Only full members should have the ability to flag posts

We’ve seen a rise in posts being maliciously flagged on the forum (“flagging as a weapon” as I affectionately refer to it as), while I have no way of knowing who is flagging these posts, I doubt it’s coincidence that this began happening more when the new members auto approval system was enabled, a smidgen of examples:


Perhaps, for now, New Members unfortunately aren’t able to be trusted with the ability to flag posts and we should restrict it to full members in order to prevent it being used as a weapon to suppress posts until a Top Contributor has the time to look at them.

I’d appreciate the input of any of the Top Contributors Dev Engagement Team as to whether they’ve seen anything from their side as reviewers of these flags and whether new members disproportionally misuse flags or whether I’m mistaken :slight_smile:

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That second screenshot isn’t a very good example out of context. A post that small could be deserving of a flag, under certain scenarios. But yeah I’ve noticed an issue too.

In my opinion, it is a bad idea to restrict such an important feature from all New Members just because a few misuse it. The best idea would just to restrict it from the ones that do abuse it, not all.

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I cannot support this change. Simply because I see more correct flags then I do incorrect flags. So I do not see why this would exactly be needed. However, if this was to get more out of hand and posts that don’t violate any of the rules begin getting flagged. Then I’d support a change like this.

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I fully support this. The amount of unneeded flags is doing a lot to ruin our current devforum experience.

All current Members have access to anything that New Members have access to. Seeing that unnecessary flags occur more in topics that new members can see compared to the ones they cannot view is by far greater, and that due to new changes with the New Member admissions has resulted in a new level of flagging that we have not previously witnessed, I believe that such a change is deemed appropriate

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I rarely see correct flags anymore because the Top Contributors handle it rather quickly. The examples we’ve seen lately have been the new New Members trying to silence disagreements rather than being cooperative.

Although I don’t recommend a full on feature removal, I suggest that New Members’ flags not be treated like regular flags in that it hides a person’s comment but rather just sends the problem to the TC/DevRel

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I don’t think cutting off flagging abilities for new members is going to help in this situation…

However…

I am in favour of forum moderation staff finding who is creating these “false flags” and questioning them about the appropriateness of the flags. I’ve noticed a fair few posts that have been randomly flagged, including on my own thread, made by myself, answering a question. I don’t believe we should judge who is and isn’t able to use a feature based on a correlation of dates and events, but instead investigate those who do it maliciously and not for the betterment of the forum.

As for my response to the above posts getting flagged, people need to look into that. Leaving a compliment on something someone has made is exactly the kind of attitude the forum needs. This is meant to be a private communal space for developers to network and discuss each others work, and the future of the platform. A flag on a compliment for being “offtopic” goes not only directly against the foundations the forum was built on, but it’s also pretty stressful for the individual as they have no reasoning behind it.

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This is the key sentence in your thread what disqualifies your idea of removing post-flagging access for new members.

As you said, there is no way of knowing who is maliciously flagging these posts but for some reason, you’re using new members as a scapegoat which is absolutely ridiculous.

no support whatsoever

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Read up!

It’s more of new members flagging new members at this point, so I cannot support this as they are pretty much self moderating :man_shrugging:

I heavily agree with the topic here, but I think that instead of preventing all new members being able to flag posts, we should only prevent flagging from the new members who have abused flagging before. Not all of us new members are bad, and as such, it’d be quite unfair to the new members who don’t abuse the flagging system.

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Even if, some of these new members are making fairly decent posts, giving gratitude, asking a question, and etc. I get your point that a lot of current legitimate flags are coming from new members, but the amount of “okay-posts” being flagged is still a lot.

I totally agree with the main point: unnecessary flags. And as @nurgenius pointed out it’s obvious that a majority of these flags are from New Members. But this isn’t the solution. There are New Members (like myself) using the forum properly. We’re losing our rights and benefits slowly due certain new members. Do not blame us as a group for what some people do. The solution would be to punish the one abusing this function, not punish a whole group of individuals.

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Well that would require adding a new moderation system, since moderators would have to go through all valid flags. Discourse only hides a post if 5 people flag a post so its not a “one-by-one” moderation situation, and people are free to believe if a post is good or not.

This doesn’t change the fact that new members who are fairly new to the devforum and how it works need a little bit of time to adjust to the rules and the workings of the devforum before constantly flagging posts that the rest view fine on these forums.

We’re not intending to remove the whole flagging system, as full members are still capable and very much going to flag posts that are legitimately not belonging here.

I doubt there is proof of this that can back up your claims of this happening.

There’s lots. I’ve been a New Member over a year and I’ve never seen so many flags until after this new method of accepting New Members.

Let’s get back on-topic and not argue more on this.

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That and I have never been flagged for a post of the exact same quality in categories that are not visible to new members.


I support this, not because I’m a full member and therefore bias, but because the forum entry cannot change so drastically, making it far easier to get into and post within the forum, without other things being restricted.

For example, new members now have to use the post-approval process to post in #learning-resources:community-tutorials-resources and #platform-feedback:documentation-requests.

It isn’t about punishing the new member group as a whole, just adding buffers with the new systems.

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I totally agree with everything you said. But not all New Members are “New” and those restrictions just makes it hard for us to do what we used to do before this change. One solution would be to make the older “New” Members full members,

I fully agree,

This isn’t to discriminate or to prevent others from doing certain things. When I was a newer member (way before the new member program), I went through a phase of adjusting to the environment and community, and of course made mistakes here and there. There is a natural need for a barrier for certain features to protect everyone’s experience. You’ll quite simply have access to these features after a certain mark.

The first post you’ve included as an example I believe is correct in being flagged. The second one however is a bit trigger happy.

I do think that new members should be restricted from flagging if they are proving to be an issue. They are “new” members, and may not yet have a strong grasp on how things work here, but if there are no statistics to back up the claim that they are abusing or misusing the system, restricting them is senseless. It is entirely possible that Members are doing a lot of this flagging as well.

If it genuinely is becoming a problem, they should be restricted from using the flagging system and forced to go through LTC to report posts that are inappropriate or urgently need to be dealt with.