"Take Action" button failing to hide self-flagged posts by moderators or admins

We can hide posts by flagging and then going to the mod UI where the notification is and agreeing with the flag. But the “Take Action” button is not resulting in a hiding of posts.

Can anyone reproduce or advise on how to debug the situation?

P.S. “Take Action” is as meaningful a button name as “Click here!” or “Do something”

Perhaps related to the stuff you did here?

I don’t know why that would be related. Anyway, pretty sure unrelated since we had “Take Action” fail to hide posts before trying any changes to the text in the flagging UI.

I can not reproduce the problem.

  • Can you check if the dev console on your browser gives you an error when you click the Take Action button?
  • If you use safe-mode the problem remains or the button returns to work and to hide the post?
  • Have you installed third-party plugins? Can you share the list of plugins you are using?

No error I can see. It does flag the post and then says “You flagged this as inappropriate.” in the UI. However, I don’t see an undo option, and the post remains normal (not greyed out as I see in other cases through the normal flagging process of flag + mod “agree”).

Further details on the bug: I tried another post, this time I saw “undo”. Also, I’ve consistently seen what looks like the greyed-out style blink on the post for an instant before it comes back, as though it is hidden and unhidden in that instant.

No difference in safe-mode. No third-party plugins are installed at all. We’re on v2.0.0.beta3 +122 (and the new upgrade doesn’t seem relevant, but anyway, we need to get someone to clear up some disk space in order to run the upgrade).

If you see the topic in incognito mode posts are flagged but visible or are not even flagged?

What trust level do the users or the user you are testing?

@wolftune, I can repro this behaviour only if I (admin of the site) flag my own posts .

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We’d been testing in only a staff area. Have to test in a public area to try the incognito view etc.

We’ve seen this with flagging each others’ posts, but both poster and flagger have been mods + admins. Possibly that’s related.

Even though flagging one’s own posts is weird, it seems the hiding should still work as expected. To not flag your own posts, flagging button shouldn’t even show on one’s own posts, but that’s a different UX question.

ADDENDUM: to be clear, we’re also not seeing the system PM prompting to edit the post etc. and the user editing their post doesn’t remove the flag either.

Overall, the behavior is similar (although it shouldn’t be) to the “agree” + “keep post” behavior (which I just questioned in that other topic).

Even flagging your posts should be granted, especially if you’re wrong to open a topic and you want it to be deleted, but I agree that being able to report their posts as an administrator causes the flag to behave a bit strangely.

It is however really strange that administrators report their own posts, why should they do it? I do not even know if it is worth spending time to change the behavior
It’s a call for @codinghorror

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Upon reflection, I think this might be a simpler summary:

In at least some cases we’ve seen (admin taking action on their own posts or maybe when acting on a post from another mod/admin), “Take Action” is behaving as agree+keep instead of the expected agree+hide".

Incidentally, I would have thought that “Take Action” would prompt with options for what behavior is desired (especially given the name “take action” being so unspecified). If somehow it normally does that and we’re missing it, then maybe there is indeed some JS front-end glitch happening)

No repro.

  1. Log into try.discourse.org as admin

  2. Open incognito browser, create new user on try.discourse.org

  3. New user in incognito browser flags a random post on try.discourse.org as inappropriate

  4. Admin opens flag, presses Agree… and then Hide Post

  5. Post is hidden, user gets a PM urging them to edit their post.

  6. I opened another browser (Firefox, anonymous) and verified the post was hidden.

I think you need to test this properly. See above ↑


The repro steps are only:

  • login as an admin
  • flag your own post as inappropriate, off-topic, or spam
  • click on Take Action

the post seems to hide for a second, but remains visible with a flag. The flag will be visible only to you, the other users will not see anything.

That’s why I wrote:

where to “change behavior” I mean to prevent an administrator from reporting his own posts as inappropriate, off-topic and spam.

Considering that there is the option “undo flag”, in reality there are no problems whatsoever, it’s just a bit strange that an admin can report their posts.

This could be a real problem still because, in our case, this same behavior happens when one admin flags another admin (which does sometimes make sense, and even flagging your own posts to hide and fix later when you have time isn’t crazy).

I’m having some trouble grasping what the focus of this discussion is, so please correct me if this is wrong.

  • prior, any post could be Flag - hidden
  • recent changes where made to make Staff posts immune from being Flag - hidden
  • what is proposed is that Staff posts should be immune from being Flag - hidden by non-staff members, but still subject to being Flag - hidden by other staff members and even by oneself

The self-flag seems edge case at best to me. For example, if I were in a grumpy mood and posted a harsh attacking a help vampire, why would I want to flag it instead of editing it or deleting it?

The staff-flag-staff could be something I guess. For example, if OtherStaffGuy posted a harsh. But I don’t see where editing / deleting it and sending a message to OtherStaffGuy informing him of what I did would be all that much more difficult.


[EDIT per discussion below: This would be a good guess, but we have it set to allow staff posts to be flagged.] We absolutely do not want to have Staff posts be immune from hiding! Staff may accidentally violate guidelines at times too, and they need to be flagged, hidden, and fixed just like anyone else. In fact, we use this specifically to keep sometimes-tense discussion between staff to the agreed guidelines.

This actually isn’t the problem, but it was one way to reproduce the behavior of Discourse for debugging. But if this were ever used, it could be because one is rushing out the door and wants to flag it to deal with later and hide it for now.

The staff-flag-staff could be something … But I don’t see where editing / deleting it…

It isn’t the same to edit someone ELSE’s post as to tell them how they went wrong on the guidelines and give them the chance to edit it. Having someone else edit your post is a lot less comfortable (and liable to further misunderstandings).

In our view, if community folks are abusively flagging, such as flagging staff to undermine them, such community members should have their flagging privileges removed (that is a possible thing, isn’t it? If not in needs to be)… I understand some places want staff posts to be immune, but I don’t think that’s a good approach, and anyway, we don’t have it set that way.

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Not sure, I think it is a site setting. @eviltrout could clarify as he worked on it.

I think your main problem is you are testing in an unusual and highly atypical way. Staff generally do not flag posts by other staff, it should work more or less, but that’s way off the beaten path in terms of usage. It’s an incredibly peculiar use case I’ve never heard of until today, in 5 years of working on this project.

So for you to stand up and shout THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WAY TO FLAG AND IT MUST WORK EXACTLY AS I PREFER … well, I’m losing my patience with that.

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So it’s a SELF flag on top of being a staff flag. That’s doubly bizarre.

See the post I made above this one, please @wolftune ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

I certainly didn’t have that extreme of a reaction, that’s not charitable. But yes, I felt quite surprised about the idea that staff couldn’t be flagged and hidden. At the very least, it seems there should be an alert, else it seems like a bug.

To be clear we never tested self-flagging in this case. It was just a way that @Dax figured out how to reproduce our experience. We were only flagging each other’s posts where we all happened to be staff.

Our actual intention for flagging is the hide+edit process and to make that so fast and easy and common and normal that flags are not seen as a big negative, just a normal part of everyone in the community checking each other to stick to the highest standards by our guidelines. So, in that view, there’s no reason staff would be immune. In our approach, you would have flagged me to fix my overreaction instead of replying here, polluting the topic… (and I’ve since edited my badly-written post above and hope this part of the exchange doesn’t hurt the valuable part of this topic… but it’s on-topic in that I’ve proven that I could be a staff member somewhere, though I’m not here, and yet post carelessly enough at times…)

So, sincere apologies for overreacting. And no need to get @eviltrout involved (unless they would know especially about the outstanding bug, see below), I saw there is a checkbox in the settings, and I even recall seeing it when we set things up. We have it checked to allow staff flagging.

Remaining bug (that is a real issue, not just nonsensical test case)

  • Post as one staff account
  • Make sure the checkbox is checked to allow staff to be flagged
  • Log in as another staff
  • Flag via “Take Action” button
  • see the same blink and non-hiding as reported above

So, we allow staff posts to be flagged. We have latest version of Discourse. The “Take Action” button is failing to work as expected for a normal case of a (staff) user flagging another (staff) user.


This is exceedingly unlikely to work, at least based on five years experience looking at hundreds of Discourse instances. We can barely get users to flag at all, beyond obvious cases of spam and egregious abuse. So to build an entire empire on the basis of frequent and common flagging is … ill advised, to put it mildly. It is going to feel punitive and just plain bad.

@eviltrout can verify there has not been a regression on staff to staff flags and post hiding — it should behave just like a regular user was flagged. But self flagging is out of the question.

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