What is flagging?
Flagging is a way of bringing inappropriate content to the attention of the community. The currently implemented flag types are the following:
- Spam (i.e. undiscriminated bulk advertisement)
- Rude or abusive
- Not an answer (answers only)
- Flag to close (questions only)
- Duplicate question
- Off-topic (with sub-reasons)
- Unclear what you're asking
- Too broad
- Primarily opinion-based
- Very low quality (i.e. no amount of editing can salvage the post) (posts scoring 0 or less, under 7 days old, and not already in review only; not available on closed questions)
- in need of moderator intervention
If you are ever confused over which flagging reason to choose, please follow the links below:
- Usage guide for spam and rude/abusive
- Usage guide for not an answer
- Guide to off-topic flags
- Usage guide for very low quality
- Guide to comment flags
When should I flag?
If anything happens on our site that makes you feel uncomfortable or that, in your opinion, clearly does not belong here, please flag it and bring it to our attention!
How do I flag?
Click the flag link under any post and you will see the pop-up dialog pictured below.
Click the flag icon to the left of the comment you want to flag and you will see the pop-up dialog pictured below.
What happens when I flag something as spam or abusive?
The spam and abusive flags are designed to automatically eliminate truly disruptive posts through the collaboration of the community.
- 3 flags -- post is banished from the front page.
- 6 flags -- post is locked, deleted, and the owner loses 100 reputation.
What happens when I flag a comment?
In addition to bringing the comment to the attention of the moderators, a sufficient number of flags on a single comment will cause it to be deleted automatically. The number of flags required for deletion varies based on the number of votes on the comment, as well as the content of the comment itself.
What happens when I flag something as in need of moderator intervention?
You'll be required to enter a comment clearly explaining what the problem is. After that, these moderator flags go in a special high priority queue visible to all moderators. (Users with the Moderator Tools privilege cannot view these flags.) We take moderator flags quite seriously; rest assured that they are all followed up on!
Is there any way to remove flags?
If, while your flag is still waiting to be handled, you re-open the flag dialog, you'll be presented with the option to retract your pending flag:
You cannot raise the same type of flag twice on a post: for example, if you retract a "spam" flag, you won't be able to raise a spam flag or an abusive flag in the future.
Retract flags only when you're sure there's no need for the post to be flagged, or you become convinced that a more serious type of flag is needed.
What happens to flags?
Many flags are handled by other members of the site like yourself, who've earned review privileges. Close flags, Not an Answer, and Very Low Quality are primarily handled this way.
Some flags can be handled by the system itself: a sufficient number of Spam, Abusive or comment flags results in immediate action (the deletion of whatever was flagged).
Moderators may step in to handle flags that aren't handled by ordinary members of the site or the system.
Finally, flags that aren't processed in a reasonable amount of time age away: rude/abusive and spam flags expire after 48 hours (and are removed immediately if the post is rolled back to a revision prior to the one which was flagged); close flags expire after between 4-14 days (depending on other votes and views).
You can view the outcome of your past flags at any time by clicking on "helpful flags" in your profile.
How many flags do I have?
When you start out, you are allotted 10 flags per day. This number may increase to up to 100 flags per day:
- You get one bonus flag per 2000 reputation.
- You are awarded additional bonus flags when you flag correctly - one bonus flag for every ten net helpful flags (helpful flags minus declined flags).