What does flagging as fantastic mean? August 13, 2022 8:35 AM   Subscribe

I had thought that flagging a comment as fantastic means "this is a bad comment, within the realm of fantasy, and should be removed." But I notice others apparently using this flag to mean "this is a good comment, kudos!" So which is it? And if the latter, what does flagging a comment as good accomplish?
posted by splitpeasoup to Etiquette/Policy at 8:35 AM (33 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Very much the latter; it accomplishes highlighting those comments for inclusion on the Sidebar/best of/podcast, etc.
posted by sagc at 8:42 AM on August 13, 2022 [9 favorites]

This post flagged as fantastic!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:44 AM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Mod note: They're definitely for "yay, this is great!" notes to the mod team. We have a "fantastic flags" dashboard on the admin page where we can see all the comments/posts people have flagged as fantastic, which taz uses to build the "best of" and sidebar. When we have a best post contest (it's been a while!) we use them as votes and frimble built us a nifty little tool that lets us see those in different ways when we're doing best-post.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:07 AM on August 13, 2022 [10 favorites]

That is so interesting you thought it was for that other reason. Was it mainly because you didn't see any point in flagging comments in a positive way, or because your first impulse when seeing the world fantastic wasn't the "amazing, good" definition, but the "within the realm of fantasy" definition (which I think it is used less often for?). I wonder if any others read it that way.
posted by Glinn at 10:03 AM on August 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

I always understood it to mean this is a great comment, as per the definition of fantastic (adjective) from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary.

But i am quite intrigued by the double meaning.
posted by 15L06 at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

OMG I was meaning to ask this myself!!!

Is it a nod to the mods for a side bar?
Or for the podcast (which I've never listened to, despite my best intentions?)
Is it noted for "Best of MeFi?"
Is it to notify the mods that in general, this is a good comment, sometimes about site policy? Does any mod note those down? I know the usual is use the contact form, but do people make reference to site policy by "fantastic commenting" those types of comments?

Interesting to find the answer!

By the way - can "Best of MeFi" be considered to be on the front page with no drop-down? Or more prominent in some way? I keep forgetting it exists. I would love it as: Metafilter/AskMe/FanFare/Projects/Music/Best of/MetaTalk/Jobs/IRL, etc, just more out there.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2022

This brings to mind an interview I saw with Tilda Swinton where the interviewer said that her acting in Movie X was "totally incredible" and her reaction was a horrified "Oh, I always want my acting to be entirely credible! I'm so sorry!"
posted by hippybear at 12:29 PM on August 13, 2022 [22 favorites]

I can't seem to view the dictionary link above, but if you look at this one you might see why I was confused.
posted by splitpeasoup at 1:33 PM on August 13, 2022

At any rate, the question is answered now; thanks!
posted by splitpeasoup at 1:35 PM on August 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh boy, flagging comments as fantastic! That's where I'm a viking!
posted by Diskeater at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2022 [13 favorites]

flagging vikings as fantastic.
posted by clavdivs at 2:48 PM on August 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

Flagging vikings need the most coffee.
posted by Gorgik at 3:40 PM on August 13, 2022 [10 favorites]

(Hi yeah this is another way in which our flagging UI is so antique and weird that it's basically broken.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:25 PM on August 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

For this reason, fantastical is a better choice when used strictly in the "fantasy" sense.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:12 PM on August 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Wow. It would never have occurred to me as think of it as fantasy content.
posted by bendy at 8:41 PM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

this is a bad comment, within the realm of fantasy

I don’t think MeFi thinks fantasy is bad.
posted by bendy at 8:43 PM on August 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

Maybe we need a “Flagged as fantastical” choice. To reduce confusion.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:02 AM on August 14, 2022 [7 favorites]

My ancestors flagged Vikings as terrific
posted by Rumple at 10:14 AM on August 14, 2022 [6 favorites]

this is a bad comment, within the realm of fantasy

I don’t think MeFi thinks fantasy is bad.

Check FanFare for the Game of Thrones finale.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:37 AM on August 14, 2022

Both meanings of "fantastic" are valid; the one meaning unconnected to reality is actually the original. You could certainly use fantastical to avoid confusion, but when you are the reader and someone else used fantastic the ambiguity is there.

(As a side note, I love reading 18th and 19th century writing and seeing terrific, fantastic, awesome and their ilk used to convey something like the opposite of common usage. I would totally be writing "terrific" on a lot of schoolchildren's work if I were a teacher.)

Anyway, I've always interpreted it the way it was intended but it is a bit funny to click on the flag icon (which I always think of as metaphorically like calling in a ref) and get 4 ways to ask for the comment to be banned and then this one other thing.

Football games would be more fun if refs and opposing coaches flagged plays for being great. "We're stopping the action so we can all catch our breath after that last play!"
posted by mark k at 10:45 AM on August 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

"Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.

Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.

Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.

Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.

Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.

Elves are terrific. They beget terror.

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning." --- Sir Terry Pratchett.
posted by SPrintF at 10:57 AM on August 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

This thread has been flagged as inflammable.
posted by biogeo at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2022 [13 favorites]

Speaking of inflamed, can you look at this place on my thigh.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 3:38 PM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

OMG get a room!
posted by hippybear at 4:18 PM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Elves are horrid. They are covered in pointy quills like a porcupine.
posted by pullayup at 7:43 PM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I can't make an in-line image, but here's what I see: Mod Dashboard

"Good spots" is our fantastic flags, that sit there until Taz clears them when Taz turns them into "best of" links or discards them. On the left, you can see our metatalk and anonymous queues, which sit there grey until 24 hours has lapsed, at which point they turn green. As they grow stale, they turn yellow and then red.

In "flag hotspots" you'd see immediate flags as red, old flags as yellow, and VERY old flags as green. Most of the time we clear flags when they're red, with a few aging to yellow now that we have gaps in mod coverage.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:29 PM on August 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

Has the FAQ entry been modified in response to this MeTa?
The "fantastic post" flag alerts the admins to particularly good posts or comments. Sometimes these are highlighted on the MetaFilter sidebar or the Best Of Metafilter blog.
posted by zamboni at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

The boundary between the two usages is thin enough that when I see something described as "a fantastic tale" I think that it is a tale with implausible or supernatural elements, but when I see it described as "a fantastic story" I just think that it is excellent.

I do sometimes see things like "your plan is fantastic" meaning "your plan is divorced from reality" but I think of that as being pre-1900 usage.
posted by dfan at 10:46 AM on August 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

Viking flags, Viking flagons, surely?
posted by zoinks at 1:08 PM on August 15, 2022

Vikings are historically generators of spam, so I tend to flag them.
posted by hippybear at 1:25 PM on August 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Flagon, flag-off
posted by chavenet at 2:34 PM on August 15, 2022

Just commenting to say that you are far from the only one who found and continues to find it confusing to stick both the one "THIS IS AWESOME" and the five "THIS IS AWFUL" mechanisms under a "!" and call it all flagging. I've been around long enough to get used to MeFi's interface about this being ... unique, and they have been working on improvements (and as of late 2021-2022 improvements to flagging were the main [technical] priority, though I can't find a list right now of what those improvements are (going to be), and a lot of recent status updates on the flagging project have been "this is still ongoing."

Perhaps we could get a more explicit status report on the current state of the flagging improvements? What the end goal is, what's been accomplished so far, what still needs to be done?
posted by Pandora Kouti at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2022

Wow this is a fantastic thread. What a great fantastic audience. You are all fantastic.
posted by Sunflowers Beneath the Snow at 6:29 PM on August 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

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