Does flagging to trigger a PM also cause a flag?


Does this flag their post…because I don’t want to do that. But I do want to send a PM.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

What does the actual button say?

(Yes, it is a bit of a 2-in-1 dialog, but read the words on it, all of them.)


I know but it doesn’t say explicitly that it will not flag this user. Implied? It shouldn’t be implied.

See what I am saying?

You are clicking something that intends to do something different than PMing the user. That artifact of thinking carries to that option without saying something like, “Don’t worry, this will not flag the user only send them a private message”.

Flagging carries negative connotations.

Verbiage could use some clarification for dumb users like me. :smile:


From the UI perspective, I would have never realized that the flag icon would allow me to send a PM to the user. Fortunately, I love hovering over everything thanks to my obsession with helicopters (due, in no small part, to 80s action movies) and saw the accompanying text.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Fortunately, clicking on the user’s name or picture also allows you to send
a pm. Depends on the intent, if a friend of mine just made an offhand
racist remark, I might indeed want to trigger that conversation from a
flag, as in “ooh, you went a little too far there that time with the
thousandth meme image in a single post, Frank.”


Ha! ok you got me. I’m a meme abuser, but look, everyone has their vices.


Going through the user card will work.

(Anton) #9

I too think that making the option description text say it won’t send a flag actually is a good thing.
It is not mentioned there now and can be hard to guess at times for some people.

Still, personally, I have always known that there will be no flag sent - this was intuitive.
Also, I’m okay that it is under the flag icon - makes sense for me.

(Caue Rego) #10

The button also says:

privately flag this post for attention or send a private notification about it

But I agree with Frank there. It shouldn’t be so implicit, in the longer description.

Why not instead of

This post contains something I want to talk to this person directly and privately about.

You do something like

This post contains something I want to talk to this person directly and privately about. So, send a customized private message only:

Or, better yet, make the flagging even more clear. Looks like the 3 first options today (Off-Topic, Innappropriate and Spam) are actually flags, while the later 2 (notify) are some kind of private messages, as the button changing name clues upon.

I’d add a separation line there and a subtitle:

Notify - just send a private message:
( _ ) Notify codinghorror
This post contains something I want to talk to this person directly and privately about.
( _ ) Notify moderators
This post requires general moderator attention based on the guidelines, TOS, or for another reason not listed above.

Visually separate post flagging options from PMing
(Jeff Atwood) #11

Notify moderators option is a flag+pm. So the above post is incorrect.

This particular option is essentially a pressure relief valve.

Do you have brothers or sisters? And when you complained to your parents about some problem with your siblings, do you remember them saying “don’t involve us, go work it out with your brother / sister!”

That’s the intent here. It’s a short-circuit that intentionally avoids sending a flag, the only option in the dialog that does not cast a flag. It is the “work it out yourselves” option that needs to be in the menu. You can’t always run to mom and dad (or the moderators, or the police, or the government…) when you have problems — people need to be encouraged to be adults and talk to each other to work out their problems.

After some thought, it is indeed a significantly different option than the others in the dialog – for important reasons I explained above – so I am fine with making that more explicit. I just changed it to:

This post contains something I want to talk to this person directly and privately about. Does not cast a flag.

(Caue Rego) #12

This looks like Dr Evil having an idea, but sounds perfect to me! :smiley:


That looks good. Implicit.

(Jeff Atwood) #14

Yep you were right about this.

(Allen - Watchman Monitoring) #16

The PM option from the flag menu is far more relevant than one created by clicking on a user’s avatar.

I’d love to have that “direct PM about this topic” option a little easier to see… just doesn’t seem to belong in the Flag options at all.

(Jeff Atwood) #17

As stated; it is there for a reason. Do you have brothers or sisters?

(Allen - Watchman Monitoring) #18

While having it there is a great feature, and the resulting PM is wonderful in how it references the original post.

My point is that as a non-admin, I’d never think to click the Flag button to find it.

Ideally that same option would be visible if I clicked the Avatar of a user… Private Message and another PM About this post or some name like that.

To extend your metaphor, Mom or Dad will very likely go to flag their kid, and see this more appropriate option, but two kids are more likely to go right to each other (click the Avatar).

Now that I know the nice option is in the Flag menu, it really doesn’t matter to me (list-Dad) I think it would be nice if the cool PM-about-this-post option was more obvious to other members.

(Jeff Atwood) #19

So your complaint is that clicking or tapping the avatar to send a PM does not insert a link to the current post. We could add that, I don’t see it as a world ending cataclysmic show stopper personally, but not opposed to it in any way.

(Allen - Watchman Monitoring) #20

Agreed, not a show stopper, but yes, I feel that being able to access the same “send a message about this particular post” option when clicking a user’s avatar would be huge benefit to site admins (and just flow better in general)

(Jeff Atwood) #21

Thanks for the reminder – we had this request on a few sites so @zogstrip added it. You can try it out yourself here, just click or tap the avatar and select PM to see what happens. A link to the current post is now included.

(Allen - Watchman Monitoring) #22

This came in handy when I wanted to send a followup just now too.

Thanks for the feature-add

(Régis Hanol) #24