Forum Flagging System Explanation


Dear Forum Users!

Since we transitioned to Discourse, we have noticed several questions and concerns about the flagging system in replacement of the old reporting system on the old forum. This topic will briefly explain the flagging system, and addresses the main concern we have seen.

What is the Flagging System?
The flagging system utilizes community-based moderation to regulate posts on the forum, while also allowing moderators to review flags and take appropriate actions if needed. It is basically a form of partial reporting, partial self-moderation.

How does it work?

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You can flag a post by clicking on the β€œ. . .” icon at the bottom right of any post you wish to flag / report. Click the Flag icon. Once you click on it, a box will pop up with several different options. Select a reason that will be shown to staff, and click β€œFlag Post” to send it.

Show Example

First, click the β€œ. . .” icon

Then, click the Flag icon.

Finally, select a preset reason or choose Something Else and write your reason.

Once the flag is sent into our queue, we can review it with options to agree, disagree, among other things. Additionally, once a post is flagged enough times, it will be automatically hidden and the user who was flagged will receive a message by the @system account to edit the post. The post will still be visible to community members, they will just have to click an extra button to view it while it is hidden. You can take this opportunity to edit the post and make it un-hidden, but bear in mind that moderators can still take action if the post still violates the rules after an edit.

Since it incorporates self moderation, can it be used to abuse other members?

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This is, by far, the most common concern we’ve seen thus far. The answer is no.

The only effect of self moderation this system incorporates is the ability for a post to be hidden until it is edited by the user. While this may cause some concern, be assured that any actual moderation actions can still only be done by moderators. Plus, as mentioned before, users can still view hidden posts, it is only when moderators take further action when they may completely disappear from user view.

We review every flag and have additional options to perform content moderation, and can agree / disagree to flags just as if they are reports on the old forum. We do have the ability to un-hide a post if the flag is deemed to not require action. We will, of course, never act on flags that were falsely made, and will only act when there is a violation of the Community Guidelines.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out privately to a Forum Moderator via private message. We will be happy to answer your questions!

~ The Forum Moderation Team