Flagging is an in-built moderation measure in Discourse, intended to dissuade bad behavior and spam, as well as to promote civilised discourse.
If you want to raise an issue about a post without derailing the topic at hand, the best course of action is usually to flag it.
By default, clicking the flag button will present a user with the following options:
- Send a personal message to the user who created the post
- Flag it as:
- It’s Inappropriate
- Something Else
Marking a post as Off-Topic, Inappropriate or Spam will trigger a moderator notification so moderators may review the issue in their flag queue. If after 48 hours a flag is still in the flag queue without any action taken, an automatic PM will be sent to all moderators. (See also: What happens when you flag a post)
The content which is flagged may be subject to some automatic moderation:
- A post with 3 flags will be automatically hidden. Users may click-to-view the post.
- A staff member can use the “Take Action” button, which will cause this to happen immediately.
- When a post is automatically hidden due to flags, the user receives a PM informing them their post was flagged. After 10 minutes, the user may edit their post and it will be unhidden.
If another 3 flags occur, the post will be hidden again and editing will not unhide the post.
- A topic with 12 unresolved flags from at least 5 different users will be automatically closed until the moderators can intervene.
Users who receive multiple flags also face some consequences:
- A new (TL0) user whose post is flagged as spam 3 times from 3 different users will have all their posts hidden as a result.
- A user whose posts have accumulated 5 flags can not reach TL3.
- These flags do not revert, however for TL3 only flags within the last 100 days are counted.
- Only flags that a staff member agrees with count towards this limit. If a staff member ignores or disagrees with a flag, it isn’t counted as far as TL3 is concerned.
Note: All values mentioned above are the default settings. They can be changed by admins in site settings.