Continuing the discussion from "Subflags"/anotations as part of flags:
I found that older topic searching exactly for this sort of thing before posting anew. To add new perspective:
- We have a Code of Conduct with a list of specific rules
- We want flaggers to identify which rules are being violated
- with checkboxes ideally (a post might violate more than one rule)
- the checked reasons should be included in the flag message
- It makes sense to allow an anonymous inclusion of some arbitrary text explanation inserted into the system message sent to the flaggee
- being able to quote specific items to be appropriate and potentially useful but less essential
This is not about annotation as a goal. This is about encouraging users to think about and consider the Code of Conduct. It makes flaggers review the Code to think about what the violation(s) are. It makes it clearer to the poster how they went wrong (and thus how to fix it).
Flagging more often, edits expected, not just serious violations
In my view, the goal isn’t to think of flags as only used rarely for real transgressions. They are to be used for all the times that discussions are just going badly or for a condescending remark or anything that is toxic to optimal communication. Since it’s easy to slip there, flagging should be encouraged, but the expectation is edit-and-fix. And the process reminds everyone of the Code of Conduct which will help them build good habits.
PM’s invite responses
In my view, relying on PM’s to provide context encourages people to reply, like to explain themselves or defend their transgression etc. With a PM, it’s less “look, just fix with an edit and let’s get back to the real topic” and can instead feel more like a confrontation with some response expected (the main action is clearly “reply”).
Besides, there’s a lot of value in providing anonymous feedback when flagging. If the feedback itself isn’t fair, then staff can be asked to step in.
Think of flagging as a special form of “reaction”
Just as “like” / “love” buttons help avoid extraneous reply posts, the goal of flagging is to get the issues fixed without having back and forth discussions (except when users really think a discussion is the way to go, then sure, they can).
Point is: flagging is a way to stop toxic communication at the very start of it. It shouldn’t be focused on the issue of getting rid of bad actors. Far more of us are well-intended people who just slip because communication is hard.
Continual reminders of Code of Conduct / guidelines and real cases where we see when we slip are very useful to keeping us all at our best.
So, final point: this is about helping people in the community get along well without mods stepping in. In our ideal system, a single flag is all it takes to hide and prompt editing and mods don’t even get notified of flags unless either the flagger and flaggee decides they need mod assistance.