I would like to be able to learn from my flagging "mistakes", and adapt my personal flagging thresholds. To do this, I need some idea of which items that I flagged added to or subtracted from my flag weight.

I'm suggesting some sort of a flag weight "audit", similar to the rep audit (stackoverflow.com/reputation).

You can't learn from your mistakes unless you know what your mistakes were.

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    Honestly speaking? A "flag weight audit" strikes me about as useful to learning from your mistakes as never getting comments on your downvotes would help. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 14:20
  • It's better to just be surprised – random Mar 25 '11 at 14:21
  • I've noticed that some people have claimed that they've had some flags rejected. How would they know if there isn't some sort of audit or feedback mechanism? – Gabe Mar 25 '11 at 14:23
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    @Gabe Some people pay a lot of attention to their visible flag weight and thus just check to see for any drop. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 14:26
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    @Grace - I really didn't understand your comment. I'm suggesting that I could learn and adapt if I knew which flags were passed and which were rejected. Right now I have no idea whatsoever, so I can't learn anything or change how I use flags. Am I missing something here? – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 15:15
  • For example, I might be flagging comments like "You could have just searched, you know". Are those being rejected? I don't know. If I saw that they were, then I would probably stop flagging comments like that. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 15:16
  • The system we have now would be like our rep system if you could only see your total score and not what posts were up/down voted. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 15:17
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    @status: you're really not supposed to be flagging to maximize your score. If your weight takes a massive drop, you might want to re-think what you're flagging, but otherwise... Just flag according to your conscience, and let the system do what it was designed to do. Remember... There's really no feedback when it comes to the votes you cast either! – Shog9 Mar 25 '11 at 15:45
  • On top of Shog's note, Jon, if your weight takes a massive drop, it's highly likely you'll receive an email or other contact from moderators to request that you stop fumbling. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 15:47
  • @Grace - good to know. @Shog9 - I agree 100%. How do I rethink my flagging if I don't know which flags were errant? – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 18:50
  • @status: if your flag weight is falling precipitously, then most of your flags were "errant". – Shog9 Mar 30 '11 at 15:27
  • @gnat should this be closed due to being a possible dupe considering it has a "status completed" tag? Wouldn't it be more prudent to close the other question as a dupe? – James Feb 22 '14 at 22:58
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    @gnat Fair enough, thanks (I wasn't contesting you, I wasn't sure how it worked. Cheers) – James Feb 22 '14 at 23:04

A new feature has been deployed that lets you click your flag weight to be brought to a summary of your flag history. If your flag weight is not visible (on account of sitting at 100), you can also access this by going to <siteurl>/users/flag-weight/<userid>, substituting for the site in question and your own user ID.

It shows both moderator attention flags (with the message you provided) and spam/offensive flags. It also provides a link to the post and a description of any moderator actions that were taken post-flagging. If the post is deleted, the link will be highlighted. This is visible even if you are sub-10k, but naturally you cannot properly follow the link. Below is an example entry from my own flag history:

It'd be an even longer entry had I flagged it at the start.

It's not an audit of what the dismissal resolution is, but for the points made in my main answer, I don't believe that is much more necessary or will provide true additional benefit. This system will provide information on what actually happened to the flagged post, which you can compare to what reason you gave to determine more accurately whether your flagging behavior was truly off-mark or not.

  • Close enough :) – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 16:50
  • But I have no idea what this means: ♦ Post Closed, Post Locked, Mod Deletes Migration History, Post Unlocked, Post Reopened, Post Deleted, Edit Body, Post Locked – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 16:55
  • Must be a mod war :) – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 16:55
  • @status It means, in order - "This post has been closed, then locked, then the migration history was deleted, the post was unlocked, reopened, consequently deleted, got edited, and finally locked." That can all be done by one user (for example, the huge one in my sample image is all my doing), or it could be done by multiple moderators. Those who have permission to view the post (so, anyone for live posts and >10k for deleted) can always check the revision history of the post to see who exactly did it all. – Grace Note Mar 29 '11 at 16:58
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    Thank you, @Grace, now I am only crying on the inside. – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 16:59
  • @Grace - the edit history makes a lot of sense. If you're curious - here's the post: stackoverflow.com/posts/5438347/revisions – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 17:01
  • @status Contrary to what one might expect with my Meta reputation, I've only got ~1400 reputation on Stack Overflow. – Grace Note Mar 29 '11 at 17:02
  • No kidding! I'd give you some of mine, but I lost around 2000 after a bunch of my stuff got banished to Programmers.SE (for the better, in the long run). – user27414 Mar 29 '11 at 17:03

Honestly speaking? A "flag weight audit" strikes me about as useful to learning from your mistakes as never getting comments on your downvotes would help.

Before I explain my analogy to downvotes, let us first preface this with the issue that flags stick around on deleted posts. For users with less than 10k, they wouldn't be able to see what the flag they made necessarily was, especially if there were multiple problem posts in one question. This makes the audit trail a bit more difficult to follow for some users. There are ways to work around this, but it's still something to be mindful of. Onto the analogy.

Under the current system (as well as how things always were before the flag weight was visible!), you're blind until a moderator contacts you to explain that you've been making a bunch of flagging blunders and should stop. If we had an audit system, then it would tell you the simple essence of "This is what you flagged" and "This is what happened to the flag". It's a bit of light but you still probably need to stumble a lot to get any good learning.

When it comes to dismissed flags, this is the same as getting a downvote with no explanation. A downvoted post tells you in a general sense "Oh, there's probably something wrong in some fashion", but you get no guidance. If you're lucky and insightful, or if the flaw is glaring, you might be able to divine what the downvote was for, and learn. But often a reasonable post gets a downvote and you're simply stumped for what the flaw is after a thorough analysis. It ends up pointless to dwell on it until an explanation is received, and thus nothing is really learned.

Dismissed flags operate the same way. On some clear-cut cases, it will be clear what the dismissal was for. The visible context isn't always enough to explain why a flag gets invalidated, though. Sometimes, you will even get flags dismissed as invalid when you're flagging similar content for similar reasons as your valid flags, because of special circumstances for the particular instance. And there's also the valid point that incorrect flags can still get dismissed as valid because they still led to an entirely different action being taken. Speaking from experience, most invalid dismissals on Gaming that I deal with are less bad flagging practices and more just minor missteps.

The strict values of dismissal don't really give a lot of information as to the reason behind why your flags may have been inappropriate or otherwise improper. If you're interested in learning from your flagging mistakes, the why of it being a mistake is fairly important, and a simple play-by-play audit isn't going to provide that information.

  • How do I tell which flags were dismissed? – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 18:52
  • @status Currently? As mentioned, by getting contacted by a moderator. Some moderators don't mind getting asked about the status of a flag, as well. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 18:58
  • @Grace - I'd only get contacted if I was way off target on my flags. What flags are dismissed only every once in awhile? I'd like to know what they were. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 18:59
  • @status Did you understand my analogy? It kinda explained why simply knowing "which flags were dismissed" doesn't really help you in learning from your mistakes. Also, you don't need to be way off-target - you just need to be sending bad flags in any mild quantity. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 19:00
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    If you're lucky and insightful, or if the flaw is glaring, you might be able to divine what the downvote was for, and learn. - I think the same applies to flags. I learn from my downvotes. Of course, it's imperfect. But at least I know what was downvoted. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 19:01
  • @status Yes, the same does apply to flags. That's what this entire post was saying. Now I'm a bit confused. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 19:02
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    You're arguing against a flag-weight audit, right? You're saying there's not enough value in there because you don't know why the flag was dismissed. I'm saying something is better than nothing. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 19:05
  • I'm going to be tied up for awhile, but maybe I'll catch you on chat later on. – user27414 Mar 25 '11 at 19:05
  • @status I'm saying that any point in which there was something feasible to learn about your flagging, it'll be told to you. Otherwise, due to how terribly incomplete the information you'd receive from an audit is, you could see a lot of false positives and false negatives that'd give a wrong impression of what was or was not bad flagging practice. Perhaps we'll catch each other in chat, but it'll have to be much later today. – Grace Note Mar 25 '11 at 19:08

Now, the dismissed flag count can be seen.
Your Flag History