Community flag system

I was in many forums and never had so much hidden/removed posts as here on Purisms forum. That community flag system can be abused by people who disagree with an opinion. Here my last hidden post:

Likes are saying other words.

All it answered was “the other person had made good points that you can see on the amount of people who agree, so at least it is not totally nonsense as you said”. That was not even offtopic. I really dislike this opinion driven culture of overblocking. Isn’t there another way to moderate this forum?


I absolute agree. Here Moderator is pushing Purism in a WORSE image which already exists.


Raising the amount of flags required for a post to be automatically hidden would make more sense. Otherwise, the Tor Project Forum have moderators manually approve your posts before they are published. There is also potential for flags with more credibility from certain users than others, but that can also lead to abuse.


I would like raising a- amount of flags for Revision.


We’re adults and I think we don’t need baby sitting (like Tor Project forum). Not sure if raising amount of required flags is the right solution (lowers overblocking, but may increase underblocking). On other forums moderators give warnings or remove things when totally escalating and those communities are still nice. The report function is still present (so no moderator need to read everything).

I don’t see an issue if things are solved in another way, but the balance has to be “right”. Not every bad word has to be removed (and as I quoted above, it doesn’t even need bad words to get flagged). But of course it’s also not about removing moderation.


I have an idea to combat abuse of the flagging system:

If a certain number of flags from the same user are overridden by a moderator, then the flags from that user can be (temporarily) demoted in value compared to the default flag behavior. Flags would continue to auto-hide content from users that have not yet abused the flagging system.

Idk. Just a suggestion.

Edit: I’m just now realizing that since flags are anonymous, there would probably need to be quite a bit of work on the Discourse software to implement something like this while protecting privacy and anonymity.


To provide more details about the Tor Project Forum, the Tor Project team do not really moderate it. The act of manual moderation itself acts as a deterrent to casual opportunists to compose in line with the forum rules, but there are still circumvention methods available to those who know how the system works.

Over here on the Purism community forums, moderator presence has been minimal throughout its history, so when @JCS was interested in appointing a community moderator, I immediately expressed my interest in the position.

I did not receive a response back, so instead, I flag topics or posts in the wrong category in the shadows most of the time, while offering support using various methods. @irvinewade has been invaluable with diligently responding to them.


I like your idea, but I think it’s too much work for that little forum. A plugin - however - that does this job could be an option, but I have no idea what discourse has etc. It also should be kinda transparent to users. If I report to often I want to see if my report gets a lower priority etc.


You didn’t do anything wrong in your post. It was flagged solely because it contained quoted text that was hidden. This is the message I posted privately to the Discourse moderator alias:



Correct answer for that specific post: DON’T quote deleted text.

In other words, if someone says something inflammatory and you choose to respond then don’t include the other person’s inflammatory text. Then, provided that you yourself didn’t say anything inflammatory, your post will be left alone even after the post to which you replied gets removed if that occurs.

You do always have the option to choose not to respond and just leave the mods to remove the ad hominem attacks etc. … noting that the actual topic was one user’s decision to cease using the Librem 5 as his daily, the reasons given, etc.

Yes, that particular topic went south fast.

I think there are two separate issues here:

  1. Whether a post should be hidden just because it has been flagged, whether by one forum user or by many. (I have no idea whether Discourse has flexibility in that regard.)
  2. Whether too many posts are being flagged/hidden i.e. getting the balance right between a civil forum and robust discussion.

This is exactly on of these points (especially with “a bad mark”). If my post gets deleted without comment it also hurts my reputation, because other people don’t know if I made anything wrong or not.

How should I know that this post will be deleted after I wrote my post?

I also have the option to response and maybe help to solve an issue that stays unsolved with just removing this post. Discussions are in many cases the better solution, even for flaming posts (as long as it does not escalate in length or strength).

And that feeling about overblocking comes not from this specific post. I have this feeling for a longer time and not just about my own posts.


FWIW, “flags” are recorded separately from “deletions” in your social credit score. :wink: There isn’t much that can be done about “flags” as long as anyone can flag a post. I edited your post and reversed the deletion (I prefer not to edit posts but since you have specifically raised it, I have done so).

It is not about whether the post will be deleted. It is about the text that you quote. But let’s say your question is: how will I know that the text will be deleted after I quote it?

Of course, you don’t. You have to exercise your judgement. If the offending text were being said about you, would you like it?

But really just don’t. Ignore inflammatory posts. When a discussion reaches ad hominem attacks, it is unlikely that further discussion will reach a solution.


Good luck with that. :wink:


We already had such things here, too. And I also experienced it on other forums. This is not YouTube or Twitter or Reddit etc. This is a little forum where active members know each other (more or less). Sure, there are always people who do not learn. But without the chance to discuss, the wall between people cannot break.

At the end it’s my opinion, based on own experiences.

In case there is always a moderation possible. But you would wonder how often people come closer together when they have the space to speak about such “differences”. People don’t care about the wild internet user they will never “meet” again, but they often care about common discussion “mates” (for example all people like those who answered here on topic).


Testify! Please, please, PLEASE stop the lame, weak, intolerant, close-minded blocking. It makes my blood boil to see a blocked post. I can make up my own mind what I think about posts, thank you very much.


I’m pleased with the blocking system as it is right now.
I feel it is well balanced and more important, it’s working in a fair way. If you feel your message is blocked and you do not see the reason why, you can always pm the moderator.


The problem is:

  • Let’s say user A makes a reasonable post.
  • User B then unloads with an unwarranted flame post on user A.
  • Moderator hides the second post.

I get it. Your right to see everything and form your own opinion has been infringed. The problem is that many other users may have found the post distasteful. It may subconsciously influence how users perceive user A. Worse, user A may be intimidated from further participation in the forum at all. User A may find the post defamatory (and defamation can only arise if a third party i.e. you, sees the post).

The bottom line:

  • I guarantee you 100% that it will not be possible to keep all of the users happy all of the time.
  • Hiding posts can be less of a problem if users stop, you know like, making posts that attack or insult the person rather than mounting a counter-argument or even, if nothing can be contributed, just ignoring (muting) the topic.

For the particular topic being referenced here, you may have only seen a fraction of the personal insults that were made, publicly and privately. You may want to get down in the sewer and form your own opinion about the tastefulness of the material therein but I don’t want this forum to become an open sewer.


You totally missed my point. I’m speaking about “overblocking” and I even spoke about

With other words: blocking is okay in general, it just needs “the right balance” (which I also said before). Overblocking is not the right balance, because it’s “over”. And that is a really huge issue and a huge topic in EU in general (in case in your location it’s different). It also needs a little bit transparency above “hidden by community flag”.


Another solution would be to have posts manually hidden by the user themselves, but leave the post itself available for viewing by all other users. This is more granular than blocking all posts from a specific user, but I do not know if Discourse supports such a feature.

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“Hidden by community” is a major contributor to my irritation, as it implies that we all agreed to it. I don’t know about you, but I was not even consulted.