[Request] When you flag a post, please don't use the Inappropriate or Off Topic options. Use Something Else and explain or Its Spam

The Inappropriate or Off Topic options are very often close to useless.

The Spam Option is usually pretty easy to follow. .

The Something Else option can be used for anything and as you can explain what you think is wrong, allows easy communication and understanding.

Thank you all in advance.


In case you’re wondering, at this time we can’t turn off the too mostly useless options.

I just test-flagged an innocuous post in a different ATMB thread to see what you were talking about and I can’t take it back now. My sincere apologies…

No problem, I just cleared the flag for you.

Phew, thanks.

To reiterate: Only the “Something else” flag allows you to enter your own text to explain what’s wrong with the post. So unless it’s extremely obvious, please use that when making reports.

Most of the time “it’s spam” is enough information for the mods, even without any added text. But the other two are often unclear. I mean, it may be obvious if you’ve read the whole topic that a post is off-topic, but it’s helpful to the mods to say, “the OP asked about XYZ and this post is about PDQ, and is off-topic”.

No problem, I’m already doing that. I appreciate how it makes your job easier.

Likewise, if a post contains someone insulting another poster, for instance, and you flag it as “inappropriate”, the moderator who reviews it might skim through the post and miss noticing the insult. Or worse, they might notice something else in the post that they think is what you’re complaining about, and decide that it’s no big deal. But if you flag “something else”, and then type in the explanation “Calling someone ‘You dipshit’ in the last line is a clear insult”, then the mod will know exactly what to look for.

Or the words used might be inappropriate primarily in the context of the thread; or might be a serious insult in the area/culture in which the people involved live, but might look innocuous to a moderator from another area or culture.

And I want to say “mea culpa” as I was using those two buttons myself. Nevermore quoth the raven.

However Off Topic options should be good for just that- the post is a hijack and is off topic.

I said no such thing!

Yes, using the something else flag is immensely useful!

Thanks for taking our objections seriously.

Good to know. I think I’ve used the “something else” option every time I’ve reported a post, and felt a little guilty about it thinking I was making extra work for moderators. Now I won’t worry about it. (Not that I report tons of posts, but I think I’ve reported 2 or 3 since the move to Discourse.)

I’ve used the “It’s inappropriate” one a few times when it seemed screamingly obvious to me what the offense was, but I get what you’re saying and will only use the Something Else one from now on.

That is really good. As one thing to keep in mind, when you’ve been reading and keeping up with a thread, a post might be glaringly inappropriate to your eyes, but for a mod coming in cold to a thread with dozens or hundreds of posts? It can be hard to see.

Another issue: Whenever I see the word “inappropriate,” I invariably hear the word as said by Clive Clemmons, of the “Clive Clemmons’ Inappropriate Response Channel”: