Flagging, the forums and you! 🚩

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#1

Happy day Episodians :partying_face:! To think it has been an entire year since we tumbled, progressed, caught our footing and finally landed in our new and shiny community home :houses:! Today we would like to take some time to go over a particular feature that we are sure everyone is a bit more familiar with after having some time with it, flagging :triangular_flag_on_post:!

“What on earth is the point of the flagging feature and why should I use it?”
We are glad you asked! Flagging is a built in feature of the forums that enables users to notify the forum staff of any potential wrongdoing or forum rule violations. As Discourse officially includes it on their flagging faq, “intended to dissuade bad behavior and spam, as well as to promote civilised discourse”. It is very important to recognize the flagging feature as an educational tool. So that time you received a notification saying that your post was flagged? No fear, these notifications are here in order to let you know what you might have done that breaks the forum rules and provides you with an opportunity to edit/fix your content to something a bit more in line with the forum guidelines. Please make sure to read each notification for full details. And remember, “If you want to raise an issue about a post without derailing the topic at hand, the best course of action is usually to flag it.”

“That is great but how do I know when I should flag someone?”
We got you covered! Check out this example thread below for more info:

“Great, but how do I flag?” -
Step One: The “three dots” menu can be found at the bottom of every reply.

Step Two: Make sure to tap/click the flag that is directly underneath the topic/reply that you want to report.

Step Three: Choose the correct option that best describes the violation in question. Please make sure to include as many details as possible in the field’s requesting info.

“But what happens after I flag something? :woman_shrugging:

The flagged content pops up in the staff flag queue. Staff review the flag and choose which action to take after researching. Please note that the forum team takes every flag & report seriously and conducts timely investigations in order to make educated and safe decisions that best suit the community. Flags are reviewed on an individual and case by case basis. This means some flags are easier to resolve than others or will result in different outcomes.

Once the review is finished a very friendly private message is sent to the author of the post, describing what happened, and letting them know that any changes they may need to make to un-hide the post. This is the user who has been flagged’s chance to learn from their mistake and better understand the rules of the forums. If you get a notification it is important for you to read it! Notifications might all look the same but may include different details in each one.


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#3

Research? How do you define research exactly?


#4

Pretty much everything that people don’t like (opinions contrary to theirs) end up flagged. Maybe there needs to be bans for abusing the flagging system so that some of us who aren’t part of certain groups can also have a voice. Flagging for no reason ends up pretty much just making people mad and things escalate from there, people want to be able to have a voice, and quite honestly I’m tired of being shut down when I have opinions about something. I’m not the monstrous person certain over dramatic people in this community have tried so hard to make me out to be, I have concerns about things and I am allowed to have a voice as much as anyone else here. The flagging abuse needs to stop.


#5

I personally and some of my friends have a lot of our posts flagged. For example whole thread mostly goes off-topic, but only mine, or a few people gets flagged. How to deal with this? Flag system is being abused a lot, but Episode seem to keep blind eye on this.


#6

I agree with this sometimes I end up getting flagged because apparently asking why someone doesn’t agree or does agree on a topic is wrong :roll_eyes:


#7

Thank you for this, Jeremy! Hopefully, people realize that repeatedly flagging someone’s post(s) for no coherent reason and tagging them as Off-Topic (when the post is clearly On-The-Topic) is wrong and not over-use the Flag feature too much in the coming future :+1:t3:


#8

Sadly, they won’t. Flagging here, for some people, is the way to shit-over someone, without getting their hands dirty ^^


#9

Well, we can always hope for the better and work towards it. Because as we know – the Episode Forums is for being a friendly and helpful community, not a drama-inducing television show :disappointed_relieved:


#10

Oh. Well I think it is kinda both :slight_smile: Depends on the day and a person.


#11

We needed this, some people are so up themselves they get triggered over anything. :roll_eyes: If you like Tuna, and I don’t, don’t flag me for it.


#12

With all due respect @Jeremy but about “investigating” and “reviewing” it’s not true. Proofs are in my PM. I was flagged many times for doing completely nothing, while in some cases I was flagged for speaking up truth in little hard way, but others involved were not punished as I was - being banned.

So please, don’t say this is a fair system, because it is not. I rather not say too much, I’ll be flagged again. Or to make a conclusion- best is to not even comment on this forum.


#13

Hahahahahah!!! Sorry, it isn’t actually funny “haha”, but it is pretty damn funny. Evil, evil commies…LOL


#14

If a user get’s flagged and the staff agrees that the post or thread was objectionable and violates the rules…specifically in the case mentioned of users being off topic, then you were off topic and the team agrees with the flag. Reviewing the general rules again might help with some of the confusion expressed in this thread. :man_shrugging:

Also, Let’s share some insight as to off topic posting.

From the tutorial above. This is one of the reasons that many of the community’s post’s get flagged. Instead of flagging a post that violates the forum rules they try to self moderate which then derails the conversation which is considered to be off-topic. If the community simply starts flagging instead of trying to play moderator it would substantially decrease the amount of off topic flags you receive and only those who are breaking the rules will get flagged. Regarding the abuse of the flagging system…yes people do it…but all of those flags come directly to us…and if the flag is not warranted then we dismiss it and the flagged user does not get into any trouble.

It’s very important to understand that the team cannot dismiss a flagged post because the flagged user had good intentions. Having the best intentions and trying to help the forum team while breaking the rules at the same time is still breaking the forum rules.

IE:
Forum User A creates a Dragonball Appreciation thread
Forum User B Replies to User A’s thread saying how they hate Dragonball
Forum User C Replies to User B’s post telling them that this is a Dragonball appreciation thread and that User B’s post is not allowed

Where did User C go wrong? We do recognize the good intentions that this user had with their reply…but they did not flag User B’s post and instead attempted playing the roll of a moderator which then in turn creates off-topic discussion in the thread. This is considered off-topic and both User B and User C should then both be flagged and dealt with by the forum team.

Please know that if you get flagged and don’t agree with it you have every opportunity to reach out to @Sydney_H or myself to discuss the flag. So far (me personally) I have only had maybe a handful of people coming to me in PM to discuss a flag that they did not agree with. That is not a very large statistic when we have 90k+ members on the forums. So please, we encourage you to reach out to us if you ever have any questions regarding a flag that you received. Thanks.


#15

@Jeremy so let met get this right Forum user A and his dragon ball appreciation thing gets a comment from Forum User B this user says that they don’t like Dragonball
How is this off topic ? this kinda makes me feel like Forum User B doesn’t have the right to give his own opinion of course it matters how they say it but if Forum User B says: I hate Dragonball and this user get’s flagged it kinda makes me feel like this user doesn’t have the right to his own opinion

please correct me if I’m wrong?


#16

Thanks for asking questions. We are here to help and don’t want anyone left confused.

We have had many instances where the thread op User A will flag another user’s post because even though the reply post created by User B is regarding the topic of “Dragonball” the response is not regarding the users appreciation for Dragonball, which would be considered off topic, especially since User A is the thread op, in charge of their own thread & flagged the violating post like they were supposed to.

If the thread’s topic is to express your appreciation for Dragonball and not to express your displeasure with Dragonball…then yes, User B would be considered off topic if they expressed their displeasure with Dragonball. If they would like to discuss their differing opinions regarding Dragonball then User B can create a new thread where the topic is to discuss peoples personal opinions about Dragonball and that would be 100% acceptable. Everyone is allowed to express their own opinions. Just make sure it’s in the correct thread and it doesn’t violate any of the forum rules.

Also keep in mind that not all flags are treated the same. If User A, B or C has a past history of constantly breaking the forum rules, this also gets taken into account when addressing all the flags we receive. There are many factors that come into play when the team is deciding how to appropriately treat a flag.


#17

@Jeremy
And if example…
User A makes a thread about Dragonballs explaning to everyone, that whoever writes about them, must know that the Dragonballs are in fact dragons eggs and everything else is not true.

And there’s me as User B, who knows for sure that’s brainwashing and completely untrue. How am I supposed to enlighten all others if I’m not allowed to comment anything against User’s A statement?


#18

in other words, don’t stand up for yourself at all.


#20

Hi @Jeremy – I would love to know if the back-seat modding is going to be in the forum guidelines at any point in the future?


#21

Yeah, if it’s a reason to get banned, it should be on the guidelines.