What is flagging?
Flagging is a way of bringing inappropriate content to the attention of the community. The currently implemented flag types are the following:
- Spam (i.e. undiscriminated bulk advertisement)
- Offensive, abusive, or hate speech
- Not an answer (answers only)
- Flag to close (questions only)
- Duplicate question*
- Off-topic (with sub-reasons)*
- Unclear what you're asking
- Too broad
- Primarily opinion-based
- Very low quality (i.e. no amount of editing can salvage the post)
- Other (needs ♦ moderator attention)
* note that because flagging a question as duplicate or off-topic auto-generates a comment on that post, these options will not appear in the flag menu until you have earned 50 reputation (the amount required for commenting).
If you are ever confused over which flagging reason to choose, please follow the links below:
- Usage guide for spam and offensive
- Usage guide for not an answer
- Guide to off-topic flags
- Usage guide for very low quality
- Guide to comment flags
When should I flag?
If anything happens on our site that makes you feel uncomfortable or that, in your opinion, clearly does not belong here, please flag it and bring it to our attention!
How do I flag?
Click the flag link under any post and you will see the pop-up dialog pictured below.
Hover over a comment and click the flag icon to the left and you will see the pop-up dialog pictured below.
What happens when I flag something as spam or offensive?
The spam and offensive flags are designed to automatically eliminate truly offensive posts through the collaboration of the community.
- 3 flags -- post is banished from the front page.
- 6 flags -- post is locked, deleted, and the owner loses 100 reputation.
Users with the Moderator Tools privilege can see how many offensive flags a post has accrued, and may opt to flag it themselves.
What happens when I flag a comment?
In addition to bringing the comment to the attention of the moderators, a sufficient number of flags on a single comment will cause it to be deleted automatically. The number of flags required for deletion varies based on the number of votes on the comment, as well as the content of the comment itself.
What happens when I flag something as needs ♦ moderator attention?
You'll be required to enter a comment clearly explaining what the problem is. After that, these moderator flags go in a special high priority queue visible to all moderators. (Users with the Moderator Tools privilege cannot view these flags.) We take moderator flags quite seriously; rest assured that they are all followed up on!
Is there any way to remove flags?
There is often no need, as offensive and spam flags expire after 48 hours if the thresholds aren't reached.
Rolling back a post to a previous state will revert to the number of offensive flags from that particular revision. This allows the OP (or someone else with edit rights) to rollback a post that someone else made offensive in a later revision. However as a general user, once you mark a post as offensive, you cannot take it back.
How many flags do I have?
When you start out, you are allotted 10 flags per day. This number may increase to up to 100 flags per day:
- You get one bonus flag per 2000 reputation.
- You are awarded additional bonus flags when you flag correctly - one bonus flag for every ten net helpful flags (helpful flags minus declined flags).