Posts are hidden after a single flag

So this happens on the BBS as well, where the “something else” flag is often used to “bring something to the attention of the mods”, which may or may not include an intention to add flag weight to the post.

I wonder if offering the capability of the something else flag type to send a message to the mods should be decoupled from flagging a post, in the same way, the “I want to send a private message to this user” is (same popup, different effect).


I don’t think there’s a problem this will solve, because the issue is that the other flags are doing too much, not that Something Else needs to do even less. :thinking:

Creating tiers of alerts and then conveying this to all members (not just Regulars, and many of whom are using online translation or have limited English) adds another layer of time-consuming work for Discourse moderators, many of whom, like me, balance volunteer modding with busy lives, and also another change for users to adapt to, with no clear benefit.

For example I would have to edit a huge load of posts made where I and others have explained how flags work over a lengthy period, posts which could still be found by a new user searching for help, and even after I’ve done all that, there remains the danger of a user who’s not aware of the change doing something wrong, being embarassed when this is explained, and then deterred from future engagement with flags.

(I’ve been trying to refrain from saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” all day but I kind of have to say it here.)

Also, I do not always rush to click a new PM notification if I’m doing other things in different tabs (like paid work unconnected to the forum, or answering on a topic, relevant to the subject discussed) but will always attend at once to a red flag icon.

My actual dream scenario would be for TL3 to have an additional flag option on the menu, which IS configured to hide a post with a single click, and which sends a notification PM to Staff (and consequential email, if not logged in) saying something like “Rule violation: I have hidden this post pending Staff review” with a field to add any other info, and then each forum can decide which specific rules (beyond obvious things like threats) they want to tell their Regulars to use this for.

That would give the most frequently-needed & useful capability of Discourse TL4, without requiring careful training of users regarding what they can/should edit, and when & how to use the other functions like topic merge, split, close, etc.

And hell, while I’m at it, for mods to have the option to get a PM generated by ALL flags, containing reason (Inappropriate, Off topic etc) and the subject of the flagged topic/post + oneboxed size excerpt.

This isn’t about having the PM, obviously, it’s about the email it generates when logged out, which assists triage and time management. I can explain more about how this would help if anyone wishes to know.


I’ve been held up on a bunch of other tasks but if all goes well I’ll make some movement on the issue of stuff being hidden with one flag early next week.


So the idea is, secret collusion to flag the same post, even though flags aren’t visible? Behind the scenes there could be implicit agreement to flag in lockstep? All they’d get out of that is success in hiding the post rapidly, though, because these flags would eventually be reversed by staff, hurting flag weight for all flaggers, so they do pay a long price for this behavior in terms of reduced flag weight?

An advanced solution would be to notice the collusion and add an additional penalty but that is very complex.


In most cases, this is a single user messaging to say "I’m not sure if this message deserves a flag or not, but based on my interpretation of [the post | the mod policy], you might want to look into it.

Less novice users might do this as a PM to a specific moderator (or less likely to @moderators), but the most common form of such comments is a “something else” flag.


I see.

I don’t know that I agree with this, though. If it bothers a person enough to send a “something else”, that is indeed a flag. Granted the weight of it could be shifted down (or even up), but clearly something is amiss.

I’d support reducing weight on that particular flag though if you think it is warranted, because its meaning is kinda nebulous.


Thankfully this already exists!

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Oh, so you can adjust that particular “something else” flag weight? Do we offer that as a setting @eviltrout, the base flag weight for each flag type? What I’m getting at is that a site owner could decide “all something else flags confer no flag weight” and change the base weight of that flag to zero?

Right now it looks like “something else” and “inappropriate” have the same base flag weight?

I tested on and I see 1.0 (flag) + 5.0 (trust level bonus) = 6.0 for both of those flags in the review queue, and the required score to hide a post is 4.0. So right now “something else” carries the same flag weight as “inappropriate” which doesn’t seem correct to me?

I don’t follow this statement, because ignore is already retained for all flags in my testing, above?

So if you want to give a particular flag zero weight… just press the ignore button? Am I missing something, here?


Yes - the setting is under ”settings” in the review queue. It only allows for low/medium/high, however.

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Aha, everything defaults to “low” so presumably 1.0 is the floor. Should we offer an “off” or “none” in this list @eviltrout?


Using Ignore directly reduced a TL3 member’s weighting, I have observed this and tested it by repeatedly Ignoring, not Disagreeing, flags raised by a specific TL3 member over a period of time until I got them down to 51%.

Would a re-test with a created account be helpful? I am willing to run that test and post exact metrics with screenshots, assuming that will replicate it.

If that means it will not reduce the flag-caster’s weighting nor add 1 to the Flagged Posts > max of 5 under Requirements for Trust Level 3 then yes, giving a flag zero weighting would be the hoped-for outcome.


Oh, I don’t think that should be happening at all. Ignore, to me, means “pretend this never happened”. I’m sure @eviltrout can factor that in next week.


The issue here is ”ignoring” a flag still adds weight to a post. If the plan is to have ignore really mean ignore, then it’s important that ignored flags not count towards flag weight on a post as well.

I suppose this would also change the user flag ”agreed” indicator as well, since that also takes ignored flags into account?


Okay here’s my action list for this week:

  1. Make sure ignore does not affect the user’s accuracy.

  2. Remove special case where TL4 people immediately hide non-TL4 user content with one flag.

  3. Prevent non TL4 from instantly hiding content with one flag, regardless of score:

    I will likely be adjusting the hidden thresholds. Right now they’re based on scores being above a certain percentile, which I think is far too low in the case of hiding. I will be basing my calculations on a default that’s closer to 3 flags per post and go from there.

    It’s quite likely I will add back a setting for min flaggers to hide in the meantime. I believe this will work for 90% of the complaints here. Scores are still useful for sorting the most egregious stuff to the top so it should work


Here are the first two fixes:


Actually following some discussion internally I’ve reverted the TL3 -> TL0 spam thing. We consider that exception important enough to keep. The TL4 exception is still removed:


Okay I’ve made a few more adjustments here. The first two are fixes for when forums are quite new and don’t haven enough data for good calculations. I realized this was a problem while browsing the source:

This one is more relevant to the feedback in this topic:

The calculations for priorities has now changed to be centered around reviewables that have at least 2 scores (flags). After upgrading to this version, it should push the thresholds for hiding content higher. A “medium” sensitivity should be roughly two flags.

Please try it out and provide feedback as to whether things have improved!


@ubik once you have pulled latest, try it out for a while, and then write a long reply about your new and improved experience :wink:

We will mostly be away for a week so this will be the last change in this area for a fair bit, but we believe these are all significant improvements to the existing flagging system.

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I am not seeing any change related to min flaggers to hide? Am I missing it or did you leave it out?
For me that was the most important one, if you do not plan to make other changes for a while, I will most likely be forced to revert back to an older version of the source.

FIX: Ignored flags should not count in your accuracy score
Remove special cases for flagging
FIX: Put back the TL3 -> TL0 spam thing

If I understand correctly these changes will only effect TL3 users and above, we have a lot of issues with TL0 and TL1 users so they will not help us.

FIX: Sensitivity did not work by default
FIX: Require a min amount of reviewables before calculating thresholds
Tweak calculation for reviewable sensitivities/priorities

These changes should help a bit initially, but seems like they can deteriorate after time?
The base sensitivity bump will be affected by users over time somehow, unclear exacly how.
The target_count seems to delay the buildup of accuracy since fewer posts are part of the calculations, if I understand what it does. But it will also exclude single flag posts from it, so for some users it may increase the buildup?

Can you explain if I am missing something, or just reading the changes wrong?

I see that self.target_count is defined in app/jobs/scheduled/reviewable_priorities.rb and set to 2. Would locally changing that and rebuilding give me 3 flags minimum before something is hidden? - Edit - I think this was wishful thinking when reading a bit more, but I’ll let the question stand anyhow. I currently interpret it as minumum number of flags needed for a reviewed item to affect user accuracy?

You do not understand correctly.