De-weaponizing the flag feature

I'm noticing a huge trend with the flag feature from a few select individuals here within the new community forums in that they are only using the flag feature as a "weapon" on comments they don't like, even if the actual post isn't offensive in any way, shape or form.

Not sure how the flag feature could be changed against this, perhaps remove the flag feature from repeat offenders or something? But then how would we calculate this other than having someone at Niantic review each and every flag?

Looking for some insight on this topic both from the community and from Niantic.




  • MajeyeMajeye ✭✭✭

    ^ I fully agree with all the above statements. @PhoenixEnigma posts some insightful stuff there.

    Would love to get Niantic's take on the weaponizing of the feature and if there's anything that can be done about it.

  • GlenuendoGlenuendo ✭✭✭✭

    At the very first I thought the flag could have been used as a "dislike" or down vote. I never used it that way but I wonder if that line of thought continues.

  • MajeyeMajeye ✭✭✭

    I see this point of view, but I don't think that was its intended purpose, hence why I'd love to hear from Niantic about the topic.

  • TerranceTerrance ✭✭✭

    Inevitably some users will see flagging as an option for disagreement, in lieu of an actual dislike button, but their intended use is clear enough in the labels: spam and abuse.

    The forum itself supports negative reactions, but they're currently disabled. As they likely subtract points from posts, they may have a similar potential to be weaponised anyway.

  • GlenuendoGlenuendo ✭✭✭✭

    I fully agree with you on that. It looks like they have tried to expand on the Flag option probably to dissuade it's use as a weapon but I still see it being used. I'm beginning to think that even if they put some kind of "dislike" option there, it won't change that behavior😕.

  • It's kind of one of those weird things about online communities these days. and the way they seem to be about data gathering rather than communication. I get why the "flag" function exists, but think it isn't comparable to actual unbiased active forum moderators. Same with the "like" function, a random offtopic my-little-pony post could generate thousands more likes than anything on-topic simply due to small horses being more well known and popular. I'm from the school of "less-is-more", and prefer simple functionally rather than ten thousand unwieldy options that detract and distract from what the community is actually about.

  • CesparCespar ✭✭✭

    If this is anything like the discourse forum community I moderate (perhaps these forums are actually built on discourse? Not checked), multiple flags are required to send a post to review, at review you can see who flagged. Someone who is abusing will very soon be recognised.

  • "Recognition" however is something that keyboard warriors frequently think worthy of a digital medal.

  • CesparCespar ✭✭✭

    @TheFarix agreed on it not counting against your "score". Lost a point when an overzealous poster flagged a reply I made as "abuse" simply as my reply was not clearly on topic to his thread. I think he didn't realise what "abuse" means :P

  • GlenuendoGlenuendo ✭✭✭✭

    @TheFarix , I know which thread you are talking about. I'm of the opinion that thread needs to disappear and quickly. There's no helping those that don't want help.

  • MaktoMakto ✭✭✭

    I agree before impacting users "score" they should be reviewed by moderators. I suspect Niantic is heavily understaffed for this endeavor though.

    While using an out of the box forum with few adjustments.

  • JorgeLocoJorgeLoco ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    I'm flagging you right now!

    But back on topic a bit, I think there is a general consensus that weaponization is bad in general for the health of the game (see OPR), and it is equally bad for a forum community that uses a level system to determine rights and access levels to certain features.

  • ArtilectZedArtilectZed ✭✭✭✭

    @NIA_casey This is a big issue. Can you remove the display of how many flags a post has received? People are using it to "down vote" like we're on Reddit.

  • GlenuendoGlenuendo ✭✭✭✭

    @NIA_casey , I agree with @ArtilectZed . This has to be address.

  • MoogModularMoogModular ✭✭✭✭

    Wouldn't hiding who flagged you make the behavior worse?

  • ArtilectZedArtilectZed ✭✭✭✭

    It's already been hidden, all we can see is that it's been flagged, now. Niantic stopped the div that would say who flagged you from being included in the pages in the last few days. I'm suggesting that we don't even see the number of flags a post has received, at all.

  • MajeyeMajeye ✭✭✭

    I would vote to either do this, or remove the flag feature completely and add a report button. Make people fill out a detailed report on why they need to report the post, and if the post doesn't violate any of the community rules & guidelines, add a strike to the reporter. 3 strikes and they receive a mute for 24 hours, 3 more strikes, mute for 7 days, 3 more strikes, mute permanently.

    This is the same system we used in another popular community that I moderate for and it works really well, the reports have gotten MUCH better on actual posts that need to be reported and we aren't flooded with random posts being reported, so everything is full of quality.


  • Hi folks, thanks for the feedback. I'll remind everyone here in this thread that one of the cornerstones for this Community's success is respect for one another, which extends to appropriate use of the flag feature. In order to avoid any further issues, I've decided to close this thread for further comments but I will take the core of this discussion back to my team to discuss how we can promote a healthier discourse.

This discussion has been closed.