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136 votes
Accepted

Cancel misclicked flags

This is now completed and as of August 2016, live network-wide. Note that if you're a moderator (and thus your flags are authoritative), there's no retracting. Also, close flags get converted into ...
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  • 12.3k
124 votes

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

I see a very big difference between moving to 4 or to 5 automatic flags. I wouldn't have any issue with 4 flags, but 5 flags means that only a single user is required to nuke the post. This would ...
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109 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

Stack Exchange has its own spam detection and prevention system. If I understand its design goal correctly it prevents spam from even being posted. What SmokeDetector finds are basically the posts ...
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  • 80.3k
105 votes

Why don't we treat rubbish the same as spam?

I'm assuming that's not what "abusive" in this reason is referring to Abusive means what it says. Don't overthink this. Look... The problem folks have with these is that they see the pile of ...
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  • 433k
102 votes
Accepted

Allow moderators to flag comments normally

This has been fixed, thanks for posting! Moderators can now flag comments with the "Something else" reason so that they can draw comments to the attention of other moderators on their team. ...
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  • 6,400
75 votes

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

The biggest advantage I see in how the Smoke Detector project has operated thus far is its transparency: one of the most frustrating aspects of using these sites is how difficult it can be to ...
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  • 433k
72 votes
Accepted

Should the number of helpful flags be public to anyone?

The helpful flags count is not private or sensitive information that users should need to hide from other users. Anyone can already tell if a specific user has hit the 80 or 500 mark by simply looking ...
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  • 183k
71 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

We determined we can beat those numbers and eliminate spam from Stack Overflow and the rest of the network even faster. (Emphasis mine) What, if any, work have you done to ensure the robustness of ...
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  • 10.8k
69 votes

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

The thing that concerns me about 5 auto-flags is that sometimes users are wrong and now it only takes one user to spam-delete a post. A statistic that would help me better evaluate this is: on each ...
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68 votes
Accepted

Question flags, queues, edits, roomba, community♦, how does this actually work?

Phew, this was a really long request. It took a long time to work through all of this, but I'm going to try. As you've mentioned a lot of this has been documented in multiple places - MSE, MSO, help ...
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  • 51k
68 votes
Accepted

A call for emergency moderation/tools on the sites that most need it

When I think of this whole debacle, I'm reminded of a King of the Hill episode from decades back. I can't point you to an exact episode number, but I recall this exchange. A manager at Strickland ...
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  • 46.2k
61 votes

A guide to moderating comments

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 ...
53 votes

A guide to moderating comments

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 ...
53 votes

Cultural relativism and the "Offensive" flag

Context matters. In this case, the question specifically asks "Why are girls in Islam forced to fully cover their body in loose clothes and can't wear makeup?" and the answerer responds with why they ...
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  • 60.1k
52 votes

A call for emergency moderation/tools on the sites that most need it

Can you please instantiate some emergency procedure of asking willing members of the community if they'd volunteer and step up to handle flags, until a more permanent solution can be made? I do not ...
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  • 6,101
50 votes

A guide to moderating comments

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 ...
50 votes
Accepted

Set a benchmark on acceptable behaviour

Set a benchmark on acceptable behaviour Okay! Sounds like a good idea to me, let's do it -- oh, wait. Be Nice is the benchmark. If what you say doesn't fall within acceptable bounds as defined by ...
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  • 35.9k
49 votes

A guide to moderating comments

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 ...
47 votes

Cultural relativism and the "Offensive" flag

I'm a moderator on one of the religion sites (Mi Yodeya). We contend with possibly-offensive and actually-offensive posts fairly often. In my opinion and experience the guiding principle in handling ...
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45 votes

A call for emergency moderation/tools on the sites that most need it

There was another answer on here that said: Essentially what you are asking for are strikebreakers: https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Strikebreaker While useful to the entity in power (read: Stack Exchange ...
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  • 6,101
45 votes

Is posting doxxing information ever acceptable?

Likely covered by existing policy in the form of the Acceptable Use Policy? (Some emphasis mine.) Identity Theft and Privacy. Users that misleadingly appropriate the identity of another person are ...
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  • 46.2k
44 votes

How do we stop users from using the "spam" flag when there is no "promotion of a product or service"?

The moderator flag queue is biased towards bad spam flags. Posts that are deleted by 6 spam flags from the community have their flags marked helpful. This removes the flags from the moderator queue. (...
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  • 35.9k
42 votes

Add a warning for low reputation users (15-49) upon flagging for moderator

The real solution to this is to simply expand the ability to cast standard close flags down to the reputation level where you can start flagging. It's my understanding that the reason for the 50-rep ...
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  • 60.1k
41 votes

A guide to moderating comments

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, ...
41 votes

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

Art mentioned this in a comment: However, while some people are more zealous than others in flagging I dunno whether bad luck, or good that it occurred, this happened yesterday: The red color ...
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  • 10.7k
39 votes

Community downvotes posts that were just fixed

Personally, I think the edit action should dismiss the flag as disputed, which is actually what it did for a long time and I thought it still did. I was never able to figure out when the change ...
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  • 183k
37 votes

How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?

What is the not an answer flag? The not an answer flag (NAA) is a flag to indicate that someone used the "answer the question" box to post something that isn't really an answer. It usually ...
37 votes
Accepted

Where did the "Spam" and "Rude" flags go?

Adding this as an answer for visibility: thanks for bringing this to my attention- just pushed out a fix. I had added flagging to election nominations and accidentally included a bad check. This ...
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36 votes
Accepted

Show us who submitted offensive and comment flags

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 ...
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  • 433k
36 votes

Can we remove the 5 second rate limiting on comment flags?

As a moderator I would rather see atomic flag groups -- a way to indicate that several comments are part of the same "incident", with mods able to handle them together. (This is what you suggest in ...
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