Moderator discussion of spam, etc. flags

Some user flags, like spam, do not generate a (private) Message topic. We often use those topics to discuss what action to take. It’s probably fine that the initial flagger (assuming not a mod himself) isn’t part of this discussion, but it would be good to have a reply or start a discussion topic on the flag interface. Otherwise, we’d need to create a separate one to have a discussion about what to do, which means extra work and so often doesn’t happen.


Like a checkbox to optionally create a private message topic for moderators?

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That’s not a bad idea for that dialog. But even if the flagging user didn’t have anything to say beyond the semantics of the flag, the moderators might, and it makes sense to have it connected to the flag, I think.

If I’m understanding what you are asking for it’s like a button to start a PM on flags that don’t auto create one? That sounds like it makes sense to me as making a PM for every spam flag is probably not needed, but something might be questionable rather than obvious and having a PM tied to the flag would then be useful.

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A workaround for the moment: click through to the flagged post, and then initiate your own custom flag to start a discussion with the moderation team. It’s an extra step or two over having a built in feature for it, but it’s still a pretty smooth workflow.


I think what the OP is asking for is the ability to create a moderators only message from the flag admin page, at least for flags that don’t have a message already attached. Perhaps it should even be an option for all flags, as sometimes there may be a need for the moderators to discuss a custom flag where the flag creator cannot see, but still have it conveniently linked to the flag.


A little late to the party, but I just became a mod on, which uses discourse.

Another drawback to the workaround is that there is no way to link to the flag, or otherwise directly reference it in a PM. This can become problematic when old flags need to be referenced, as they are not able to be linked to.

Also, if one of my fellow mods closes a flag, I have no indication what was done - the flag itself does not specify. Adding the PM option would allow resolution descriptions to be posted only if necessary. Most likely this would be easier than adding additional options of how the flag was handled directly on the flag page.

The reply option to flags if they are opened with “something else” is what I see the template being most effectively set up as. Adding a “reply” option that PMs “@ moderators” would alleviate both problems, without introducing auto-spam to moderators, because the option to create the PM would be available on an “as-needed” basis.


A bit of a bummer, since that double flags the post. Our improvements to group private messaging might enable a better solution down the road somewhere on this.

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Couldn’t there simply be another button to go with agree, disagree, defer, and delete? Something along the lines of “Discuss”, that creates a PM with @moderators just like the something else flag does?


Right about now I could use a merge threads tool ; -)

I didn’t explain myself as eloquently, but I am also seeing a hitch in the modding tools for this area.


“Old” tab shows decision logs. You can find who permit or reject the flag and even deletion.

This sounds a quite reasonable feature request. For a flag, you can:

  1. approve
  2. reject
  3. defer
  4. delete
  5. (new option) discuss

It may be included in defer option.


This is still a good idea; I added this to the long term todo topic in #releases


I’m curious if this ever got implemented and if it was, how it works? Our moderator team has been trying to understand how they can best discuss flagged topics. At this time, it seems only ‘custom’ flagged posts have this ability.

It has not been implemented yet, still in the long term todo topic.

The workaround solution I’ve seen used on other sites is to have a topic (or topics) in a moderator only category that are started when discussion is needed. Not as clean as a “discuss” button in the flag queue, but it seems to work pretty well.


Continuing the discussion from Human-driven copy-paste spam:

Previous topics in #community have talked about the importance of talking with your fellow moderators about tough decisions, but the admin flag page doesn’t really facilitate discussion about tough flag decisions.
So let’s help them out.

My proposal is to add a new resolution button/option to the flag queue page named “Escalate” or “Discuss” or “Create Topic” that:
(or: “Agree… > Agree and Discuss”)

  • gives the staff member a textbox to write a brief summary of their concerns
  • creates a new topic in #staff with a link to the flagged post and an appropriate title
    • and links to any custom-flag topics, for community follow-up
  • defers the flag (for custom flags, this creates the “we’re looking into it” reply) (or agrees with the flag)

The staff can then discuss in that topic and then take action on the post.

preliminary copy:
action agree title: Agree and Discuss
action agree subhead: Discuss with your fellow staff members before taking action
action defer title: Defer and Discuss
action defer subhead: Discuss with your fellow staff members about the post
topic title: Flagged post in “Topic Name”
topic category: staff_category_id
topic body:

Regarding the ${count} flags on this post:

%{if link}Custom flags: ${flag_link}, ${flag_link}, ${flag_link}%{end}


Reminder: Usually, only a second agreement is enough to take moderator action. For more tips, see the Discourse Moderation Guide.


I believe @jomaxro already has a topic about this, so this’d be a dupe. Worth it for him to check.

This is also a fair bit of work for what’s honestly quite rare – plus, there’s already a way to handle this. You can easily manually create a discussion topic in the staff category as needed, and I find that “let’s discuss behavior X and whether it is something we want or not” is a far more useful discussion than “let’s discuss flag X”.

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I didn’t start it, but the topic is Moderator discussion of spam, etc. flags. The topic is marked #planned, and adding “discuss” to the flag queue is also listed in the long term Upcoming feature to-do list.

FTR, I’m still in favor of this feature. Not as much here on Meta (as we just take temp discussion into chat), but other sites could really use it.


A “planned” would be good enough IMHO. It isn’t often that moderators want to discuss something like “why was this Flagged?” In most cases the “something else” that allows discussion works fine. When a discussion is wanted that doesn’t have an associated topic (eg. a trusted member Flags as inappropriate but the Moderator isn’t sure why), using Slack works for now.

Prior to using Slack, we used a special “Reports” category with topics referencing posts. Because Slack was less cumbersome that category has since been abandoned in favor of Slack.

So I think having a way for forums that don’t have an external communication option that had an easier workflow would be a good thing.

The mods on my forum regularly discuss flags. It would be handy to be able to start a mod conversation directly from the flag dialog.


Maybe late to the party on this one, just wondering how to check the status of this feature request? We too could use a “Discuss Flag” option!