Even though the flag menu is extensive and promotes better flagging, we still have only three types of flags from a moderation standpoint:

  • Stuff the community can and is dealing with
  • Stuff the community can't deal with
  • Stuff the community isn't dealing with, but can. This usually happens on low view questions.

While making my moderator 'rounds' today, I found over 300 flags. Granted, that is a bit unusual for many, but I'm the only one in my particular time zone (GMT +8).

I'd like to attend to stuff that the community can't handle first. This may be:

  • Someone needing an account merge
  • Someone identified and reported a sock puppet
  • Someone reporting a rare sighting of a serial down voter in action, or other hostile behavior over time
  • All of the other things people put in 'other'

This is what I propose:

  • Inflate flag weight for 'other' flags until the user gives us a reason not to. Three bad 'others' sends them back to their normal spot in the pile.
  • Reward valid 'other' flags a bit higher if valid. These are how users directly communicate with us. It's more than just clicking a radio button and going on with your day. If someone takes the time to type something, they obviously have more of a vested interest in seeing it resolved.
  • Add a note under "other" that wrong answers / etc aren't serious problems and don't require moderator attention.

My hope is, we can service flags according to urgency as well as accuracy, which might help cut down on flags in general.

The alternate to that (more simply implemented perhaps?) is to give us a way to see the 'other' flags first. Give us the home grown stuff first, or the ability to see it first, before moving on to the canned goods :)

Final edit: I do realize that this system is undergoing changes, in fact many and is coupled with the moderator tools. Please treat this as a 'wish' for when things settle down, if needed :)


Perhaps add a 'requires more immediate attention' option, which degrades into the same weight as 'other' if several false positives are sent.

In short, the most trusted users don't always find the most urgent issues. We need to fix that.


This has been implemented. Flags can now be filtered by type.

2 Answers 2


Expanding on yms's answer, I wonder if the other category needs subdividing.

I'd be happy to have a way to indicate how urgent my flag is, but I know it might be abused. Off the top of my head (i.e. I haven't gone to check), my SO flags are, in decreasing order of frequency:

  • not an answer → not urgent, many of them have been there for a long time anyway
  • migration or close requests → usually not urgent (some of these are old stuff that fell through the cracks), occasionally more urgent (for bikeshed-type questions)
  • newbie in trouble, typically needs an account association → medium urgency (the guy's being told to update his question but has lost his cookie so he can't do what he's supposed to do)
  • spam → urgent but usually the 10kers will pick it up
  • something's going on, e.g. comment war → urgent

How about an urgent check box for users above a certain flag weight, with a higher flag weight penalty for misuse?

  • 2
    The problem is, almost anyone could see an urgent issue. That's why I added an 'auto squelch' idea in the feature request. It can't be abused for long and bogus flags are easily dismissed.
    – user50049
    Commented May 21, 2011 at 17:37

One remark: In my case I use the "other" flag to notify about duplicated/"should be migrated" questions, especially in low visibility topics (windows-ce or directshow tags for example). I suppose this does not fall in the "urgent" category.
Maybe I am using this flag in the wrong way, or maybe a new flag should be created specifically for these purposes. My point is, the "other" category is kind of a "wild card" for users who are not yet allowed to vote for questions to be migrated/closed/deleted etc. I wonder how much "noise" this kind of flagging is putting on the "other" category.


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