I'm not sure if you guys are aware, but whenever someone flags something in The Bridge, that flag is shown to all moderators and all 10k users across the network. 9 times out of 10 there is nothing offensive about what is flagged.

Flagging isn't meant to be used when you disagree with something, it's meant to be used when something is over-the-top offensive or is a degrading personal attack on someone.

Why are there an absolutely inordinate amount of chat flags coming into my queue on a regular basis from here? Can't you guys just get along?

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    Perhaps it's not offensive to you, but you have to remember that offensiveness is subjective. (Disclaimer: I'm not 10k, so I don't actually see flags.) – Ullallulloo Mar 9 '12 at 21:34
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    Agreed. There is major flag spam in The Bridge and I would like to hurt^H^H^H^H have a merry chat with those that flag excessively. Users have also occasionally been banned from chat temporarily for no good reason. – Ben Brocka Mar 9 '12 at 21:34
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    Why exactly do flags alert all 10k users across the network? That seems unnecessary when a room already has active 10k users in the room – Dave McClelland Mar 9 '12 at 21:36
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    /s/occasionally/frequently @ben. – LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 9 '12 at 21:36
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    Also, this is NOT just the issue of the one user I know you're all thinking of. One user attracts many flags but the problem is the flaggers, not one user getting flagged a lot. – Ben Brocka Mar 9 '12 at 21:38
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    @BenBrocka As someone who has served a higher than average number of suspensions myself, I know that all too well. – LessPop_MoreFizz Mar 9 '12 at 21:40
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    @Ullallulloo I would generally agree with this, and I've even upheld a few flags out of The Bridge that were borderline offensive, but I've also declined serial flags that were pretty obviously "Let's just flag everything this guy says". If you're truly genuinely offended it's one thing, but if we're talking about "just flag so he'll get chatbanned for 20 minutes" that ain't cool... – voretaq7 Mar 9 '12 at 21:41
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    @voretaq7: I agree. If you're going to flag something, it shouldn't just be based on the person saying it. – Ullallulloo Mar 9 '12 at 21:42
  • The whole network wide thing has been discussed ad nauseum, to no avail meta.stackexchange.com/questions/112691/… – Holocryptic Mar 9 '12 at 21:43
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    By "an absolutely inordinate amount" you mean "around two or three per day", right? – mmyers Mar 9 '12 at 22:11
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    I meant that by ratio, not volume. I usually see anywhere between 2-5 per day on average, but I'd estimate that well over 90% are from the bridge. I'm not judging anyone, Comms Room has had its share of chat infamy. I'm just saying that there seems to exist a growing problem within your community that people may not be aware of, since non-10k users don't see the notifications. – MDMarra Mar 9 '12 at 22:30

I would also like to point out (for those who may not know about it) this handy feature of our chat system: If you click on a user you'll get this little window with some options --

Ignore A User

If you don't like what a user says, ignore them (just like you would at a bar).
If you really don't want to hear what a user says, use the ignore link.
If they're really, genuinely offensive, flag them.

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Just in our defence, I'd like to point out that this is a network-wide problem. In the entire lifetime of chat.SE, I've seen maybe two or three flags that really were spam or offensive. The others were just disagreement/pettiness.

Personally, I think that the entire flag system has to be revamped somehow. It's far too easy to get somebody suspended over something that really doesn't deserve it. I've seen it happen in at least three of the major chatrooms.

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    I very rarely see flags from any room but The Bridge, I think the flag system isn't perfect but it would work a lot better if certain users wouldn't abuse it – Ben Brocka Mar 9 '12 at 21:44
  • @BenBrocka EL&U, Ubuntu, Mathematics. I've seen plenty of flags 'round the system. – user56 Mar 9 '12 at 21:45
  • I've seen plenty of flags, but they're generally quite rare. Ubuntu does come up on occasion though... – Ben Brocka Mar 9 '12 at 22:00
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    Just to be fair here, I've seen some fairly blatantly-offensive stuff flagged. However, it also tends to get deleted quickly (either by enough flags, or moderator intervention). The flags on non-intrinsically-offensive stuff catch the eye of more people because they hang around longer. – Shog9 Mar 9 '12 at 22:09
  • I've seen flags from Ubuntu and EL&U that were bogus. I hate to single you guys out because you're not the only room that generates bogus flags, but it seems that a disproportionate number of times the little flag icon lights up with a flag from The Bridge and I can't figure out why anyone was offended. Then again bear in mind that @MDMarra and I are both denizens of The Comms Room, which has a pretty high offense threshold. – voretaq7 Mar 9 '12 at 22:11
  • @Shog9 That's definitely part of the problem - The obviously offensive stuff gets dealt with quickly (and people should definitely flag that), but the "I don't like this guy so I'm flagging his stuff so he'll get a temporary ban" stuff hangs around until it starts getting flashed to 10K users in other chats to look at. – voretaq7 Mar 9 '12 at 22:14
  • @Shog9 Which seems to me like another argument for the flag system to be revamped. – user56 Mar 9 '12 at 22:24
  • @Arda: because offensive stuff gets removed before most folks even notice it? Or because a handful of people can't resist the lure of the glowing orb? – Shog9 Mar 9 '12 at 22:25
  • @Shog9 If I had to choose, the latter. Basically, if it survives being checked by people in the room, it is either really borderline or not offensive at all. Someone in another room can't judge borderline issues, because they won't know the context. – user56 Mar 9 '12 at 22:37
  • @Shog9 The current rapid handling of truly offensive material implicitly relies on the inability of people to resist the lure of a glowing orb... – voretaq7 Mar 9 '12 at 22:37
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    I completely agree that the system is fundamentally flawed. I have no business being able to vote on flags in your room. In fact, I had to register just to post this question. Why should I decide what is and isn't ok for your community that I know nothing about at all? I don't feel like you have anything to actually defend, I wasn't trying to accuse anyone of anything. I was just saying that maybe everyone should calm down and re-evaluate what the purpose of flagging is for. Anecdotally, the vast majority of flags that I see come from here. As an outside observer, you all just need some hugs. – MDMarra Mar 9 '12 at 22:38
  • @Arda: well, that's absolutely not true. It may be true in some rooms, but there are plenty of rooms that never (or at least, for fairly lengthy periods of time) don't have either enough active users in them or enough moderators checking on them. – Shog9 Mar 9 '12 at 22:41
  • @Shog9 so let those flags ping diamonds from around the network and 10k users that opt-in to participating in global moderation. If a room has X 10k users/mods in it, then the room handles itself. If not, reach for outside help from users that have opted in to wanting to help. Just having anyone that's 10k be bothered by this seems like more of a punishment for participation rather than a privilege. – MDMarra Mar 9 '12 at 22:43
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    @Shog9 I think the problem is that 10kers get this knee-jerk reaction of "okay, I need to act on this, but I don't want to click through. I'll just approve it." which gets people suspended. You can't just assume that everyone is willing to actually look into the flag. Only diamonds actually signed up for that. – user56 Mar 9 '12 at 23:41

If you've neither the time nor desire to be bothered by potentially-frivolous flags... Just ignore them.

As you say, there are plenty of moderators and high-rep users across the network who can review this stuff. Flags tend to get handled, one way or another, in a very short period of time.

If you notice them piling up, and nothing is done for a very long period of time, then maybe check into it - otherwise, don't worry about it.

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    There's also the fancy options to disagree or even just say "I'm meh about this flag", too. – Grace Note Mar 9 '12 at 22:23
  • Yes, as Grace Notes, there's an option to actively ignore it if you simply can't do so passively. – Shog9 Mar 9 '12 at 22:26
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    I've actually brought that up here. I didn't post this to point fingers. SF chat has had its share of growing pains as well. I was just making a statement to this community that, as an outside observer able to see chat flags, it seems like a disproportionate amount come from here. On top of that, many are not "offensive" in any sense of the word. – MDMarra Mar 9 '12 at 22:34

It's a... known problem.

You guys may have noticed that there is a particular user that attracts the majority of the unjustified flags. Unfortunately, whoever is doing the flagging is being sheltered by anonymity at the moment. :(

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  • Actually it's 2 users who seem to get beat on (though definitely one poor small-of-stature fellow who seems to get the brunt of it). – voretaq7 Mar 9 '12 at 21:39

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