I don’t spend much time in threads that end up auto-closed for a few hours. I understand the reasoning behind it, but could probably go either way with it. However, I do see a potential downside. Often times people report a thread/post and it can take a day before a mod addresses it. Sometimes, it’s never addressed (for any number of reasons). Often times, at least for me, sometimes it feels like the reports are falling on deaf ears, even when I know that’s not the case. Now, with some level of autonomous modding, people may start flagging a lot more posts since there’s a quick feedback loop. People get [closer to] instant results.
Look at it like this. If I go into a thread and see something I think needs to be dealt with by a mod, there’s a good chance I’m not going to report it on the assumption that someone else already did or if no one did, maybe I’m misreading the post or the circumstances surrounding it. With the new system, I can go into a thread, see someone that’s a ‘known’ troll or pushing the ‘don’t be a jerk’ boundary or arguing in bad faith and I can report it, knowing that if enough other people also do that, it’ll shut down the thread.
When I was thinking about this a few days ago, it dawned on me that people could end up using that as a (really bad) debate method. The same way people can flounce, they can report a few posts, hope enough others do the same and the thread gets shut down for a few hours. Everyone comes back with cooler heads and some don’t return at all.
I kinda like the system, lock down a thread until a mod can make a decision but it does have the big downside of people being able to use it against another poster. The few workarounds I can think of could make things better or worse.
Even something as similar as (I’m not saying this is possible with the software) having the flag icon be lit up if someone reported the post could help so that a dozen other people don’t also do it, OTOH, it could also create pile-ons.