That psychedelic elephant is FANTASTIC! March 25, 2011 10:43 PM   Subscribe

The 'fantastic' flag: I know it's been called "outdated", and people have asked for it to be removed. Who cares about that! I would really like to know how many people use it, how it is used, and how the mods react to it being used.

This is purely out of middle-of-the-night curiousity. I can't remember if I've ever used the fantastic flag, but I've often thought of it. I usually shy away after imagining the mods' annoyance at my random "fantastic" of something that they do not actually find fantastic. Any also, I find the word choice of "fantastic" a hilarious. I feel as though I should be marking only the most ridiculous and outrageous things as fantastic because my brain is too literal with definitions sometimes. But I'm silly! Again, I have no real opinion as on whether it should stay or go.

Fellow underlings: How/when do you use it?

Mods: Do you pay any attention to that flag at all? Do a lot of people use it? Is it better/worse than favorites as far as marking the "quality" posts/comments/answers (subjectively speaking, of course!)?

Thanks for indulging my curiousity!
posted by two lights above the sea to Etiquette/Policy at 10:43 PM (93 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I pretty much use it to say "Hey, I think this should be sidebarred!" (i.e. I have done this maybe twice) which I think is probably fairly standard but I assume other people use it for my comments all the time. Some say brevity is the soul of wit, but they are wrong; pterodactyls are the soul of wit.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:53 PM on March 25, 2011 [27 favorites]


I have never used it, but I'm happy to favorite something if it's close to reaching the RSS limit.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:54 PM on March 25, 2011


I guess I haven't been around for the conversation in which the fantastic flag has been called outdated and people have asked for its removal.

I think I've used it maybe 2 or 3 times since I joined. But I also never actually read anything that gets sidebarred until it ends up in the sidebar, so I know I'm just hopelessly unhip all around.
posted by hippybear at 10:55 PM on March 25, 2011


I use it a lot; more than any of the negative ones, as a matter of fact. It seems to be to be less, um, politically charged, shall I say, than marking something as a favorite, which I tend to use as a bookmarking device rather than a reward device.
posted by Lynsey at 11:01 PM on March 25, 2011


Mostly I use it when things seem awesome. Or make me laugh. I'm not sure if I'm doing a disservice to the mods by doing that though.
posted by NoraReed at 11:06 PM on March 25, 2011


So people actually use the flags when something makes them laugh, or is interesting?
posted by Dumsnill at 11:11 PM on March 25, 2011


I use it very occasionally to say "sidebar this shit, bitches!"

No other point in using it that I can see.
posted by killdevil at 11:16 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like most of you have said, I use it on a very rare basis to suggest that something be sidebared. If you're using it more than rarely, I think you're Doing It Wrong, but I'm curious how the mods see it.
posted by zachlipton at 11:19 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use it (very rarely) if one comment gives a good explanation of something wrong going on in the discussion that might call for some kind of moderation. Aside from that, I don't use it.
posted by John Cohen at 11:27 PM on March 25, 2011


I've only used it a handful of times for comments that should be sidebarred. I always thought that's was its only function.
posted by Nattie at 11:28 PM on March 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Guess I've never really thought of using it that way. I pretty much only hit a flag if it's an obvious double, or a shitty personal attack, or an extremely editorializing post. Otherwise I just favorite. Do the mods pay attention to the "fantastic" flags?
posted by Dumsnill at 11:29 PM on March 25, 2011


Hmmm, does 'other' bring up a box for an explanation; click - 'thanks for flagging'... Ooops.
And knowing is half the battle.
posted by buzzman at 11:31 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I use it in a sarcastic sort of way.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:38 PM on March 25, 2011


I want a sarcastic and removable pony.
posted by buzzman at 11:56 PM on March 25, 2011


I'm waiting for someone to make a post about Wham!'s debut album, so I can use the fantastic flag without fear of being wrong.
posted by amyms at 12:36 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love the fantastic flag and you can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:14 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still waiting four the freak flag.
posted by Sailormom at 1:20 AM on March 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


I use the fantastic flag a lot. It's nice for pointing out the wonderful sleeper comments that maybe are too obscure, too inside-baseball, or in a less popular thread...comments that probably wouldn't have mass appeal or big notice through the favoriting system, but are little gems nonetheless.

The word 'fantastic' isn't socially marked in any way for me, and it never occurred to me that others find it quirky, but it's not surprising either.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:23 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess I also feel that 'flag', 'fantastic' and 'favorite' are a nice alliterative cluster of semantically related words here on MetaFilter.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:25 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I knew there was a fantastic flag, but I've never used it as I'm unclear of it's meaning. Does it mean you think something isn't real, that it's pure fantasy?
posted by philip-random at 1:28 AM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I use it to highlight underappreciated awesome posts.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:32 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yep, and when you flag something, it becomes your property!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:38 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


8 times out of ten I use it to say 'Sidebar this shit'

The other 2 times I'm saying to either Cortex or Jessamyn 'Dude, LOL'.

(They know when it's for them from the spin I put on it when click it)
posted by Jofus at 2:37 AM on March 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I usually use it to flag something that deserves to be sidebarred, and my confirmation bias tells me that things I flag as fantastic that way usually are. I've also used it on threads in the gray that are contentious with the mods to highlight points I agree strongly with, but that's exceedingly rare.
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:43 AM on March 26, 2011


I can probably count on my fingers the amount of times I've used it, and I also use to flag things I regard as worthy of the sidebar.
posted by Jilder at 4:42 AM on March 26, 2011


You use it when you suspect someone's lying, no?
posted by mahershalal at 5:07 AM on March 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I use it when I get a spidey-sense that something is getting flagged but I don't want the mods to make it go away, so I flag it fantastic so they've got some other data to take into consideration when looking at the flags.
posted by floam at 6:13 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 'fantastic' flag is intended to be used to flag mentions of the Fantastic Four, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Jesus, haven't you read Meatbomb's FAQ?
posted by box at 6:25 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sidebar indicator.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:28 AM on March 26, 2011


I use it to say I CLAIM THIS POST FOR THE SOVEREIGN LAND OF AWESOMEISTAN OF WHICH I AM THE BENEVOLENT DICTATOR FOR LIFE but tbh I am not sure that the flagging makes this sentiment as clear as I'd like it to.
posted by elizardbits at 6:29 AM on March 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I use it to alert the mods to any Philadelphia sports team aficionados that I see in the comments. Can't be to careful.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:41 AM on March 26, 2011


Mods: Do you pay any attention to that flag at all? Do a lot of people use it?

I sure do. I put most of the "Hey this is neat" stuff on the sidebar and while occasionally I'll toss something up there that I just come across, often I'll look at the fantastic flags and see what's in there that I think other MeFites might like and/or miss otherwise. I don't tend to look at favorites for this just because it's not how I interact with the site (I use a favorites Greasemonkey script that basically shows one/some/most levels of faves).

So yeah it pretty exclusively means "sidebar this!" though sometimes if a lot of people favorite something it can also mean "Hey mod team, go look at this" for stuff that we're unlikely to sidebar. I have no idea on how many people use it, though I'm sure we could dredge the Infodump for that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use it to alert the mods to any Philadelphia sports team aficionados that I see in the comments. Can't be to careful.

No, no: that's the "phantastic" flag!
posted by gladly at 7:12 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use it the way you use favorites.

I fantasize that some day there will be a way to tell someone they made a great comment, or a comment that was particularly resonant with you, without bookmarking the comment or commenting yourself (the QfT treatment).
posted by Eideteker at 7:30 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The fantastic flag used to be the only built-in way to lend a comment or post explicit non-verbal support; aggregate favorites has taken over a lot of that role at this point but enough people still use the fantastic flag to point out good stuff that it remains handy. Like Jess says, we look at what people are doing with it as one way to find neat stuff.

And we can't actually look through the Infodump for this stuff (flagging data isn't included) but it could totally be a one-off analysis project to throw on my rainy day list.

I use it (very rarely) if one comment gives a good explanation of something wrong going on in the discussion that might call for some kind of moderation.

This is not likely to produce the desired response. If something is going wrong in a thread that needs mod attention, either flag the going-wrong things or, if it's the sort of diffuse going-wrongness that flagging a specific item or two won't capture, send us an email and explain what's up. A stray fantastic flag is going to just look like a stray flag and isn't likely to get anything like a timely response.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have we had 'Flagged as Fantastic!' on a shirt yet?
posted by carsonb at 7:51 AM on March 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


Guess what idea I just flagged, carsonb?
posted by Mister_A at 8:14 AM on March 26, 2011


Eventually I need to train myself to use flags, because I should be flagging things as fantastic (not to mention FIAMO, even if I'm getting the MO part down). After 2 years of being on the site plus more as a lurker, I should probably have a good idea of what's sidebar-worthy and note it.
posted by immlass at 8:16 AM on March 26, 2011


We could use a separate menu for the fantastic tag.

–adjective
1.
conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre; grotesque: fantastic rock formations; fantastic designs.
2.
fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions: We never know what that fantastic creature will say next.
3.
imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational: fantastic fears.
4.
extravagantly fanciful; marvelous.
5.
incredibly great or extreme; exorbitant: to spend fantastic sums of money.
6.
highly unrealistic or impractical; outlandish: a fantastic scheme to make a million dollars betting on horse races.
7.
Informal . extraordinarily good: a fantastic musical.

posted by Brian B. at 8:24 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I use the fantastic flag a lot, generally when somebody has put a lot of effort into typing up a comment that's very helpful on the green, or very insightful on the blue. I guess I'm just always impressed when somebody has access to some arcane knowledge that they choose to share with the rest of the world, or took the time to compile helpful links to solve a problem. I flag instead of favorite generally because I don't need to bookmark them, but I think they deserve some acknowledgement for their efforts.

Plus I always like to imagine the mods slogging through endless amounts of negative flags and suddenly coming across a positive one for once that doesn't require any attention except "hey, isn't this cool?" It probably doesn't actually make their day better, but it'd certainly put me in a more buoyant mood.
posted by lilac girl at 8:40 AM on March 26, 2011


I generally forget it's there unless someone remarks "flagged as fantastic!". I've used it only a few times.
posted by Miko at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2011


It probably doesn't actually make their day better, but it'd certainly put me in a more buoyant mood.

Nah, it totally makes our day better, or mine at least.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:00 AM on March 26, 2011


Dumsnill: I have never used it, but I'm happy to favorite something if it's close to reaching the RSS limit.

What is this RSS limit you speak of?
posted by 47triple2 at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2011


Well then I'm glad to help!
posted by lilac girl at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2011


What is this RSS limit you speak of?

It's the Really Special Snowflake limit.
posted by mintcake! at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is very satisfying! I'm glad to know that the mods are (still) using it.

When I said "outdated" I was referring to the half-dozen metatalk posts I found when I searched for fantastic flag. I got the impression that a few people thought the flag was unneccessary, and that the mods had considered scraping it. I'm happy that this sentiment has changed a little.

I'm also excited to hear that I'm not the only one who finds the choice of "fantastic" amusing.

You folks make me swoon with Internet love!
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2011


I tried to use it here, but in the end it didn't seem to matter.
posted by gman at 9:22 AM on March 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


What were you trying to use it to do exactly?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 AM on March 26, 2011


I tried to use it here, but in the end it didn't seem to matter.

Ha, I was just coming here to post that link, it's so damn good. It's like the beginning of the movie Hangover, Episode V: The Tequila Strikes Back
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:29 AM on March 26, 2011


I flag things as fantastic when I want to make the mods laugh, usually, and also to highlight stuff that's not getting a bunch of favorites but is, in fact, fantastic.
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on March 26, 2011


Thanks for saving that gman, it made my morning. IMO, it was fantastic.
posted by clavdivs at 9:31 AM on March 26, 2011


I tried to use it here, but in the end it didn't seem to matter.

Holy crap... Is that OP for real? As in, not a spammer/bot?
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:40 AM on March 26, 2011


Is that OP for real?

Based on its literacy level, I'm thinking it's pretty likely that that was xteraco using fr0zen's account to troll the metafilter pussies for drunken lulz. And I for one am glad to know he missed us enough to make the effort.
posted by RogerB at 10:03 AM on March 26, 2011


I flag all my posts as fantastic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:11 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Based on its literacy level, I'm thinking it's pretty likely that that was xteraco using fr0zen's account...

If so, that's kinda cool, in some strange way I can't explain.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:13 AM on March 26, 2011


I remember that debacle, we went all Internet detective on the guy and accused him of selling his girlfriend's jewelry to customize his car. I bet he is still pissed.

That is one of the handful of askmes that turned so hateful as to convince me to never ask mefi a question no matter what.

If you are wondering the others are:

1) person who wanted to know if it was ok to break up with their boyfriend/girlfriend because he/she/it was not intellectual enough
2) person who's girlfriend wanted him to stop drinking.
3) person who's girlfriend stayed out all night drinking then got a mms message of a cock the next day.
4) person who went on a date and was not pleased with his date's apparel

I still think that ask will cut me to ribbons at the first chance.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:53 AM on March 26, 2011


jessamyn: What were you trying to use it to do exactly?

Get it sidebarred, which is what I imagine anyone who flagged it was trying to do, but the options in the flag list are so damn small, it's easy to choose the wrong one. And as we all know, once you've flagged something, there's no unflagging it.
posted by gman at 11:01 AM on March 26, 2011


Get it sidebarred, which is what I imagine anyone who flagged it was trying to do

You're so adorable when you're making those "Who ME?" eyes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:05 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do we need another of those MeFi people trafficking rescue threads? I'm worried that xteraco's making fr0zen work at the Bunny Ranch.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2011


It's the only way I've found to favorite something twice.

Also, I use it sparingly so that when I do, the mods are sure to notice and think "Well, he rarely flags things as fantastic, so this comment must really be special for sure, and so clearly, we should sidebar this with some dispatch." I'd de-value that aspect of our understanding if I were to flag just any common old thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2011


I use it whenever someone agrees with me while I'm being an obstinate dick.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:52 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never flagged anything for content. I'd only flag something if it was obvious spam or a double. I don't see much of the former and someone generally beats me to the latter.
posted by Decani at 11:55 AM on March 26, 2011


I'm kind of a libertine with my favorites. I have run out of favorites more than a few times.

But I save the fantastic flag for things that are so exceptional that I think they deserved to be sidebarred. I try not to use it more than once or twice a week.
posted by marsha56 at 11:57 AM on March 26, 2011


The fantastic flag is when I kiss you on the mouth.
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think I've ever used it.
posted by iconomy at 1:04 PM on March 26, 2011


Comments so nice you favorite them twice!
posted by ellenaim at 1:10 PM on March 26, 2011


Yeah, I'll mark something as "fantastic" if I think it's a sideblog candidate.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2011


I only use it sarcastically.
posted by ODiV at 2:05 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually a way to keep track of the things I've flagged as fantastic would be nice, a kind of super favorite.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


(a bit like Susan's silver and gold stars in Thief Of Time )
posted by The Whelk at 2:07 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I flag all of my own comments as fantastic, so the rest of you won't have to. It's just a little something I like to do to ease the burden on everybody else.
posted by Balonious Assault at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2011


I mark posts as fantastic when I think they are fantastic.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:35 PM on March 26, 2011


Can one of the mods confirm for me if comments are being flagged as fantastic almost willy-nilly in this thread? Right now, alls I know is that I, myself, am having a hard time restraining from doing so.
posted by .kobayashi. at 3:20 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flag as 'Oh hey! That guy. I love that guy'
Flag as 'A growing sense of unease'
Flag as FAZE ACTUALLY BELIEVES THIS
Flag as a working metaphor for the decline of the worsted industry in victorian Norfolk
Flag as this sounds like something I would agree with overall, yeah
Flag as nuts to you, McGilicutty
Flag as this appears not to be about Minecraft
Flag as noise, statistically speaking
Flag as MAGIC IS HAPPENING HERE
posted by Jofus at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


Flag as a horribly crashed limerick (I mean, nine lines?)
posted by Namlit at 4:26 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tried to use it here, but in the end it didn't seem to matter.

I can't believe I almost missed that. I hope fr0zen/xteraco pop up again every five years from now on, like that Poe guy.
posted by enn at 6:39 PM on March 26, 2011


I've always used it as the equivalent of the phrase "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN"

i.e. to flag posts that look completely senseless to me but hey maybe I'm missing something.
posted by chaff at 8:30 PM on March 26, 2011


I can't believe I almost missed that. I hope fr0zen/xteraco pop up again every five years from now on, like that Poe guy.

I was giddy with anticipation when I came across that question while it was still live, at least until I realized it was going to get deleted faster than a Mefite in the soda aisle of a Shaw's Supermarket.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:43 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


To date, I've never flagged anything. Lazy. However, I noticed that there's supposed to be a way of seeing posts that have been flagged as fantastic, a script mentioned in the FAQ- but it doesn't work. A gimcrack in the whichyjaw, perhaps?
posted by drhydro at 9:53 PM on March 26, 2011


Actually, from what I hear, most of my comments are deemed "fantastic" by the lot of you.

(thanks!)
posted by hal_c_on at 10:07 PM on March 26, 2011


Oh man, I was wondering where the fr0zen meta was. Glad I looked in here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:36 PM on March 26, 2011


It is the fantastic button. You press it occasionally so that metafilter continues to be fantastic.

(And to get stuff sidebarred. But then, hitting contact and sending the mods a message seems a slightly better way of doing that to me.)
posted by Ahab at 3:44 AM on March 27, 2011


MetaFilter: noise, statistically speaking.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:04 AM on March 27, 2011


Just to complete the trifecta here, the analysis of user flagging, especially "fantastic", is an important part of my work. It is helping me to learn what "fantastic" really means.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:53 AM on March 27, 2011


Oh, I thought the fantastic button works like the injection ball (heh) of my lawn mower: you squeeze it three times before starting up (you also clean the OilFilter once a year, btw.).

(On topic, I have used the fantastic flag once for something I found fantastic. Am I missing something?)
posted by Namlit at 7:22 AM on March 27, 2011


We need a fabulous! tag.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:10 PM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I once tried to flag a really obnoxious and hateful comment, but my finger slipped and I ended up giving it a "fantastic." I think I actually gnashed my teeth when I found that I couldn't fix it.
posted by Toothless Willy at 2:13 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


But... you don't have any teeth!
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:27 PM on March 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


He doesn't have any teeth now. How do you think he lost them?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:48 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm always weirded out when you guys comment sequentially.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:41 PM on March 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sequentially...hmmm...like in "teeth come, teeth go..."?
posted by Namlit at 6:15 PM on March 28, 2011


Never a miscommunication...
posted by ODiV at 9:16 PM on March 28, 2011


Ahab writes "(And to get stuff sidebarred. But then, hitting contact and sending the mods a message seems a slightly better way of doing that to me.)"

In the immortal words of Micheal Weston "Why Choose?".
posted by Mitheral at 7:23 AM on March 29, 2011


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