🚩 Flags: Friend or Foe?

Everything you wanted to know about Flags but were afraid to ask (for fear of being flagged).

What are Flags?

The Flag feature encourages an element of community-orientated moderation without direct confrontation. Flags also allows members to alert moderators to posts which may be a breach the forum Code of Conduct. In this way we can work together as the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Flags may also used by moderators to let members know that their post may require attention.

Flags are not warnings. They are meant as a suggestion that something may be wrong with a post and allow the member to amend their post as necessary. Should the member continually make posts that breach the Code of Conduct, or makes an edit that do not resolve an infraction, a warning may be issued by moderators.

Why are flags used here?

Flags are an anonymous way for all members to work together to moderate the forum. This means that it is not just staff who need to be aware of issues, but everyone! Personal bias and perspective can influence the interpretation of posts - no one is perfect (Philippians 3:12) - but each other’s weaknesses are strengthened when work together and we are focused on the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Who can flag?

All members level 1 and up can flag a post or topic. Moderators can also flag. More info on member levels here.

If you consider a post to be offensive or inappropriate please use the flag feature instead of attempting to correct the member publicly.

How do I know if I should flag something?

You should flag a post if it’s off-topic, spam, or if the post is otherwise outside of the Code of Conduct in any way. A flag is not necessarily a negative action. For example, if someone posts their phone number, that should be flagged as it breaches the Code of Conduct. It’s not because the member did a very bad thing, you are flagging in the hope of hiding their post for the benefit of their privacy.

If we assume that flags are meant to help the poster we are using the flagging system correctly.

Proverbs 27:6
Faithful are the wounds of a friend [who corrects out of love and concern], But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful [because they serve his hidden agenda].

Where do I find the flag feature?

The Flag feature is accessible by clicking the three dots underneath a post to reveal the Flag icon.

flag-a-post-01
flag-a-post-02

How do I flag?

First, it’s a good idea to take a look at the Code of Conduct to make sure that the post should be flagged.

When you click on the flag icon a number of options are presented. The first option, “Send Member a private message” does not flag the post, but is offered as a reminder that sometimes it’s better to speak to a brother or sister in Christ personally. More information on that option here.

Beyond this there are 4 reasons available when Flagging a post:

  • Off-Topic
    This post may not be relevant to the current discussion as defined by the Forum category or Topic title.
  • Personal Conduct
    This post may contain content that goes against our Code of Conduct .
  • Spam
    This post appears to be an advertisement, vandalism, or possibly written by a cat.
  • Something Else
    I’m not sure about this post. I would just like moderators to take a look, please.

To flag, select the option that best suites the nature of the issue. If you’re not sure which option is best, or want to include further information to staff on why this post should be looked into, choose “Something Else.”

Then click “Flag Post.” Your flag has now been submitted.

What happens when I submit a flag?

When you submit a flag a notification is sent to the forum moderators that a post may need attention. In addition to this, your flag may or may not automatically hide the post and send a message to the member suggesting that they edit it. This automatic action is based on if others are flagging the post as well, or if you have enough influence to hide the post. Members who regularly flag posts in a helpful, constructive way will gain more flagging influence.

Moderators always have enough influence to hide posts and send members an automatic message suggesting they edit their post. Therefore, if a flag you submitted is approved by a moderator, the post will be hidden and an automated message will be sent to the member.

Flags are always anonymous to other forum members, only moderators can see who submitted the flag.

What is the status of a flag I submitted?

When you submit a flag you will not be told the specific status of the flag as the situation is now in the hands of the member and the forum moderators. You may notice that the post has been hidden.

Should the member edit the post, which unhides the post, and it still breaches the Code of Conduct you may flag it again.

Do not attempt to discuss the flag, the post, or moderate the conversation in any other way in the public forum. Please be aware that some flags take time to be addressed fully.

If you have questions or wish to add additional information on the flag please contact a moderator.

How often can I flag?

You can flag up to 5 times per day.

You can flag the same post twice. Once for off-topic/spam/conduct and once for “something else.”

I don’t want to flag someone, is there something else I can do?

The first option after clicking the flag icon, “Send member a message,” can be used discuss the matter privately, via a Direct Message, instead of flagging.

  • Send ‘Member’ a message
    In the spirit of Matthew 18:15, I want to talk to this person privately about their post.

Using this option will open a direct, private message between yourself and the other member. As members of the body of Christ we should seek to resolve matters between each other amicably, and with love.

If you don’t wish to speak to the member you are also welcome to send the moderators a message to explain the situation: CLICK HERE TO SEND MODERATORS A MESSAGE

You may also, or instead of, wish to ignore or mute the member.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to ignore/mute
  1. Go to your Account Preferences
    download (2)
  2. Click on Users under Notifications (Click on image to expand)
  3. Type in the user name of the member you want to “Mute” if you want to block all PMs and Notifications from the member
  4. Select + Add then type in the user name of the member you want to “Ignore” if you want to block all PMs, Notifications, and Posts. This basically causes the member to vanish from the site for you.
  5. Click “Save Changes”
  6. If you want to remove someone from your mute/ignore list click on the “x” beside their user name.

I was flagged, now what?

If your post is flagged you may receive an automated private message that your post was hidden. To un-hide your post, simply edit your post, ensuring that the new version is within the Code of Conduct.

Do not discuss the flag in the public forum, as this is also against the Code of Conduct.

Similarly if you see that a post from another member has been flagged do not discuss the flag in the public forum. There is virtually no constructive merit and it is more likely to provoke disruption.

An automatic message and hidden post does not necessarily mean that your post breaches the Code of Conduct; the post may be restored following moderator assessment. If you see no reason for your post to be hidden and do not wish to edit it you can simply wait for the flag to be cleared by moderators. Flags are typically acted upon within 24 hours or sooner.

You are welcome to reply to your automated message. A moderator will respond as soon as possible.

If your post is hidden a second time it cannot be edited and will stay hidden unless a moderator intervenes. Again, you may reply to the automated message or send a message to a moderator for assistance.

Depending on the nature of the flag, a post may be hidden whilst it is being reviewed and without an automated message. If you need information on why your post was hidden do not post in the public forum, instead message a moderator.

How are flags and warnings different?

Flags are a suggestion to edit a post. They are an opportunity to correct something that might be wrong without needing a individual reminder from staff. Flags, once they reach a certain threshold, hide the post and send a message from the forum’s automated “System” account.

Warnings are sent out to remind the member of specific Code of Conduct expectations and explain what was breached. Warnings are always sent by forum moderators (indicated by the shield by their user name).

What happens if you abuse the flag feature?

Should it become obvious that flagging is being used for retaliation, to troll, or to censor posts, action will be taken against the flagger’s account. Flagging is not a tool to be (ab)used frivolously or for personal gratification.

It is also wise to consider one’s own behaviour on the forum when submitting a flag.

Matthew 7:3
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

What if I accidentally flag a post?

If you flag something accidentally, or realize it was a misunderstanding, please message a moderator as soon as possible. Mistakes happen, just let us know. :slight_smile:

What does the flag message say?

"Hello, This is an automated message from JD Farag Bible Prophecy Forum to let you know that your post was hidden.

link to hidden post

Your post was flagged for Personal Conduct/Off-Topic/Spam : the community feels it may contain content against our Code of Conduct.

Please consider this a suggestion from the community to edit your post to better reflect the forum’s Code of Conduct. You can edit your post after 5 minutes, and it will be automatically unhidden.

Should your post already fully align with the Code of Conduct, please reply here so that moderators can review this situation as soon as they are available. Your patience is appreciated.

For additional guidance, please refer to our community guidelines."

For more info:

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