Posts are hidden after a single flag

Hi everyone,

I’m running into an issue in my community where posts are being autohidden after a single flag. After looking through the documentation on flags, this should only happen in two instances:

  1. A TL3 user is flagging a TL0 user
  2. A post has 3 flags

However, I’m seeing posts becoming autohidden outside of the above two situations. For instance, today a TL3 user flagged another TL3 user’s post, after which:
a) the post was autohidden before review
b) the user received a DM from system notifying them that multiple users have flagged their post.

From what I can tell, this is happening intermittently, but it’s causing a lot of confusion with my user base and customer service team. Has anyone else experienced this bug? Is this a known issue? Thanks in advance!


Steps to Reproduce:

  1. As a TL3 member, flag another TL3 member’s post once.

Expected Result:
The flagged post goes into review, but is not hidden.

Actual Result:
The flagged post goes into review and is autohidden.
The flagged user receives a DM notifying them that multiple people have flagged their post.

Post is hidden with a single flag:

3 Likes

cont’d

User receives this DM after a single flag

2 Likes

This is by design, if it is a spam flag being cast by a TL3 user on a TL0 (new) user post.

Beyond that, I think what happens now might depend on the flag reputation of the flagging user (and other settings), @eviltrout may need to answer this.

5 Likes

Yeah, originally I thought it was happening because it was a TL3 user flagging a TL0 user, but both of the users in my example are TL3 users.

Flag reputation of the flagging user is a good theory though. It might explain why this not all single flagged posts get autohidden. Will look into it further! Thanks

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I wrote up how user reputation, trust levels and priorities all work together in the new review queue:

7 Likes

This is super useful, thank you!!

Hi. :slight_smile: Will these settings provide a way to:

  1. not show any visible sign on a post (or to the member who made it) that it has been flagged, where it was flagged by 1 or 2 members (not enough to hide), and regardless of their weighting?

  2. keep notification set so that one flag notifies via email?

In other words, and I say this not from Ludditism or reluctance to change, to be able to set flags to act as they did before?

I have tried seeing how this new system settles in and it’s really not working for us at all, and is actually now creating tensions between members, and deterring people from flagging at all.

The forum I moderate discusses a lot of highly subjective topics that people take to heart, so the policy we had was to flag if you even suspect a post may be steering things in a negative direction.

This made it easy to catch things early, before they needed more than a guiding post or a friendly chat by PM, and it was working fantastically well, members were enthused about having this ability, and uptake has been incredible, as I described before here.

We could assure people that flags were confidential and nothing negative would happen, whereas now, people are posting “Who just flagged me and why?” which totally undermines the way this worked, and leaves a bad feeling for the person who cast the flag, as well as the one who receives it.

Members were also aware it took 3 flags for a post to be hidden and Regulars were frequently working together, as a team, when a post needed that. and were fully engaged in their role as member-moderators.

And due to this active engagement with moderating, some were even attuned for duplicate accounts, where they knew for example someone had been banned before, and willing to flag a post where they suspected it might be the same person, then comment on the flag for Staff to see that they suspected a duplicate, which was often correct – but now, random members are sometimes posting or PM-ing, asking “Why was a totally non-rulebreaking post flagged?”… :sob:

Some of the more volatile members are even turning on each other, accusing each other of “grassing,” or accusing others of malicious use: this has now occurred twice when minor arguments broke out between TL3 members, where normally the flags would just have just silently alerted me the argument existed, but instead it turned into a drama over who was flagging and why.

What should have been a quiet word from a mod to chill out become a public shaming for them, and then a far bigger problem to resolve afterwards. Outsiders flagging any argument just encourage the people arguing to think “that other guy” did it… it’s horrible.

I fully appreciate this change is great for some forums, to alert a member their post has not been well-received, but it is causing severe problems on the forum I moderate, and flags already came with the option to contact that member, for those who want to do this.

So an “alert mods but show nothing visible unless 3 flags” option would be great! :pray:

Not being admin I cannot see the Settings, so I don’t know if that was covered above, but I’ve just now come from another argument about why something was flagged, and am begging for something that resembles the way they used to work before, whereby they were silent unless the member flagging chose to send a message to the author, BUT, they notified mods at each flag cast, so it was very easy to keep an eye on things.

This is already the case.

It sounds like you are referring to posts which have met the flag threshold to be hidden, and even then, nobody can see who flagged the post, just that it was hidden.

1 Like

You could ask the admin to adjust the sensitivity of the flags to be closer to what it was before.

Overnight example below, as you can see a single flag has greyed out the post, the member who cast it was TL3, and this happens a lot, seemingly based on weighting of that member’s % of accepted flags, one single flag visibly alters a post.

The next 2 posts after this were discussing why it got flagged.

If they are adjusted, will they still send email notifications at the same rate?

A PM should only be sent to a user when their post is hidden. If the sensitivity is adjusted it should take more activity to hide a post and they won’t receive the PM until the threshold is hit.

What is the specific setting please to stop posts going grey, as shown above, while still remaining readable, after a single flag? This is the thing causing all the problems.

You are not seeing that post as the user does, because you are staff. Try switching to incognito mode or logging in as a normal user.

I’ll do that (first I’ll have to make a post as TL3, flag it from another account so may take a mo) but the two posts right after were someone asking why it got flagged, so they evidently saw it change, and then the member who posted replying they weren’t sure.

I would point your admins at this document:

3 Likes

I will, thank you, however I don’t understand from that whether turning down sensitivity of flags will also automatiically affect, as in reduce, the number of emails they send.

Low sensitivity in terms of hiding posts = good. Low sensitivity in terms of emailing mods = bad (undedsirable more accurately), if you see what I mean.

Like I said above PMs should only be sent when flags reach thresholds for hiding them. If this is not the case please let us know.

1 Like

Okay, but if the post was not greyed to others, and the member was not PM’d off one flag, how did an unrelated TL3 member know it had been flagged, and reply asking why, and the member whose post was flagged also knew?

Sorry if I am being obtuse, but for example I logged in a few days ago to a disagreement about the forum’s general topics, that had then became an argument about flags, and some posts only had one flag each, so something appears to be informing people.

I am trying to replicate this now, but while I have a test account I cannot adjust its % for accurate flags so may be unable to, I also contacted the member who commented on the post to see what they saw.

On our forum there is this possibility when flagging (top option) which notifies the person being flagged via a message directly from the flagger. Which can be sent before reaching the threshold where the system message kicks in and their post is greyed out or hidden. This would explain how users know they are being flagged.

Thanks, that was not what happened but I may have discovered the cause:

I posted in the Lounge from a TL3 test account asking a single Regular to flag it as anything but Spam, the post immediately greyed out, I tested it again requesting a specific member flag me, and the same thing happened.

View as person whose post was flagged:

Neither member added the “message to poster” option, but I got the “Post hidden by community flags” automated PM for both single-flagged posts.

I then made a new test account, set it TL3 just to get Lounge access from a non-mod account, and saw this:

Finally, I logged back in from my mod account just to verify a single flag had done this.

So is the issue that the forum is treating just 1 post as the threshhold for hiding a post, instead of 3?

If so this is an admin & setting issue, so I apologise for posting it here, but I had absolutely no reason to think this would happen, since the previous threshold was 3 flags, which is perfect, it happened at the same time as the update to 2.3, and it’s (obviously) creating rather a lot of problems for a single flag to hide things, on a forum where mild over-use of flags has been encouraged. :scream_cat:

I guess, to cap this off constructively - any chance mods can please be shown all the settings on things like this, without having access to change them? If I had seen this before, that 1 flag was going to hide a post and notify the person, it would have saved you on here and also me and the forum’s members, rather a lot of time. :smiley:

Edit to add: I just realised though that not all posts getting 1 flag are hidden… there is a member who diligently flags about something specific to our forum and his flags are not hiding posts completely. He’s TL3 and at about 60% agreed (just because he flags for a specific issue that’s not a direct violation of rules).

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