One of the worse nightmares of a moderator is when a topic gets heated and users go way off topic, not corresponding to the main post. There are different ways to handle this situation but it always become unfair to the users who are willing to discuss in a peaceful manner. For instance:
Especially when your flag counts a lot, it may result in the spammers post to become blurred. I know, moderators and staff can manually remove those comments but what if these members keep posting and posting without following the guidelines? I know the answer… the topic should get closed. That’s when it becomes unfair to the aforementioned users. Why would one have to wait for some time to be able to post, when a specific group doesn’t want to comply with the rules or they are in a bad mood? Of course, this can be dealt with warnings and bans, but I believe there should be an easier way than that. That’s why I am proposing a system, where the site moderators and admins will have the ability to call a timeout and have users take a deep breath & come back later.
This action will allow mods / admins to stop (or even prevent) a discussion from becoming a mess. To be more specific, if a user gets a timeout, each time they will try to post a new reply, they will receive a friendly notice with the message:
Mhhh, we appreciate your willingness to respond but we believe your precious posts doesn’t match the OP’s topic. You will be allowed to reply again in [time out - time decided by the assigned moderator)
This will save many clicks and it will work as a quick and effective countermeasure even against trolls.