Okay, so this is a decent argument by a few of our staff (consolidated the different points together):
Apparently, this is now the expected behaviour, which has changed since we did our moderation testing back in April/May.
Our moderation guidelines were built on the premise that hidden posts were actually hidden, and I wonder if we need to amend them in the light of this? Many of the members who make problem posts only post once and never return. Their posts could therefore remain indefinitely, freely available for all to view - even non-logged-in visitors, I’ve discovered. And anybody can quote the “hidden” content and make it visible, which was an issue apparently fixed previously:
Flagged content can be shown
(It can now only be quoted by highlighting and using “quote reply”, but I imagine that’s what most folk would do by default.)
And the link to the post is freely available for anybody to share, although (as far as I can tell), the text doesn’t display if the link is pasted into another post.
Given that there is a limited timeframe in which members can edit “hidden” posts (I can’t remember what it is, but I think it’s a couple of days), I wonder if there’s now an argument for saying that hidden posts over a week old (or whatever) should be deleted? I realise it would be a nightmare to keep track and delete such posts systematically, but at least we could delete any we come across. That would also help prevent threads filling up with “This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.” messages, which decent members would have to scroll through, and which would, IMO, create a bad impression.
These are really good points and I’d like to know how you’d expect us to handle these.