I've just had a number of 'too chatty' comment flags declined, and I'd like to clarify what the mods here consider too chatty before I continue flagging.

This is the text of each of the comments that I've had a flag declined on:

  • +1, great use of eval and * '+'
  • +1 for the "farthest in n seconds" idea.
  • +1 for creative output
  • +1 for playing the spaceship.
  • +1 for the Mathematica solution :-)
  • +1 Beat me to it lol.
  • +1,seems an interesting problem.
  • +1 Some nifty tricks you've got there :)
  • +1,Nice one Gaurav :-)

My confusion here is based on the fact that I've had a number of other similar flags marked helpful and the comments deleted:

  • +1, that looks more like golf!
  • +1 for compression :D
  • +1 for using Boost.
  • +1 for using strictly command-line tools!

What exactly constitutes a valid 'too chatty' flag?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd guess that most of this is just from the differences in the mods themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


Thanks for posting to meta about this; I was the one who declined those flags. I declined them primarily because it appeared that they were flagged based on an automated comment search—they were all extremely old comments (from 2011) that began with the same two characters +1.

While I would have deleted the comments if there had been only one or two flags and they had been on relatively recent posts, flagging based on an automated search isn't really helpful.

I don't know if you were around when this happened, but a very similar incident (on a larger scale) occurred during an election on gaming.SE with the original Charcoal project, which led directly to Lockdown. I recommend you read the entirety of Grace Note's answer here, but here's the most important bits:

[do not] take this sort of "shotgun" approach to flagging.

don't just flood the queue, especially if you're still in the early "naive keyword search" stages.

The Charcoal commotion was, again, on a far larger scale, but:

  • 9 flags all at once is quite a bit on a small site like PPCG.

  • Sending the message that flagging like this is okay might set a precedent leading to "oh, I have an idea: why not run a script to automatically flag these for me?" It's somewhat of a slippery slope.

  • But most importantly, "+1 because <foo>" on ancient 5-year-old posts is not currently causing any harm to the site.

While it's obvious that the flagging was done with good intentions, this is simply not a productive use of our time (regular users and moderators alike).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cheers. What I'm doing is partially automated, but it is also slightly more advanced than naive keyword searches, and has human oversight. The queue is alphabetically ordered, which is why it's only been +1 comments so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 17:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ArtOfCode I could see whatever you're doing being a valuable and helpful contribution to the site, but only after a bit of tweaking (perhaps a date limit and a higher threshold to only catch one or two comments a day). Out of curiosity, is this a network-wide thing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 17:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It is, in theory, but only PPCG has had any flags yet - again, the list is ordered, and codegolf is the first on the list of sites I have data for. I'll see what tweaks I can make - it's mostly based on an SQL query, so I can put a date limit straight in there. \$\endgroup\$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 17:53

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