Due to the misuse of the offensive flag on Youtube videos in chat, can we have separate spam and offensive flags in chat, and then disallow flagging Youtube videos as offensive?

  • The offensive flag is misused on comments sometimes too. Should we disallow it there?
    – John
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:22
  • 3
    Can we just not post offensive Youtube videos? (I did not view this particular one, so I'm not commenting on it.)
    – mmyers
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:25
  • 6
    Aren't some videos posted offensive, what would we do about them? Apr 7, 2011 at 20:27
  • Define "misuse" Apr 7, 2011 at 20:31
  • @Holocryptic: "Because you don't like it."
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:57
  • @R. Bemrose Offensive: causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying. I think that about covers it. Apr 7, 2011 at 21:00
  • @mmyers: The one linked in The Comm Room is a parody of Rebecca Black's Friday.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 21:00
  • @mmyers: The other one I didn't mention was a Rebecca Black Friday video now purged from The Bridge. I got suspended immediately after posting about the flag.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 21:05
  • @Holocryptic: How about as a joke? Which ultimately resulted in a 30 minute suspension for me?
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 21:08
  • @RBemrose Um... "I didn't mean to press ok but I clicked the wrong button, sorry" Apr 7, 2011 at 21:13
  • The biggest problem with this is the idea that videos can't be offensive. They absolutely can be.
    – Rob Moir
    Apr 11, 2011 at 11:36

3 Answers 3


I wholeheartedly agree that "youtube link to rebecca black" is absolutely not what the flag system is for. I tried to raise awareness that flagging is not "fun", as it brings a suspension with it. I guess I should stress it some more:

"Annoying" is not a valid flag reason.

By flagging an annoying message you expose it to all of the ~150 moderators and all 10kers on the site. You're advertising the annoying content, then getting a chuckle out of it when you see it removed.

You monster.

I regularly supervote "annoying" flags as invalid on chat.SE, and when I had 10k rep on meta I did the same as well (thank you Waffles). However, I'm not online 24/7.

That said, this sounds like a rant rather than an actual request. Just because people suck at flagging, it doesn't mean we should remove flagging.


Disallowing flagging Youtube videos is ridiculous; you can't just block it because one time someone flagged a Youtube video and you disagree. It's like saying people shouldn't be allowed to downvote questions tagged because one time you asked a question and got downvoted unfairly

Chat has the nice feature of letting users disagree with flags, which should dramatically reduce the chances of somebody getting banned incorrectly because their video was flagged when it shouldn't have been. If a video gets enough spam/offensive flags to hit the threshold without 10k users like yourself disagreeing fast enough to stop it, it probably really is spam or offensive

  • And yet, having been suspended for linking to Rebecca Black's Friday video after it was mentioned by another user in chat I know for a fact that your logic is wrong.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:50
  • 3
    @RBemrose So you posted a video everyone has already seen 400 times, and had already been linked by another user in the same room, and your post got flagged as spam? The system sounds like it's working just fine Apr 7, 2011 at 20:51
  • @Michael Mrozek: mentioned != linked
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:54
  • @MichaelMrozek: Oh, and thank you for giving a good reason for implementing the first part (separate spam and offensive flags) even if you disagree with the second.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 20:56
  • @RBemrose I'm not opposite to splitting spam and offensive flags, but I have no idea what the benefit is Apr 7, 2011 at 21:01
  • @MichaelMrozek: Context for the people evaluating the flag. If I flag something for being spam, it should be considered differently than something I flagged as offensive, particularly since you don't see said context in the valid/invalid dialog.
    – Powerlord
    Apr 7, 2011 at 21:04
  • I agree, but I worry about whether people totally ignore the auto-suspension aspect when deciding on these flags. That's probably a separate discussion, though.
    – Tim Stone
    Apr 8, 2011 at 0:06

I don't think your particular solution is a good way to handle this, but I'm very open to suggestions. We just had a case where two users were suspended because of a couple of music videos. I wouldn't make as much of it if most of the flaggers (who will of course remain anonymous) weren't fairly high-rep users who should know better.

To be clear, auto-suspension (for a short while) when your message gets removed as spam or offensive is a good thing and will not be removed – but apparently some people have very strange ideas what constitutes spam or offensive messages.

If there are any ideas how to improve this, I'm all ear.

  • 2
    Perhaps the wording in the UI could be modified to include mention that reaching the threshold includes suspension? Jul 5, 2011 at 23:32

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