In the spirit of this post, I'd like to point out a particular part of the Be Nice policy which, IMO, doesn't get quoted often enough:
If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.
I suspect a lot of the less-than-friendly comments that have been tolerated come from people who:
actually have a point;
feel the need ...
See updated flag dialogue text and explanation in the question.
Somehow, having two different options with the same subtext "The comment violates our Code of Conduct." doesn't fly with me. Maybe the first one can be changed into something like "The comment violates our Code of Conduct in a particularly aggravating way." or ...
My one word of caution with this is that we have a (significant?) number of users here for whom English is not a first language, or a second, or even any (anecdotally, I have seen a number of questions asked in Google English).
Given this, constructions such as
I'm not asking rhetorically; I really want to help you with this, I
just want to be sure ...
Adam makes it happen!
This is the new UI for flagging comments:
(for reference this was the old UI)
The first flag replaces the former "rude or offensive" flag; the last replaces "other". The middle flag - "no longer needed" - is new, and is intended to cover all of "too chatty", "obsolete", and the non-abusive uses of "not constructive".
I'll be ...
Decline explanation: After comparing the flag data on Stack Overflow during the period between October 23, 2018 to January 23, 2019 and the same period last year, the indication is that that while there is an increase in these flags overall - 69% more flags - they're actually declined less frequently - 21.6% of the time, down ...
So, it looks like some vague intent to tackle "unwelcoming" comments is still on cards. I'm mostly going to echo points that I've been making since the "welcoming" drive started:
Critical comments on answers are more important than critical comments on questions because they (generally) contain technical corrections to the material in ...
100% agree comment flags need updating. But the "regular user" in me is screaming that I'm going to be using that 'other' flag reason a lot more than those listed because (1) they don't cover the real-world problems I most want to flag, and (2) they're primarily describing the effect of these comments rather than identifying the problem I'm ...
You start with 10 flags per day.
Based on your reputation and flagging history, you can end up with as many as 100 per day.
Currently, that means you get an extra flag per day for every 2000 reputation points or 10 net helpful flags (helpful-declined).
Since you have an insane number of helpful flags, you're maxed out at 100 per day.
I, for one, appreciate the new "unfriendly or unkind" category as something quite distinct from "rude or abusive." (Or even "no longer needed.")
In the past, I've left alone what I've felt to be sarcastic comments (backhanded criticism) because I haven't felt there was a proper "bucket" to flag them under. Comments like that are a bit subtle, and might not ...
Preface: This answer will be written with Stack Overflow-coloured glasses because the comment snark issue is topical there right now.
Let's start with an allegory:
If your house has a sign outside that says "Do not track mud in", because you want to keep it clean so that it's a nice environment for everyone who uses it; and someone walks in tracking mud, ...
Since one of the most common reasons a comment is removed is obsolescence, we should at least be able to flag comments as obsolete after having upvoted them.
The workaround to this problem is to flag the question or answer itself, with a custom moderator attention flag, explaining the situation and requesting the comment(s) be removed.
Source: jrg♦'s ...
Absolutely concur. We had a lot of conflict issues on RPG.SE, but then we made it clear that Be Nice applies equally to:
All of the above on Meta too
Mod messages/responses (yes, several folks have found out that if they respond to a mod message with a stream of invective they get pushed right up to the next ...
When should I flag a comment?
When it will be shown to future readers but offers them nothing of value, or what value it has is overshadowed by the comment being unfriendly or outright rude.
There are many different sorts of comments that qualify here, roughly categorized by the flagging dialogue itself:
The first two flags address similar behavior ...
When should moderators delete comments?
Same advice as for flaggers: when they offer no currently applicable constructive requests for improvement to the post.
Moderators may generally process comment flags without much deliberation: if it doesn't immediately appear to be needed, remove it; if it might be, leave it. There are almost always more useful things ...
What about showing users privately statistics on the “unkind” flags marked "helpful" by moderators that their content has received? General statistics on how many people flagged and how many posts were flagged may help folks understand how their posts are negatively impacting people and might ease some of the burden on moderators if it becomes necessary to ...
When should moderators move comments to chat?
This option is available at any time from the mod menu on any post with comments:
How you use it depends on the situation. Keep in mind that you can only move comments to chat once for a given post, so consider carefully whether to use it or not. If the comments continue after moving them, you must resort to ...
When should I delete my own comment?
When it offers nothing of value to either the author of the post or to future readers. This is particularly important when the comment is shown by default on page load - if readers need not opt-in to reading it, it should offer them something of value.
Try to avoid leaving long comment threads "broken" by ...
This suggestion is coming up with increasing frequency in various forms; one of my colleagues expressed amazement this morning that we don't already do this - he'd spent the morning cleaning up after an abusive comment-author, only to find this person had kept right on leaving abusive comments the whole while.
Journeyman and Catija have suggested a couple ...
It turns out that this limitation exists only in the UI — the Stack Exchange backend is perfectly happy to accept flags for comments you've upvoted, it's only the button to bring up the flag dialog that's missing.
With that in mind, I've come up with a simple user script to restore the missing flag buttons:
Repeating my answer on the old suggestion:
no longer needed: this comment is obsolete, chatty or otherwise unnecessary
Before this wording is cast in stone:
The title No longer needed suggests that this flag is only to be used on content that was needed at some point in time. Going by the detailed explanation and experience, this is not the intention of ...
When should moderators edit comments?
Almost never. Comments have no publicly visible revision history (the changes are logged in case of abuse, but these are only visible to moderators). Therefore, it is critical that moderator edits do not misrepresent the author's meaning or intentions. Edits may be appropriate in the following scenarios:
To fix typos ...
That's exactly what the obsolete flag is for. Flag away!
Comments are, by their very nature, transitional. Flagging helps keep them under control and tidied up. Note that if a comment has been flagged multiple times, it'll be auto-removed, so you are not overly burdening the janitoCTRL+Wmoderators when flagging comments, provided we all do our bit.
The new flagging dialog has a vastly reduced clickable area
and, not to put too fine a point on it, that sucks.
In most other similar prompts on the site (e.g. the previous flagging prompt, if I remember correctly, or the vote-to-close prompt) the text below the headers is clickable, i.e. the area in blue:
Not so in this incarnation as ...
George's concern - and my concern, raised in a couple of places, elsewhere over the years - are still valid... Seeing who raises a flag stands a good chance of prejudicing the moderator handling that flag, particularly in sensitive situations involving personality clashes.
This isn't a theoretical concern. It has happened, and in some cases it has caused ...
Rather than answer in comments, I'll address the perception problem
I am borrowing two ideas from @Erik von Asmuth and @Troyen in their comments under the question: if the problem identified by Jon Ericson is one of perception and impressions left on casual and new users, then SE can change the optics of the comments under questions and / or answers. Erik ...
Comments aren't any more useful just because they're few in number.
Here's a few examples of short comment threads which I would flag on sight as a non-mod and delete as a mod, and on which flags are very easy to handle:
(on a post by UserA)
UserB: You've made a typo in the second paragraph: [...] should be [...]
UserA: @UserB Thanks, fixed!
(on an ...
While we are discussing this change, this feature could be better applied only to lower-rep users instead of everyone (but this should probably be a feature-request).
In the meantime, I have created a temporary fix for those who are already familiar with the comment action icons and wish for them to remain hidden until the comment is hovered upon:
Happy to announce that ability to retract a comment flag is now live network-wide. If you can flag a comment, then you can retract that flag.
It works in a similar way to post flag retractions - click on the activated flag, and confirm in the resulting modal that you would like to retract the flag. Note: you cannot reflag the same flag on the same comment ...
One of the main reasons we're in this mess is because SE chose to disregard one of the oldest most cherished rules in the network: we do not discuss the details of moderation actions in public. Can we please try to do better and stop trying to drag all the ugly into the light?
A user was given a short suspension by the MSE moderators. The details are ...