17:53
  • 3
    It wouldn't be confusing, but for almost all users it's just distracting noise.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Apr 10 at 18:12
  • 3
    Distracting noise is a downside.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Apr 10 at 18:42
  • 2
    By the way, I have the maximum 100 flags in a day here, but I still only use less than three on most days, and not more than 10 per day. Apr 10 at 18:46

But a lot of users might find this useful, and I don't see any downside to this.

Well then, since several people have tried to explain the downsides to you in comments, allow me to put those downsides in an answer, so those downsides won't be hidden when the comments collapse, and everyone (not just you) can easily see them. But there are very good downsides to be mentioned, and very good reasons to not show that number directly to people.

or I use up all of my flags (so I get the "You have X flags remaining" message)

First, I'll correct a serious misunderstanding of the system. On any site where you're not a moderator, you will always see the 'You have X flags remaining' message. So you don't have to use up any flags, nor do you have to use up all flags, just to see that message.

It would be much easier to either have at the bottom of the flag box, "You have used X of your Y flags today"

It wouldn't, because right now people can scan for a number and immediately know they have the right one. Having two numbers there would require more reading and parsing of the message, and thus it wouldn't be easier.

It would also add noise, like I stated and Glorfindel too: The only number relevant is the one that let's you know how many flags you have left before you run out.

and/or have the flagging page show this information.

The flag page is there to show you which of your flags are still pending, and which ones were handled. It shows you which of your handled flags were helpful and which were declined, so you can educate yourself on how to flag properly. The flagging page is not an 'achievement' list, the information on how many flags you 'unlocked' doesn't belong there.

You show quite a bit of misunderstanding when it comes to flags, like in this comment:

Also badges show their progress so this privilege is harder to know your progress then a badge is.

In fact, 'amount of flags per day' isn't an achievement, or a privilege to be unlocked. There is no progress to be measured, since there is no goal. A badge or a next privilege level are goals, so that's why their progress can be tracked. An extra flag a day isn't a goal.

As Catija neatly explained, showing the number anywhere would only encourage people into unwanted behavior.

Even your own response and reason for wanting this number mentions you've already falling victim to it! All "Flagging to increase flags" does is create empty busy-body work for moderators. Moderators have limited time, energy and attention spans too, and if we use it on handling stuff that doesn't really need handling, we might not have any left when there is stuff that really needs handling.

  • 1
    To add, the flag badges actually used to be awarded based on the same algorithm that was used at the time to calculate users' daily flag allowance (flag weight), but this was changed to the current requirement for the exact reason you point out. Apr 10 at 18:48
  • I increase my flag count with NAABot, if they aren't answers then I don't see how that's harmful; the community gets help removing a non-answer, I get an extra flag. Everybody wins. Why do you assume I'm flagging things that don't need moderator action?
    – Anonymous
    Apr 11 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Anonymous If you were, I would've called you out on that directly. All my answer contains is your admittance that you are flagging to increase your flags per day. Which, like Catija said, is a bad attitude to have. Flagging is done to get rid of stuff that shouldn't be on the site, not to increase the number of flags you have and stroke your ego with the bigger number.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 11 at 15:45
  • @Tinkeringbell I'm flagging to get rid of things that shouldn't be on the site, but I also get extra daily flags. This is a secondary concern, but just like people shouldn't post things just to get reputation and we show it to people anyway, we should show this to users. Just because it's secondary doesn't mean it's irrelevant.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 11 at 15:52
  • The comment I linked to stated otherwise, as does your first comment under my answer: Both clearly state you flag to get extra flags. You also probably shouldn't be the one to mention posting just for reputation. Just because you are concerned with secondary matters doesn't make them relevant either.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 11 at 16:17

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