Miniature Flag-Waving Pony December 5, 2008 7:44 AM   Subscribe

How about letting posters see that their posts have been flagged?

I realise that the flagging system as it currently applies is a vehicle for bringing objectionable content to the attention of the moderators, but could it usefully serve as feedback for the poster?

To be more specific, would it be possible (or desirable) for posters to be able to see an anonymised summary of any flags associated with their own posts? My thinking is that this might help reduce the noise created by people both flagging and commenting when they see something objectionable.
posted by le morte de bea arthur to Feature Requests at 7:44 AM (102 comments total)

See also this thread and this one for things that are vaguely similar but also quite different.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:48 AM on December 5, 2008


My thinking is that this might help reduce the noise created by people both flagging and commenting when they see something objectionable.

Really? I think it would do the exact opposite. People would misinterpret flags the same way they misinterpret favorites- as some sort of judgment on their worth as a poster. I can see the grudges now- "And to the three people who just flagged my comment as 'noise', fuuuuuuuuuck you!"
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:59 AM on December 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


It works best as an anonymous reporting mechanism. As moderators we really don't act on every single flag. It takes at least a handful before it pops up against the background noise and then we evaluate whether or not to do something about the flagged item (maybe 1/2 the time something is done). People flag a lot of comments they simply disagree with as "offensive".

So when I consider what MeFi would be like with reported flags exposed to owners I can quickly imagine a MetaTalk with a lot of pissed off posters asking who flagged them and why all their comments about one subject get flags while others do not.

I guess I like it being like an anonymous tip line at your local police station. You drop tips, they evaluate whether they sound credible, then they investigate and determine if something bad is actually going on.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:01 AM on December 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think the flag system should be based on semaphore or International Maritime Signal Flags. In the latter case, "=" would stand for "am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board," which would, of course, be the new flag for "Boyzone."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:08 AM on December 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


Additionally, the "hey mofo, I flagged you!!" is a sort of useless noise comment so we'll often just remove them. If people are using it to somehow vindictively punish other users, they're sort of doing it wrong.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on December 5, 2008


Dumb pony, I don't know why you asked me to bring you in here. Billy, bring the wagon round. This one's for the glue factory....
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:10 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


And I prefer just calling the person out. Works better in the long run. Sometimes they ever realize they were wrong, ask for their own comment to be deleted, or come here to confess their evils.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, can we derail and snark now?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2008


Trolls would be treating their flag counts as competitive scores, too. Not fun for the rest of us.
posted by ardgedee at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2008


'Anonymous tips' are for pussies.
posted by gman at 8:27 AM on December 5, 2008


Calling people pussies is for pussies, aktuly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 AM on December 5, 2008 [18 favorites]


What might work is to show posters their own deleted comments, and then show the flags on the deleted posts and comments.

But still, I don't know that it would be a net gain.
posted by smackfu at 8:34 AM on December 5, 2008


True 'dat. I've just never liked those who rat people out behind their backs (virtual or real life). I respect cjorgensen's method.
posted by gman at 8:36 AM on December 5, 2008


I guess I like it being like an anonymous tip line at your local police station. You drop tips, they evaluate whether they sound credible, then they investigate and determine if something bad is actually going on.

At my local police station, they have a deal where if your tip leads to an arrest, you get a cash reward (hint hint).
posted by burnmp3s at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2008


Which, again, would still encourage trolls. Because "lulz, let's see how many flags I get before it gets deleted" or "which comment had the most deletions". Except since it gets deleted anyway, it would seem much more of a sport and less of a serious transgression.
posted by Phire at 8:38 AM on December 5, 2008


I'm possibly with smackfu. I do step occasionally over the line, and it'd be nice to know just where the line is lurking some days.

However, the geek in me might feel the need to push to see where the line is. So, maybe not...
posted by QIbHom at 8:44 AM on December 5, 2008


Any way to get a list of the most flagged comments in the history of Metafilter? I'd like to do Favourite Flag MetaTalk post.
posted by gman at 8:47 AM on December 5, 2008


Anyone who flasg you more than onece should be automatically added to you enemies list (also a new feature).
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Layup:

Metafilter: Ok, can we derail and snark now?
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2008


I do step occasionally over the line, and it'd be nice to know just where the line is lurking some days.

And you're welcome to drop us a line and ask if you're curious about a specific deletion, say.

There's an aspect of triage to how we go about this, is part of why not making the flags visible makes sense—if you're really only occasionally stepping over the line, that's not something we're really going to be too worried about, so leaving it as flag-system-works-well is good enough. Whereas if you're more-than-occasionally stepping over the line, don't worry, you'll be hearing from us anyway.

Anything that pushes the threshold for direct feedback in either direction lower is something that multiplies the amount of time and energy we're spending on that feedback, so finding a sweet spot where we're giving enough feedback to help wayward folks get back on track but not so much that we spend all day every day chatting up every flag we did or didn't act on is pretty important. I think that's about where we are right now, really.

At my local police station, they have a deal where if your tip leads to an arrest, you get a cash reward (hint hint).

Yes, but 911 is a joke in your town.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:04 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


fuuuuuuuuuck you!

I already mentally append this to the end of all Metatalk posts, so it would be weird if people started typing it out.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 9:06 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Artw - I just flagged your comment for typos and I'm not afraid to be open about it. Having said that, I fuckin' love the idea of an enemies list, so I also favourtied it.
posted by gman at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2008


True 'dat. I've just never liked those who rat people out behind their backs (virtual or real life). I respect cjorgensen's method.

Totally, man. Every disagreement or argument should be hashed out with as much drama as humanly possible. No place in this world for quietly resolving an issue.
posted by piratebowling at 9:08 AM on December 5, 2008


Anyone else ever heard of "favourtied"? I truly am a loser.
posted by gman at 9:09 AM on December 5, 2008


Totally, man. Every disagreement or argument should be hashed out with as much drama as humanly possible.

I like cage matches.
posted by gman at 9:11 AM on December 5, 2008


Any way to get a list of the most flagged comments in the history of Metafilter? I'd like to do Favourite Flag MetaTalk post

That would be awesome...

Anyway, I think there is a way that we indirectly find out who's flagging our posts. It is probably the same dipshits who favorite other people's replies that are personal attacks about you.

I do think a summary would be helpful though. People here flag stuff for some strange reasons that may be hard to figure out. Yesterday, I replied to something on AskMe that I thought was somewhat iffy, errr...shanking someone. Then I made a more serious and informative reply in another AskMe. Guess which one was flagged like hell and was deleted? The latter. If I had not contacted the mods, I never would've known why that reply was deleted.
posted by sixcolors at 9:12 AM on December 5, 2008


Also, pretty sure this was the most flagged post (for a while, at least).
posted by piratebowling at 9:19 AM on December 5, 2008


I'm possibly with smackfu.

You don't know?! Have you two discussed this? Counseling? AskMe?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:19 AM on December 5, 2008


True 'dat. I've just never liked those who rat people out behind their backs (virtual or real life).

Your "stop snitchin'" t-shirt is in the mail.
posted by fixedgear at 9:31 AM on December 5, 2008


Two Luna bars plus a can of Starbucks Doubleshot + Energy Drink is a sure fire method for a sizable bowel movement. Try for yourself!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


However, the geek in me might feel the need to push to see where the line is. So, maybe not...

Don't take this the wrong way, but that's not the geek in you. That's the shithead in you. The geek in you just wants to play that Star Barons flash game that's on the front page right now.
posted by Caduceus at 9:48 AM on December 5, 2008


$50 donation to Metafilter if I'm given the tools and allowed to do a 'Favourite Flag MetaTalk' post.
posted by gman at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2008


Aren't cortex's witty deletion reasons enough explanation?
posted by desjardins at 10:02 AM on December 5, 2008


explanation entertainment
posted by desjardins at 10:04 AM on December 5, 2008


Perhaps "enemy" could be added as an option in the contacts list.

Along with "nemesis," "doppelganger," and "sockpuppet"
posted by spiderwire at 10:11 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because "lulz, let's see how many flags I get before it gets deleted"

A better challenge would be to go for the maximum amount of flags while still not getting deleted.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:12 AM on December 5, 2008


I realise that the flagging system as it currently applies is a vehicle for bringing objectionable content to the attention of the moderators, but could it usefully serve as feedback for the poster?

Doesn't everyone already pretty much know what others think of them?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2008


A better challenge would be to go for the maximum amount of flags while still not getting deleted.

yes. more specifically, maximum "fantastic comment" flags.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This would interfere with how I use flags: as an easy way to annoy the mods.
posted by timeistight at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2008


Anyone who flasg you more than onece should be automatically added to you enemies list (also a new feature).

That feature is already in Greasemonkey.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2008


I don't know what others think of me. Because I'm pretty sure they don't. Think of me.
posted by waraw at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2008


This comment seems appropriate again.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:30 AM on December 5, 2008


I wanted this too, but the arguments against have convinced me.
posted by jamjam at 10:43 AM on December 5, 2008


Oh shit. I meant that to apply to the post, not to waraw.

waraw: I totally recognize your name.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2008


I kinda suck at consolation.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2008


It takes at least a handful before it pops up against the background noise

I just flagged one of my own posts, because I hate myself. Well, actually I flagged it because I accidentally (and stupidly) posted in the wrong thread. Was flagging sufficient or should I have contacted a mod?
posted by grumblebee at 10:51 AM on December 5, 2008


I can see the grudges now- "And to the three people who just flagged my comment as 'noise', fuuuuuuuuuck you!"

and

Trolls would be treating their flag counts as competitive scores, too. Not fun for the rest of us.

Quoted for the motherfucking truth.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2008


grumblebee, depends how egregious it is and whether it's in AskMe or MeFi. In AskMe, we look at almost every flag, in MeFi it depends.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:57 AM on December 5, 2008


who's that Elvis President something something guy? anybody seen him here before?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:58 AM on December 5, 2008


BTW, if we count double and HTML error flags I am almost certainly MY OWN WORST ENEMY.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2008


Anyone who flasg you more than onece should be automatically added to you enemies list (also a new feature).

You're all on my list anyway, so this feature is useless to me.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:09 AM on December 5, 2008


People flag a lot of comments they simply disagree with as "offensive".

HA. It makes me smile to imagine that.

I always forget there's such a flag as 'fantastic comment.'
posted by Miko at 11:12 AM on December 5, 2008


You're all on my list anyway, so this feature is useless to me.

in that kind of situation, isn't it also useless actually bothering to keep a list?
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:14 AM on December 5, 2008


Satisfying and useful are not always congruent.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:15 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


in that kind of situation, isn't it also useless actually bothering to keep a list?

That's it buddy, you just made my... oh, wait.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


you could always mark up your list with angry red underlinings.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:30 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


and exclamation points!!! you can never have too many of those!!!!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:31 AM on December 5, 2008


It's never even occurred to me to use the flags before. How often are people doing this?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:31 AM on December 5, 2008


It's never even occurred to me to use the flags before. How often are people doing this?

Me either, I only flagged on post/reply ever. I'm curious about this too.
posted by sixcolors at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2008


i think i've only ever flagged something about once. i like to think that this invokes some sort of mod SWAT team - "Jebus, what's with all these flashing red strobe lights?!?? OH - alert in thread 17095! Ubu's flagged something! Get over there, quick - that comment must be all kinds of awesome! Gotta be the first to favourite it, or else we'll look like bandwagon-hitchers!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:38 AM on December 5, 2008


Mister, would you please help my pony?
He's down and he ain't gettin' up
He coughed up snot in the driveway
And I think his lung's fucked up
posted by Sailormom at 11:50 AM on December 5, 2008


It's never even occurred to me to use the flags before.

Me either, I only flagged on post/reply ever.

i think i've only ever flagged something about once.


Really? That surprises me. I love the flagging system, I flag liberally (thought not in cases when I disagree with someone... at least, not regularly). Do the mods have a general feel for how many people are using the system, and how regularly? A lot of people using it sparingly, a small group using it extensively, or somewhere in between?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:50 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm sure cortex can check the infodump but there are definitely a lot of people who use the flag feature, it's not like there's a group of ten or even a hundred people who use it while no one else does. I see it as a built in site tool, if people don't use it that's their business but it's there to be used. There aren't, as far as I can tell, people who use it abusively though occasionally we see people who use it editorially and will flag one of our mod "here's the rules" comments as "offensive" or whatnot. cortex?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:54 AM on December 5, 2008


Flagged this post as double-post.

Which, actually, is entirely accurate.
posted by Ryvar at 11:58 AM on December 5, 2008


Yeah, I did a rough analysis like a year ago and found that there was a pretty typical looking power-function-lookin' distribution of flagging activity across users, where I think several thousand users total have flagged something at least once; a very few people flag way more than most; and there's a pretty steady curve of activity in between.

Long story short: I'd guess there are a few hundred people who are in what I'd think of as being the minimally active flagging corps, some more active than others.

I should give that another pass one of these days. It'd be interesting to see how flagging behavior changes over time, and I don't think I ever really took a year-by-year (or month-by-month) snapshot when I first looked at it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on December 5, 2008


on afterthought: every now & then i might flag FPPs that are doubles or just plain lame, in the interests of drawing attention to posts that really need to be removed.

but as for flagging comments, nah, that reeks of going and telling the teacher behind somebody's back. it's sad & cowardly. if you don't like their point or attitude or expression, better to argue it out in public so your objection can be heard.

anything else smacks of a self-appointed superior attitude of "this is wrong & i am right & it's so freaking obvious that i'm above even explaining why"
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:02 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I flag stuff. I don't use the system a whole lot - days, even weeks can go between flags. But I like that it's there.
posted by rtha at 12:03 PM on December 5, 2008


I flag a lot of stuff in AskMe, I hardly ever flag stuff in the blue.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:06 PM on December 5, 2008




I use the "fantastic post" flag more than the others I think but I'm never sure if there is actually a point to that flag.

I think of flags as being annoying clutter to the mods and so don't use the system much but when I do I have this little secret fantasy they look and say, "OMG Rumple Flag Alert: Action"
posted by Rumple at 12:51 PM on December 5, 2008


I'd guess there are a few hundred people who are in what I'd think of as being the minimally active flagging corps, some more active than others.

Oh, if I had flagged nothing simply from laziness! Heavens, how I should have respected myself, then. I should have respected myself because I should at least have been capable of flagging something; there would at least have been one quality, as it were, positive in me, in which I could have believed myself. Question: What is he? Answer: A flagger; how very pleasant it would have been to hear that of oneself! It would mean that I was positively defined, it would mean that there was something to say about me. "Flagger"--why, it is a calling and vocation, it is a career.

[excerpt from Notes from Underground with minor modifications]
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:58 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This feature would be very useful in a game of Capture the Flag-its.
posted by gman at 1:02 PM on December 5, 2008


I don't know what others think of me. Because I'm pretty sure they don't. Think of me.


You and me both, friend. How about we, like, think of each other. In a totally cool, non-weird way, of course.
posted by owtytrof at 1:14 PM on December 5, 2008


I use the "fantastic post" flag more than the others I think but I'm never sure if there is actually a point to that flag.

We have a special little corner of the admin page that shows us when a post or comment is attracting multiple fantastic flags. So it does have a point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:16 PM on December 5, 2008


but as for flagging comments, nah, that reeks of going and telling the teacher behind somebody's back. it's sad & cowardly. if you don't like their point or attitude or expression, better to argue it out in public so your objection can be heard.

Depends.

Sometimes someone will drop a turd in a thread that is so obviously inappropriate that it doesn't really require additional discussion, and so I flag it as a note to the admins, "Hey, look here, shitstorm pending." Then I try not to call any additional attention to the turd, cause, hey: turd. If the mods see enough flags and are fast enough and no one else is feeling fighty enough to drag it to MeTa, maybe a derail is averted.

Other times, the turd requires a response. If it's a somewhat on-topic turd, I'll respond in-thread, no flag. If it's an obvious derail turd, I'll flag it, then MeTa, then link to the MeTa in the thread.

See, it's not about "telling the teacher" versus taking responsibility for your complaint. It's about taking responsibility for not matching inappropriate (derailing) behavior with inappropriate (derailing) behavior.

Or, that's how it works in theory, anyway. In practice, I'm at least as much of a jackass as anybody else.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:17 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


What happens when you're poking around in an old askme, when the rules about joking and whatnot we less stringent/enforced, and you come across something that clearly shouldn't be there? Do you flag it? It seems ridiculous to worry about something so old, but maybe we should for archival reasons? And what if I flag something really old before realizing it was really old...do I look like an ass?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:21 PM on December 5, 2008


Any chance of getting flag data in the infodump?

(I can immediately come up with several good arguments against putting everything about flags in the infodump, and don't have enough immediate curiosity to make a more specific request, but I'll put the question out anyway.)
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:23 PM on December 5, 2008


do I look like an ass?
posted by and hosted from Uranus

You look like mine, apparently.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:24 PM on December 5, 2008


*looks in mirror*

Also, yes - those pants make you look big.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:25 PM on December 5, 2008


What happens when you're poking around in an old askme, when the rules about joking and whatnot we less stringent/enforced, and you come across something that clearly shouldn't be there? Do you flag it? It seems ridiculous to worry about something so old, but maybe we should for archival reasons?

When I see one of these old-stuff flags, I'll usually check it out but I won't usually delete anything unless it's like crazy awful. Old jokes from back in the day? They aren't doing any damage and their part of the historical record of the site, so they're fine with me. Crazy shithead comments? Might need to go. Spam that wasn't caught as spam at the time for whatever reason? Will probably go.

So short answer is don't worry about 2-, 3-, 4-year-old jokey stuff, because it's moot. Fucked up stuff, sure, flag it.

And what if I flag something really old before realizing it was really old...do I look like an ass?

Nah. It happens.

Any chance of getting flag data in the infodump?

Not likely. Keeping it behind the scenes is pretty much the game plan. I'm happy to entertain specific requests, with the caveats that I might totally say no and I'm pretty inconsistent about getting these things done even if I think it's a good idea. I'm working on that second part, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:30 PM on December 5, 2008


Metafilter: at least as much of a jackass as anybody else
posted by Caduceus at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2008


but as for flagging comments, nah, that reeks of going and telling the teacher behind somebody's back. it's sad & cowardly. if you don't like their point or attitude or expression, better to argue it out in public so your objection can be heard.

It's built into the way this site is supposed to work and it's built into our moderation strategy. It's fine if you don't like it, but your opinion about how this is supposed to work is at odds with how the site was designed to function. As IRFH states, some things are never okay on this site. This is more true for AskMe than for MeFi. We'd like to see people be able to work out their differences generally, but sometimes it doesn't happen and it poisons discussion if left unattended and scares people off. Sometimes people go crazy. Sometimes people post things that are very much against the rules (I'm thinking sekrit goatse but I'm sure you can all imagine possibilities). This site isn't supposed to run totally without moderation for any real length of time.

Any chance of getting flag data in the infodump?

Nope.

what if I flag something really old before realizing it was really old...do I look like an ass?

Not at all. If it's like some spammy horribleness then do let us know. If it's just borderline inappropriate it's often better to just leave it be. We see people flagging old stuff sometimes and generally speaking if the thread is already closed we'll very rarely take anything out of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:34 PM on December 5, 2008


Heh, I've flagged double comments in years-old threads more than once. It just happens as I backtag.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:15 PM on December 5, 2008


Sometimes someone will drop a turd in a thread that is so obviously inappropriate that it doesn't really require additional discussion, and so I flag it as a note to the admins, "Hey, look here, shitstorm pending." Then I try not to call any additional attention to the turd, cause, hey: turd. If the mods see enough flags and are fast enough and no one else is feeling fighty enough to drag it to MeTa, maybe a derail is averted.

I agree entirely. The campaign season especially saw quite a number of such comments that were clearly purposeful derails. Had we been required to "call someone out" on such comments in-thread, we'd basically be satisfying the goal the troll was seeking to accomplish. Flagging deters troll derails. I'd much rather see troll turds delete summarily rather than some long derail into whether or not such-and-such is trolling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:25 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


but as for flagging comments, nah, that reeks of going and telling the teacher behind somebody's back. it's sad & cowardly. if you don't like their point or attitude or expression, better to argue it out in public so your objection can be heard.

I don't know about other people, but I don't flag because I don't like an attitude, I flag when something is inappropriate or obviously trolling. Such as on askme, when those "you suck, fuck you" answers pop up out of nowhere.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:32 PM on December 5, 2008


Decided to go grocery shopping after my wife saw some minute maid juice boxes in a circular on special at target stores .. She did a search for printable coupons online ,and to my surprise she found some minute maid coupons for target stores . She printed ten coupons and got ten boxes of minute maid practically free ... (lol) . Why can't us men think of these things ? Lol
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:54 PM on December 5, 2008


damn, forgot the link.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2008


Did she get cameras, too?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2008


I'm happy to entertain specific requests

OK: how about composite or percentage numbers? (How many "offensive" versus "fantastic," etc.)
posted by spiderwire at 3:00 PM on December 5, 2008


Guys, I'm just coming in here to say I was wrong, what I did was evil, and could you please delete my comment.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:25 PM on December 5, 2008


Along with "nemesis," "doppelganger," and "sockpuppet"

But you can have only one "Arch-nemesis!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:48 PM on December 5, 2008


I want to see which of my posts have been flagged.

And which of you bitches flagged them!!!!! And your home addresses!!!!!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:01 PM on December 5, 2008


And which of you bitches flagged them!!!!! And your home addresses!!!!!

And sign 'em up for Conde Nast publications, and pizza, and....
posted by fixedgear at 7:14 PM on December 5, 2008


there was a pretty typical looking power-function-lookin' distribution of flagging activity across users

Does this mirror the (I'm assuming) pretty typical looking power-function-lookin' distribution of generic activity across users? Or is it that even when looking at something like comments &divisor; flags, there exists a power law distribution? Inquiring minds want to know!

Even better, can those people at the top of the power law get "I was a flagging superstar"? Then anyone who sees it will think that this person was once a superstar, but have fallen by the wayside.

And this would be beneficial somehow. Let me get back to you on that part.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:42 PM on December 5, 2008


but as for flagging comments, nah, that reeks of going and telling the teacher behind somebody's back. it's sad & cowardly. if you don't like their point or attitude or expression, better to argue it out in public so your objection can be heard.

Shit, have you read your comments? Who has that kind of time? Not even this guy. And don't get me started on this one. My flagging ebbs and flows; I think I usually use 'other', 'noise', and 'derail', in that order.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:54 PM on December 5, 2008


I'd like to know in aggregate how often I'm flagged for noise, offense, etc... I don't care that much about individual comments, but without any kind of feedback, my signal to noise ratio worsens over time.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:35 PM on December 5, 2008


I'd like to know in aggregate how often I'm flagged for noise, offense, etc... I don't care that much about individual comments, but without any kind of feedback, my signal to noise ratio worsens over time.

+1 noise
posted by sleepy pete at 12:51 AM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I use it, but mostly to flag my own comments because I've fucked up somehow.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:51 AM on December 6, 2008


mathowie: People flag a lot of comments they simply disagree with as "offensive."

I was contemplating how much of an open-society-liberal mathowie is, after I read this remark. It never occurs to him, it seems, how certain closed-minded, judgmental, intolerant Internet users find everything they disagree with to be offensive. Matt's MeFi is pretty much founded on the principle of inclusivity; about the only thing that doesn't get by here on MeFi is the stuff that serves to make the place less inclusive for others.

But what about intolerant people? Yep, they're included too. They're such silly people - oh, you silly intolerant people! - that they flag simple disagreement as "offensive!" But they're not really offended! They're just in disagreement! We can have disagreement here on MeFi. So they're part of the community; they're included.

I can't help but wonder, of course, how much of this is disingenuous smoke and mirrors. I think Matt probably secretly detests intolerant jerkoffs who take offense at the least little thing - I know I would, in his shoes - but he wants his community to be as tolerant and open as possible, so the public mathowie reifies their behavior as "simple disagreement."

This is probably a good business model if you derive a significant amount of your revenue from signups, but boy does it ever pollute the discourse. But then again, how much more meta could you get?
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is probably a good business model if you derive a significant amount of your revenue from signups, but boy does it ever pollute the discourse.

Next on ActionNews: MATTHOWIE LETS METAFILTER GO TO ALL TO HELL TO MAKE WADS OF CASH! Right after these important messages from our sponsors.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:44 PM on December 6, 2008


But you can have only one "Arch-nemesis!"

What if you discover your "Arch-nemesis" has a secret boss who has been pulling the puppet strings for years. Do you just ditch the old one?

Probably more an askme question, I suppose.
posted by Sparx at 3:33 PM on December 7, 2008


You keep the original; his underlings are merely dioscene nemeses; the boss is a cardinal.

At the end of level 10, you fight the Pope.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:48 PM on December 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


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