Given a pretty simple site with controls for flagging posts which are inappropriate, what exactly should the action do?

It seems that

  1. It should preferably "hide" that post from the user.
    • Permanently, by adding a row to the database indicating to block that post.
    • Temporarily, by storing a value in the session to block it.
    • Semi-temporarily, by simply hiding it from the current view but not preventing it from showing up again.
  2. It should mean something. Posts which have been flagged over a given number of times should be made inactive and won't show up in search results.

Is this the correct way of handling this kind of action? What should happen when a flag is placed on an item? The goal, of course, is to create applications which are moderated by the community which need as little admin intervention as possible.

  • 1
    Don't immediately hide the post from the flagging user too well; rather, make sure they have the opportunity to un-flag if they want.
    – Evan
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


You need to record the IP address and credentials of the user who flagged the post.

You will probably want a post to be flagged by few different users, in order to remove it from the site. When you count the number of unique flags, look at both the credentials and IP addresses.

When a post receives enough flags (most sites use 5), it is best to hide it from all users, except from the one who created it. I am assuming that posts are flagged for spam or inappropriate content.

You should also keep count of flagged and successful posts for each user, and adjust your algorithm based on their flags/posts score.


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