What is the [!] feature? May 7, 2005 1:34 PM   Subscribe

What is the [!] feature? I've searched MeFi, MeTa, Ask and Wiki and haven't found any explanation of flagging a post, how it works or what it does? Help a FNG out...
posted by warbaby to MetaFilter-Related at 1:34 PM (21 comments total)

Click on the little [!] after my comment to see how it works. Flag it as trolling, or something. It sends a signal to Matt that someone's mad about something someone has said. If he agrees with the complaint, he might delete the comment.
posted by interrobang at 1:40 PM on May 7, 2005

When you click it, you get a chance to send a message to the flag queue. There are a short list of reasons attached, double post, noise, offensive content, breaking the guidelines, a few others. There is also an option to flag something "fantastic post" which means sometimes it winds up on the front page sideblog. Matt can take a look at the queue and see if something has gotten flagged all to hell and may need to have some action taken on it. This means he doesn't have to read every post and comment, and it also reduces his having to make value judgements about what the community might think, he can see what they do think, at least somewhat.
posted by jessamyn at 1:42 PM on May 7, 2005

So it means "Flag for Matt's attention"?

Is the flag que visible to us mere mortals?

It's a feedback device?
posted by warbaby at 1:51 PM on May 7, 2005

It merely indicates that Matt (or jessamyn in her Matt-like capacity) might want to look at a post, and why.

No, there's nothing visible to users.

No, there's no feedback loop. It's just a way of planting a flag on a post for "an administrator" to see.
posted by majick at 1:53 PM on May 7, 2005

It means take your 5$ back until you learn to read.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2005

All you have to do is click on the [!] to get this:

"You've just clicked on a "flag this post" link. This feature helps me weed out the bad stuff from MetaFilter and note the best parts (please limit the good comments to the truly amazing stuff I should note on the sidebar). Please state a reason why and press Flag this post to record it. If you clicked this by mistake, simply hit your back button. Thanks."
posted by puke & cry at 3:46 PM on May 7, 2005

All data collected from clicking on the [!] is sent to /dev/null for further scrutiny.
posted by crunchland at 3:50 PM on May 7, 2005

Thanks. Maybe a Wiki article or a paragraph in the FAQ?
posted by warbaby at 4:59 PM on May 7, 2005

It sends a signal to Matt

So it's like the MattSignal?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 5:32 PM on May 7, 2005

Hee hee. I'm flattered by the attention.
posted by [!] at 5:37 PM on May 7, 2005

it's on the wiki now.
posted by jessamyn at 5:53 PM on May 7, 2005

Wow. Thanks again.

Uh, unrelated to what?
posted by warbaby at 6:37 PM on May 7, 2005

fuck these n00bs are stoopit!

posted by quonsar at 8:01 PM on May 7, 2005

Uh, unrelated to what?

posted by puke & cry at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2005

If you see something that gets you really excited, let's say it gives you a general tingly feeling or you notice later that the post adumbrates the consequential behaviour of other posters, you hit that exclamation point. It's rather handy.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:35 PM on May 7, 2005

It's like pushing the button at a crosswalk--you never know if it really did anything.
posted by amberglow at 8:39 PM on May 7, 2005

Ah, so it's like the clitoris!

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:47 PM on May 7, 2005

Okay, now that was funny.
posted by yhbc at 9:27 PM on May 7, 2005

This post may be the result of a small design inconsistency. The [!] is not yellow, as are all other MeFi hyperlinks, so warbaby may not have realized it contained an answer to the question. Planes have crashed for smaller design flaws; here it simply opens the door for those poised to ridicule n00bs.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:11 AM on May 8, 2005

The [!] was originally yellow, but some users found that by giving it the same weight as all other hyperlinks made it distracting and they kept clicking on it to see what it was. I believe someone raised the concern that it might encourage people to over-use the flag feature. After that discussion, it changed to the current grey.

Also, Matt has said if he discovered that a particular user or users were essentially "crying wolf" and flagging so many posts that the feature was no longer hepful to him, then he would code a way for him to ignore the flags created by certain users. No word yet if he's ever implemented this.
posted by raedyn at 11:28 AM on May 8, 2005

The [!] is not yellow, as are all other MeFi hyperlinks, so warbaby may not have realized it contained an answer to the question

as raedyn said, it was yellow at first, but that was really distracting for a lot of people, so it got subtle-ified. But warbaby is aware in his question that it's for "flagging a post"; he just wants to know more about what flagging a post is. He could only have figured that by mousing over it, so he knew it was a link. He just may not have known that it's a link you can click-but-not-commit-to.
posted by mdn at 12:33 PM on May 8, 2005

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