Flagging Guideline Reminder
It seems about time for a gentle reminder about how to use the flagging feature on this forum. The feature is designed to aid moderators in their ability to keep the forum running in a smooth and reasonable fashion. All flags are given consideration when dealt with, and many are double checked by the moderators behind the scenes if there is any disagreement.
So what should be being flagged?
Below is the list of options you are given when thinking about flagging a post. A few of the options are obvious as to the things classified in the option. However, a few things are sometimes a little vague for members.
Off-topic posts are those that are completely unrelated to the conversation, or when members have a conversation that is best taken to PM
Inappropriate flags are those which violate the community guidelines. However since written, there are many additional guidelines in place. If you are wondering about whether to flag or not, please search the #meta category to see if we have guidelines in place already
Spam includes any promotional material placed in an incorrect context. Recently, this has been #live:va advertisements that are not needed, however, it also includes #live:events and any promotional material unrelated to the topic
If the flag reason is unrelated to this, please use the something else option. Do not flag something as spam or inappropriate if they are actually misc, as we take that into consideration when dealing with the flag
What should you not flag or do with the flagging option?
Unnecessary flagging has been rising on the forum recently, so it is important you know what not to flag. Generally, the main issues are around flagging for words that are in no way offensive to the vast majority of the forum, words such as 'suck' or 'bloody' are some of the most common. However, there are things not to do or reasons not to flag other than just these issues:
Personal disagreements. These are the most common types of unnecessary flags. A different opinion is not offensive, and as long as it is put across in the correct manner should not be flagged. This includes, but is not limited to, opinions on liveries, forum policy ideas, complex IFATC queries/questions and so forth
Flags from a long time ago. We get flags from 2015 often and it is not needed at all. Back then, rules were different and we had a much smaller forum so the feel of the community was different. As long as it is not offensive in any way, please do not bother to flag it. Issues such as bypassing the 10/20 character rule is a good example of what not to flag from the early forum days
PM debates. If someone messages you wanting to discuss, in a pleasant manner, an issue with behaviour or topic creation, please do not flag this. People are entitled to want to discuss actions on the forum in a polite manner, and being questioned for how you are acting is not offensive. If you feel the need to flag these PM's, you are probably doing something wrong as you cannot politely defend yourself
Misc issues. If a good debate or conversation starts relating to say a feature request, it is not off topic to discuss the history or story around the request. We actually encourage this kind of productive discussion and would welcome it over "OMG yes this livery is amazing" comments with no productive value.
So to finish, flags are not to be used as a personal attack on the person as Philippe notes below, and equally when flagged are not to be taken personally. This is especially true if you are flagged for breaking the guidelines. You are flagged for this alone and not because you think you are being targeted. We do also give warnings and suspensions for repeat offenders with the flagging feature if they continue to abuse it, so keep this in mind. Please continue to use the flagging feature to its full, however, do not waste our time flagging comments that do not break any guidelines.