Fly your Flag, freak! August 19, 2007 7:42 AM   Subscribe

I know this has been requested before, but can we have a better flagging system? I'd like to be able to: 1/ ... flag from the main page, and not have to go inside. 2/ Have either a user-fillable reason, or more/better reasons. F'r instance, "not the best of the web?"
posted by jpburns to Feature Requests at 7:42 AM (38 comments total)

The admins have told us before that the flag reason is all but unused. It's the volume of flagging that keys them into what's going on.

If you have a specific complaint about a post, you're better off emailing or IMing them than flagging.
posted by mendel at 7:51 AM on August 19, 2007


Flagged as 'other'.
posted by sveskemus at 7:54 AM on August 19, 2007


"other" is fine for anything that you don't see listed. It doesn't make much sense to have too much granularity on flagging reasons. Basically they break down [for me] into

- something needs fixing [HTML, remove double]
- something is disastrously wrong [breaks guidelines, offensive]
- I don't like this post/comment and I think you should look at it [noise, derail, other]
- I like this post/comment and I think you should look at it [fantastic]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 AM on August 19, 2007


Expanding on jessamyn and mendel: the flag reasons other than those for very specific objective issues kind of run together. "double", "display error", "fantastic" all have pretty specific uses and so they jump out at us and we can deal with them very quickly. "derail" and "noise" and "offensive" and "breaks the guidelines" on comments can have some use, but in practice they do show a lot of overlap and we rarely know what we're going to see based just on what flag got used. The granularity was even less useful on posts, which is why we stripped those down a bit.

If you think "not the best of the web" would be the perfect flag for a post, I'd suggest you flag it as "it breaks the guidelines" or "other". If you've got something that just absolutely unclassifably problematic, you can always drop one of us an email.

There are at least a couple comments back into the archives talking about the potential pitfalls of an open-ended flag field: basically, if it's not something worth sending us an email for, it's probably not worth typing into a text box.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on August 19, 2007


/2 has been taken care of pretty well.

What about flagging from the front page? (/1..) We can favorite from the front page, why not flag?
posted by carsonb at 8:21 AM on August 19, 2007


Sometimes going inside will show comments that make it clear the post won't last. "Double," with a link to the double, or numerous comments stating that it has been flagged, for example. Do you really want to miss all that fun?
posted by The Deej at 8:34 AM on August 19, 2007


(I don't have a horse in this race, just keeping all the wheels on the rail. I don't mind one bit going inside a thread to flag it, though it does raise a mild dissonance that one can fave from the front page but not flag.)
posted by carsonb at 8:48 AM on August 19, 2007


Arguably, favoriting something as a driveby generates no work for anyone but the favoriter—driveby flagging offloads work onto someone other than the flagger. A lot of people use favorites to keep track of things, so being able to do a quick run of faves to then go back to afterward is kind of useful.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:51 AM on August 19, 2007


It doesn't make much sense to have too much granularity on flagging reasons.

I used to think a user fillable field would be a good idea too, but I appreciate the point being raised. Maybe the flagging choices should be cut back? It would seem that all you really need is fantastic, display error, breaks guidelines, and other.

Too much granularity in certain areas is probably making people look for more choices in other areas..
posted by Chuckles at 9:13 AM on August 19, 2007


It would seem that all you really need is fantastic, display error, breaks guidelines, and other.

Flagged as IAWTP.
posted by grouse at 9:44 AM on August 19, 2007


2/ Have either a user-fillable reason, or more/better reasons.

What about an option for semaphore?
posted by carsonb at 9:46 AM on August 19, 2007


Well, but then there's semagainst, too, so it's not really a settled argument.

I apologize.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:47 AM on August 19, 2007


Basically they break down [for me] into...

Have you considered giving flaggers one set of options and having those display to admins as more general categories? It's pretty trivial to do <option value="other">Not best of the web</option> so someone wanting to use that flag doesn't need to figure out where it should go, and admins don't need to ever see the detail.
posted by scottreynen at 9:50 AM on August 19, 2007


one set of options and having those display to admins as more general categories?

Great idea, but I'd like it more if boats were involved.
posted by carsonb at 9:55 AM on August 19, 2007


It's an interesting idea, scottreynen, but I don't like how it would create a point of discrepancy between user experience and admin view: we'd have to start paying extra attention to what people think they're showing us vs. what they're actually showing us with their flags. "I flagged that as Not Best Of The Web, are you telling me you didn't see that?" Etc. Better I think to have it completely transparent.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 AM on August 19, 2007


Have you considered giving flaggers one set of options and having those display to admins as more general categories?

What would be the point of that? So that people can feel as though they are being heard even when they aren't?
posted by dersins at 10:05 AM on August 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


How 'bout:
1) Fantastic post!
2) Shit.
posted by The Deej at 10:10 AM on August 19, 2007


This is an issue that can only be resolved by giving everyone admin rights. It's the only way to save the community.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:10 AM on August 19, 2007


q: where did this "best of the web" nonsense get started, anyway?
a: back when catscan.com, jack saturn and silly string were the best things on the web.

time to give it up.
posted by quonsar at 10:15 AM on August 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


good/ bad/ broken would cover the bases
posted by boo_radley at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2007


Maybe a flag status after the comment/post in question, so you could know someone else already flagged it. [then we could be slashdot]

Or a flag update-able from the front page, and then the status line could just sum all the flags, good and bad. [then we could be reddit]

I kind of like being MeFi, instead.
posted by ctmf at 11:58 AM on August 19, 2007


I've wondered for a little while what comments in AskMe that judge the question instead of answering it are. Derails? Breaks-the-guidelines..es? Others? What does everyone else do?

I know it doesn't really matter, but I want to really know.

I just wonder because the FAQ mentions JudgeMe answers, but not the guidelines-guidelines, and I've never been sure if there's an actual distinction there.
posted by Many bubbles at 12:07 PM on August 19, 2007


The flagging system needs a special field for a URL to a youtube video of the flagger doing an interpretive dance on why the post caused sand to materialize in their metaphorical vagina.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:38 PM on August 19, 2007


Have you considered giving flaggers one set of options and having those display to admins as more general categories?

No. That seems rude. People can email us, and plenty do, if they need to explain a flag more fully.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:51 PM on August 19, 2007


Wha? Rude to whom? I'm only suggesting automating the mental translation you described earlier:

- something needs fixing [HTML, remove double]
- something is disastrously wrong [breaks guidelines, offensive]
- I don't like this post/comment and I think you should look at it [noise, derail, other]
- I like this post/comment and I think you should look at it [fantastic]

posted by scottreynen at 5:21 PM on August 19, 2007


Wha? Rude to whom?

Rude to the flaggers who THINK they are saying one thing, but are actually saying another.

In other words, if I flag something as "This might be better with a few supporting links, or perhaps less editorializing in the post title" and all the admins see is a message saying "I don't like this and I think you look at it," then I have been misled into thinking that my message has been heard.

That would be rude.

Also, totally fucking pointless.
posted by dersins at 5:39 PM on August 19, 2007


Also, totally fucking pointless.

I'm sorry. That was needlessly rude of me.
posted by dersins at 6:02 PM on August 19, 2007


I try very hard NOT to flag. Usually there's so many flag-happy people policing the site already, I don't have to worry about it. I think maybe I've flagged like maybe once or twice..?

I should more actively start flagging with the fantastic flag. Practice what I preach and all that. I wanna be the Paula Abdul of MeFi. I love you all and every single one of you have something important to contribute! *tears well up* Ooh! Cut to a commercial!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:02 PM on August 19, 2007


In other words, if I flag something as "This might be better with a few supporting links, or perhaps less editorializing in the post title" and all the admins see is a message saying "I don't like this and I think you look at it," then I have been misled into thinking that my message has been heard.

As I understood Jessamyn, that's exactly what's happening now, only it's happening in the admins' heads instead of automatically. It doesn't strike me as rude. It's only natural that admins think of flags in general terms, while flaggers think of them in specific terms.

The point (which is clearly never going to happen) would be to allow everyone to conceptualize flags how they naturally do, as opposed to the current system which strikes me as a bit more general than flaggers would prefer and a bit more specific than admins would prefer.
posted by scottreynen at 7:06 PM on August 19, 2007


I try very hard NOT to flag. Usually there's so many flag-happy people policing the site already, I don't have to worry about it. I think maybe I've flagged like maybe once or twice..?

Figure out why you still have crap posts on the front page. Nip THAT in the bud, then MeFite apathy will go away. And the answer is not brainwashing the $5 n00bs into believing that flagging matters when it still doesn't. The answer is make flagging actually matter. Right now it's a joke. Flags don't count. Why should anyone flag when it's ludicrously irrelevant?

If you tell me I'm wrong, that flagging is still somehow relevant? I got the last two hundred undeleted crap posts backing me up. What you got? Hope? Faith? Try history. Try physics. Try mathematics. Try common sense. Until the moderation system is fixed on this web site, please stop flagging. Please stop helping them perpetuate this illusion that we actually matter.

Changing the labels of the flags? It's three card monte. It's a shell game. You and me, we're just suckers in all of this. Stop allowing yourself to be suckered.

If you're still flagging, you're a part of the problem.
posted by grouse at 7:11 PM on August 19, 2007


Jeez, Grouse, did Matt run over your dog or something?

Lots of crap posts do get deleted. I didn't realize how many until I installed the GreaseMonkey script that shows deleted posts. And when a deleted poster decides to whine over here in MetaTalk (which very few do, maybe less than one in twenty) inevitably Cortex or Jess explain that the post was getting flagged. I too would like to see more filter on the Metafilter but flags are making a difference.

Pretty much the only reason I ever flag anything is that it is not the best of the web. I had been using "noise" especially for the agenda posts, but did anyone notice that they took away that flag in the blue about a month ago? Now I use "other."
posted by LarryC at 7:42 PM on August 19, 2007


Jeez, Grouse, did Matt run over your dog or something?

No, I just noticed how well ZachsMind's anti-flagging comment fit with his anti-voting comment so I decided to parody the latter in the context of the former.
posted by grouse at 2:20 AM on August 20, 2007


Btw, there's no way to cancel a flagging once you start it. If you accidentally click the wrong message to flag, you have to refresh the page to flag the right one.
posted by empath at 6:52 AM on August 20, 2007


there's no way to cancel a flagging once you start it.

A little grey 'x' appears just to the right of the reason box.
posted by Chuckles at 8:27 AM on August 20, 2007


F'r instance, "not the best of the web?"

Seconded. So very, very seconded.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:59 AM on August 20, 2007


I think boo_radley's "good/bad/broken" really covers almost all the bases. Add a "WTF?" and you have a home run!
posted by deborah at 1:59 PM on August 20, 2007


So in other words: ?
posted by mendel at 5:30 PM on August 20, 2007


goddammit, <select> worked in preview.

*flags*
posted by mendel at 5:31 PM on August 20, 2007


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