Suggestion for posts hidden by community flags

Does anyone else think the following changes makes sense for the post flag system?

If a post is flagged and gets hidden - it is hidden like it is now and is also shown in the moderation review queue, again just like it is now. From there a moderator can act on the post. Currently these are the options:

Firstly, it would be good to make more obvious the difference between Keep Post Hidden and Ignore, and perhaps also rename Delete to Delete Post. Maybe Agree and keep hidden might be more descriptive? (I’m assuming that if you agree as well it counts towards the total number of flags against the post/user?).

Secondly, and this is the main reason for this suggestion, I wonder if we need an option which completely removes the post from public view while the user is given an opportunity to fix it (so a Hide completely and send note option where a message can be entered from that view). Then (and this is the important part) edited posts that have been edited after having been flagged are put in a moderation queue where a moderator decides whether the edit was adequate, and can ‘undelete’ from there or if they weren’t adequate can click on an option that asks them to edit it again. I think this needs to be done for all flagged posts that are kept hidden btw, not just the ones that are completely removed from public view.

I think this will help tremendously with moderation and almost eradicate the need for us to edit user posts ourselves. This way we can let them know how they can bring their post back and they can decide whether they want to or not.

//CC’ing @HAWK as per our discussion here.

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I agree that we could make it more clear by changing to Ignore Flag.

I’d be keen to see whether there are others that would also benefit from your second suggestion. I don’t think we have a rule of 3 here yet.

I haven’t ever edited a post myself as a moderator – there is some onus on the masses not to click into a hidden post, but I’m kinda ok with that.


Curiosity will almost always get the better of people :upside_down_face:

On a more serious note, one of the occasions we edit posts is to remove a personal attack/remark, and the whole reason we step in as early as possible is so that the person who it is aimed at does not see it (or has less chance of seeing it) because once they do the damage is done. Unfortunately it is the slippery slope that leads to interpersonal issues developing, which, over time can drag more and more members into it leading to bigger inter community issues.

We have been criticised for removing personal remarks in the past (and I personally stand by us doing so - there’s no need for personal attacks on a forum for civil discourse) but I would much prefer us not being put in that position to begin with, and this change would really help.


I get what you’re saying but to play devil’s advocate (again!) – if we make it our job to run diversion by editing posts and letting the attacker remain a member, we’re enabling them, not mandating change. As my mum would say, if we allow it, we teach it.

That said, if others agree weigh in here and agree with you, I’ll concede.


I think we have to keep in mind we’re dealing with human beings Sarah - none of us are infallible. Sometimes if somebody is having a bad day, or going through some personal issues (such as a bereavement, breakup or job loss) they might slip below their otherwise high standard.

Things can become compounded when you have someone in the midst of a debate and where it seems that ‘everyone is against them’, which can lead to them feeling bullied and snapping as a result.

On top of that, in a way we have to help people unlearn all the bad habits they have picked up from platforms like Twitter - where hostility and abuse is pretty much encouraged because that’s what keeps people flocking back to such platforms. Even with this aside, I feel we have a duty of care to our users to account for genuine misunderstandings and mishaps. In these cases I feel it’s even more important to help defuse such situations and prevent escalation in what may be an otherwise perfectly harmonious community or relationship between the users involved.

Hope this helps shed some further light - I wasn’t joking when I said discussions on this topic could get very big :relaxed:


Maybe Ignore should be renamed Ignore Flag. A new button named Keep Hidden Pending Edit (without agreeing with the flag). That way you’re not agreeing with the flag - yet. I agree the Delete button should read Delete Post.
I had a case where a user flagged another user’s reply because she quoted her multiple times and felt as though everything she said “was being picked apart.” Of course it wasn’t the case, but the two users in question had a “cat fight” a long time ago. A slight animosity still lingers? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Anyway, I read and re-read each post many times and could not find anything wrong with the reply that was flagged. But before I clicked Disagree and Restore Post, I PM’d the flagger and explained that I read and re-read both posts and found nothing wrong with them. I also explained that other users have also used multiple quotes - not just from multiple user’s posts but all from one individual. They weren’t “picking their post apart”, they were responding to each thing that was said. The user finally agreed with me… reluctantly. Only after I told her I was restoring the post did I actually do it. That took care of that part of the flag problem.
The second part was the post flagged was made by a Mod! Of course she saw the flagged post. Sooo… another exchange of PMs with her. :roll_eyes: I did get (hopefully) the situation ended or at least quieted for now.
I would like to see an option to *Keep Post Hidden" without a “thumbs up” (or agree) until the problem can be worked out. Think of it as “pause button.” Now that I just typed this, it just struck me… what I did - not clicking anything - is the same as clicking pause.

Keeping a flagged post hidden until it is edited is good. If that’s what the post needs, so long as an edit comes in a timely period is fine. Having a post restored days later and having a string of posts below it (so the post would probably not be seen) isn’t much good. I actually thought about this, thinking if I don’t get a reply within 24 hours, the post is being restored without any additional exchange between me and the flagger - other than my original PM explaining my thoughts/decision on the matter.

Aside, whenever I come up with any new ideas I always remember what @codinghorror said, “Keep it simple.” Then I think whether or not what I came up with keeps things simple or just adds another layer of potential problems. I wouldn’t want Discourse to become bloated and slowed down like MS’s software. :roll_eyes: :laughing: