Flags are not anonymous on Stack Overlflow?

One of the Trusted Users reported that lately he flagged a very low quality contribution in the form of an answer of a rep whore with lots of reputation points on the question in the form of bounty.

Heavon knows why, but the flag was declined by a moderator even though the person, rightfully flagging the low-quality contribution, has not left any comment or sign of the flag. The response in the declined moderator message was the following:

Warning: do not target specific users with flags!

First of all, the post has been deleted by the community after reaching 7-10 score in negative, so this was not an unhelpful flag to say the least.

Secondly, how would any moderator know who flagged the post?

Thirdly, even if the moderator had somehow knew in this particular case, how would the moderator have known the flagging history of the user by persona?

We always hear the mantra of flags and downvotes being anonymous. This case does not seem to indicate it so. Even if it had been mere guess from the moderator, why would the moderators jump into such serious conclusion based on their gut feeling? This is very inappropriate to say the least.

The end of the story is that the user even got a long ban whose helpful contribution helped to shut a reputation whore down with the extremely low-quality contribution. Please, can I just say unbelievable…


2 thoughts on “Flags are not anonymous on Stack Overlflow?

  1. Don Marimon

    You are very correct in the dubious anonymity of flags being disconnected from the user raising the flog. Even going back five years we see their nature outlined here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37345/should-moderators-be-able-to-see-who-flags-a-comment

    They are keeping to their lies. Modratoers, how you know who is flagging based on rules of system since five years ago?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Why

    Specific votes are anonymous even to moderators, though they can see reports of certain voting patterns.

    As highlighted in the comment from Don, most standard flags are not at all anonymous from moderators, and never have been. I’ve received responses from moderators in response to repeated mistakes in my flagging — they weren’t trying to hide that they could see my identity. Flags are anonymous from other users. I can see that this distinction may not been made perfectly clear, but this has been well-understood by most users for a long time; there’s been no attempt to mislead users about it. If there’s any mistake, it’s just one of copy and UX.



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