Inability to adds notes to some Flags is a problem

If you Flag a post as " It’s Off-Topic" or " It’s Inappropriate" there is no ability to add notes to it. The notes would be helpful to both the Flagger & the Moderators.

"Something Else" allows further information to be supplied.
ETA: Added formatting

That’s a good suggestion, @What_Exit. I do that all of the time, except when a post is obviously spam. I agree a note helps the mods to see what the issue is and I’m glad to help out.

I’ve reported a lot of posts here on Discourse and so far “It’s something else” is the only choice I’ve ever used.

IMO all the others are simultaneously too specific and too generic for our environment. Except the spam one which seems right-sized for its job. But thanks to our intrepid mods I’ve seen zero spam.

We get a lot of help from several users reporting spammers and Discourse itself catches a lot of the spammers.

I guess I’ll remember to use Something Else for any Flagging I do. But it would be nice if all of them allows additional notes.

Yes, i had exactly the same thought. The note is really helpful.

Maybe we could disable “It’s Off-Topic” & " It’s Inappropriate". That would also help. These flags just aren’t useful without the ability to add notes.

@codinghorror could we please either allow the Flags It’s Off-Topic ” & " It’s Inappropriate to allow & encourage details or disabled this pair.

Something Else allows further information to be supplied and is very useful to the mods and better for the users flagging.

It allows for communication of what the problem is and some easy discussion.

Bumping this 8 days later.

You can certainly hide literally anything you see on the screen with CSS rules applied to the site’s theme at will … but this (basically, force everyone to leave comments with all flags except spam?) is a somewhat unusual request I haven’t heard before.

The idea of the “something else” flag is that something nuanced is going on which requires explanation versus “hey staff, please point your attention in this area for a moment.”

I suggest that, before proposing big changes, it might be better to give things a few months to stabilize and for everyone to acclimate to the change in software. To get real world experience and gather data, if nothing else.

(That being said, I am definitely sympathetic to anything that makes moderators’ lives easier – that is, and will always be, an explicit goal of Discourse. If you are seeing a lot of inappropriate / troll flagging, we can advise you about that, but be advised there are already systems in place to deal with that, e.g. staff disagreeing with a flag automatically lowers future flag weight for that person.)

AIUI, this isn’t about “forcing” anyone to leave comments when flagging. It’s about allowing someone to leave comments with any type of flag, just as was the case with the old system with the “report this post” capability. Users could still choose to leave the comments field blank if they wished, but at least they would have the option to provide an explanatory comment.

It’s Inappropriate flag is often hard to tell why it was used. It should have an option of an explanation or not be available.
The off-topic one is less of a problem.

I see, so it’s more of an issue with comparing the old functionality and the new.

Are you seeing global problems with the flag across many different users, or is it more of a user specific issue? How many flags are we talking about, and how often?

I’m not sure how much of that discussion you want to have in public? It sort of depends how much transparency you want around mod actions. In general transparency is a good thing, but when hashing out “how should we handle this” I find that keeping it private (amongst the local staff) is the way to go until there’s a consensus amongst staff.

The It’s Inappropriate gets used fairly often and its often hard to see what the user thinks is inappropriate. It gets used fairly often, is not specific to any users or groups of users.

The option for comments would be very helpful. Or just not have the option for It’s Inappropriate.

Depending on your appetite for transparency, this might be a good thing to have a #site-feedback topic on. What exactly is inappropriate here? Are the existing rules unclear?

Can specific (and maybe anonymized-ish) examples be provided based on the flags you’ve seen?

All food for thought. In general mod transparency is a net benefit, it can be taken too far but most of the time it’s the lack of transparency that causes problems. (Not saying that’s the case here, just a general observation across dozens or hundreds of other Discourse instances.)

Not at all (and, at least from my user perspective, I think overall the functionality of this new system is terrific). The point, rather, is your use of the word “force” as in “force everyone to leave comments”. The existence of a comments field doesn’t have to mean it’s mandatory to fill it in. It shouldn’t be mandatory, in my view. But it’s very useful to have the option.

Well, I’m one of the new mods, so I would have to get the attention of the mod loop on this. I don’t think this board is huge on transparency though. We are big on communication though. I try to get the other mods involved in this conversation though.

I hear you.

The other thing that’s possible is to edit the copy for the flag – every single word of copy you see in Discourse is editable by the site admins.

(For example, if you wanted to rename the “It’s inappropriate” flag, or change the description of the flag, that’s about 1 minute of work for someone with admin privs on the site.)

The larger discussion about “what is inappropriate here?” is an important one, especially if users are confused about it.

As a user I can’t imagine reporting a problematic post without giving comments on exactly what I think is wrong. I have never used anything other than the Something Else exactly so I can leave a comment. If you think that any post other than obvious spam can be reported without comment, I’d say that’s a serious flaw in the design of the system.

Personally, I’d make leaving a comment mandatory but I can see why some would call just for a button to click on. Still, well, no still. Comments are necessary. Never leave home without them.

Can’t say I agree with that; if there’s a Sweet style ballroom blitz going on in a topic, merely pointing staff in that direction should suffice.

IANA Mod. But IMO most of @codinghorror’s responses to @What_Exit indicate he’s not understanding the issue as we see it. The issue is not “What do we (users or mods) consider inappropriate?”.

The issue, as @Exapno_Mapcase almost said, is that “#1: The current list of canned commentless options is poorly chosen for our culture” and “#2: Given #1, a report without an opportunity for further comment / explanation is nearly useless.”

Not knowing about Discourse’s limits of configurability I suggest:

  1. the admins might be able to create a laundry list of maybe 5 or 7 different specific canned commentless options that would suffice for WAG 80% of the reports. With the “something else/other” being the only commented one.

  2. Lacking that possibility, it’d be better to simply kill the other commentless options as useless clutter that confuse the users, thereby discouraging reporting. And update the verbiage of the sole remaining commented option to reflect the changes.

Having said all that, let me say Thanks! for how awesome Discourse generally is. This heavy user is very, very happy with the overall experience. Our lack of an admin is certainly not the software’s fault nor that of Discourse’s customer support team.