I'm curious as to how well I do with moderator flags. But I can't see how well I'm doing because the flag weight isn't shown for those of us in the "middle band". I know I have 22 moderator attention flags per day (I doubt I've ever used more than 2), so I could have some semblance of a guess given that you get another flag for each 20 flag weight increase, but I don't know what the default value is, so that doesn't help.

I just can't see what the benefit of hiding that information is, particularly given that if a user is doing a poor job flagging you want them to be able to find out, and given that for 20k+ users there aren't very many cases where you need to flag anyway.

So.. why is that info hidden?

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  • The default value is 100. – Grace Note Mar 9 '11 at 20:56
  • @Grace Note: I mean the default number of moderator flags (I could work out the value to within +/- 20 if I knew the default number of moderator flags) – Billy ONeal Mar 9 '11 at 20:57
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    That's 10, then. You can see the breakdown in this post. – Grace Note Mar 9 '11 at 20:59
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    The reason I read was - "Why show it when it is in the 'normal' rang? It's not interesting." – jjnguy Mar 9 '11 at 21:39
  • What @jjnguy said. First comment on the FAQ answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/80170/what-is-flag-weight/… – Brandon Mar 9 '11 at 21:43
  • "...if a user is doing a poor job flagging you want them to be able to find out" - Exactly; if they flag badly often enough, they will reach the "relatively low" range. If not, I would assume it's not considered a problem, hence it remains hidden. – Jason Plank Mar 9 '11 at 22:46

It is only hidden if you are at the default level, because it's just ambient noise at that point.

It is not hidden in the way you describe, at all.

edit: miscommunication, it should be behaving per my first sentence, so we are changing it to be so.

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    If this is true, I'd like to update the FAQ entry. But since the default value is 100, and people say that they only start seeing their flag weight at 150 (which coincides with how Marc described it), we either have a different interpretation of "default" or the behaviour is something else. – Tim Stone Mar 10 '11 at 5:55
  • @Tim - this "changing it so" is now deployed – Marc Gravell Mar 10 '11 at 7:03
  • @MarcGravell Just noticed on Gaming, FAQ updated accordingly. Thanks to you both for sorting it out, and Marc for the heads up! – Tim Stone Mar 10 '11 at 7:05
  • @Jeff - Is it hidden if you're at the default level, or if you haven't left the default level (ex 6 helpful, 6 unhelpful)? Those are very different cases. – Kevin Vermeer Sep 28 '11 at 15:21
  • @kevin it's hidden if you are at or very near the default level – Jeff Atwood Sep 28 '11 at 23:16
  • @Jeff - So if someone makes 6 correct flags, increasing their flag weight to 160, and then makes 6 incorrect flags, decreasing their flag weight to 100, they can't see their flag weight without going to the then-unlinked [site name]/users/flag-weight/[user ID]? Seems like these users are the most important ones to educate... – Kevin Vermeer Sep 29 '11 at 2:08
  • @kevin they'll make it to 90 soon enough, at which point they can. – Jeff Atwood Sep 29 '11 at 2:43

Yes, I agree, it doesn't make much sense to keep it hidden. The time when you need feedback the most is when you first start flagging, which is exactly the time when you can't see how you're doing!

The only argument I see for hiding the value is to keep the interface simple for new users. But I think making the value a link to an explanation would cover this case adequately.

I recently reached flag weight 500 on SO. I had to do quite a bit of digging here on meta to discover what sort of flagging was encouraged, and what was wrong. The most useful information I found were the answers linked from this faq. My main concern was that I was flagging things that were trivial, or a waste of a mod's time. It seems counter-productive to me to increase the flag noise by witholding feedback for new flaggers.

Here's a practical workaround. My experience was that you only need a few (three?) positive flags to make your value visible. These are easy to achieve by finding answers by new users which should be comments (there are lots), and flagging those.

Once out of the 'hidden band', flagging is much easier to experiment with, and more rewarding as well.

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