"Post hidden by community flags"

In addition to avoiding an misunderstandable formulation, i consider hiding a contribution by a simple click by any user as not desirable.
It seems to me as a relatively heavy action and I would leave that - after notifying - for mods, especially since this action is prone to misuse.
A “notify as …” instead of “off-topic” should suffice.

Given the experience in the heavlily used german forum this happens not too often to be a problem for mods.

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These are the settings we can tweak

But there is none to change the sensitivity just for off-topic flags

I agree. Also because all of my posts that have been hidden have later been restored by a moderator, which demonstrates that hiding them before was likely the wrong action to take.

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I just had a look and the german explanation for the “off-topic” action is exactly like your interpretation.

Am Thema vorbei

Dieser Beitrag ist nicht relevant für die aktuelle Diskussion im Sinne des Titels und des ersten Beitrags und sollte wohl verschoben werden.

“This post is not relevant to the current discussion in the sense of the title and the first post and should probably be moved.”


The hide post sensitivity might be worth changing to “Low”. Your link says

If you really trust your users, for example, you could set the hide post sensitivity to High . If you want to let questionable content stick around a bit longer, set it to Low .

Probably things like spam posts or posts that clearly are “bad” would not be hidden as quickly, too. But as I interpret that info page, the moderators will still get a notice, even if the offending post is not hidden yet. And if it’s a really bad post, many users will flag it, which should lead to it being hidden soon enough.


I have followed this topic but are not sure about the actual settings. I have read “What happens when you flag a post” linked above but that does only show options, not settings. I would be interested in how many users of each TL have to flag a post to “hide” it (until further action by a mod). Any place to find this info?

The threshold might be different depending on user trust level and something like a “internal reputation score” that the system calculates, this is the only thing I’ve found:

I had several posts marked as spam on this thread Overturemaps.org - big-businesses OSMF alternative. They were restored by moderators, but it was pretty confusing for me. This doesn’t really seem to be working as intended. This is way too easy way for someone to abuse their “trust”. If someone is found to abuse functions like this on discourse, does that affect their reputation score?


Hi mikelmaron,
did you read the link one post above yours? I think it answers your question.

I have no idea what posts where flagged previously (and was not involved) but I’ve just flagged a load of posts now. Small things that looked innocent at first end up turning that thread into one in which we spent as much time criticising each other as we did discussing OvertureMaps. Once again, OSM proves that it’s community channels can be unpleasant places :frowning:

My response to SteveA’s clearly inappropriate message was flagged and hidden as spam for being an overly promotional advertisement. I don’t care if the message is hidden for being inappropriate, but it clearly wasn’t promotional spam :sweat_smile: Although if my message is hidden SteveA’s should be to since it’s clearly abusive.

FWIW I don’t think that “just hiding some posts” will actually help. There’s at least one known bad actor in that thread and just hiding some of their posts while leaving others will actually give a false impression of their behaviour and general reasonableness.

Part of the problem is Discourse’s lack of threading (Even when you’re reading it by email, which supports threading natively). Long threads inevitably descend into sub-threads. The moderators here have sometimes split those out manually into completely new threads, which is confusing in a different way. I don’t know what the solution is in “out of the box” Discourse; my personal answer is to read everything by email and move messages from people and about things that I know I don’t want to read straight away into a separate bucket.


Jut to add one more (probably pointless) data point to this. In mapping-activities-in-active-war-zones-in-ukraine several people made a series of off-topic comments, which where never hidden despite me flagging them. Whereas my second to last comment was apparently flagged and hidden as off-topic.

I assume that’s because I was the only person on my “side” of the discussion and I just don’t have enough clout to get comments hidden on my own. Whereas, other people discussion had it and people on their side. Which, if I’m being honest, really seems like a bad way to handle flagging/hiding messages.

Really It should 100% be based on if the post is actually problematic or not, instead of favoring whomever is lucky enough to get other people to join them mass-flagging dissenting opinions as some type of censorship play or whatever. Same goes for the “clout” based thing to some degree. Just because someone has more contributions then someone else in a discussion doesn’t mean they should be able to censor that persons views about a topic.

At the end of the day all reports should be treated equally by going to an administrator and being reviewed based on the merits of the report. Not who reported or how many mass-flaggers they can muster up to report someone with them. As it is, the current system really isn’t fair to new contributors, people who don’t post much, and “loners” (for lack of a better word).

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At the end of the day, all flags are reviewed by moderator teams, so even if some replies were not initially hidden and others were, moderators will be able to bring the right balance and hide (or un-hide) what’s needed.


Cool. I didn’t know that. Thanks for the clarification :+1:

If a user’s action can lead to an action that will be seen by everyone (hiding a comment), then it can be called moderation. And what I would like from moderation is transparency, so that abuses can be seen.

A recent example, lack of transparency How to prevent hide a comment from becoming a tool for expressing controversy? | 如何防止隐藏留言成为表达观点争议的工具?

Now even messages in which I express my surprise that previous messages were flagged and deleted without any violation of the guidelines that I am aware of are hidden.

Maybe that particular post was hidden because it was off-topic in that particular country forum thread? Naturally that doesn’t explain why the thread that I replied to above is temporarily hidden; maybe that is just the “single person can hide a post” effect that caused this thread to be started in the first place?

There is clearly a problem of moderation. At no point did I advocate for violence, was rude or attacked a person instead of an argument. My OSM history demonstrates that I care about the project. This whole story is quite ridiculous and tells more about the need to improve the moderation system than about me.

Disagreements with moderation can be discussed with the relevant moderation groups, including people who might try to use it to abuse the flagging system and temporally hide content.

Moderators regularly review flags and abusers and quickly identified and stopped, as well as restoring any content that shouldn’t have been hidden.

I know there are already a few private conversation with @mods-ukraine who are clarifying individually the actions taken.