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I've seen what I consider a few abusive questions that would ordinarily attract moderator attention and possible deletion. Does flagging them as abusive trigger an auto-delete, if there are enough such flags? Is this OK to do? In today's SE, would that be preferable to flagging for moderator attention?

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  • What is the limit between moderation and censorship?
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 9:10
  • 5
    You have no idea how tempted I am to write "this is" and delete your comment. :-)
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 21:27

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Does flagging them as abusive trigger an auto-delete, if there are enough such flags?

Yes. See: What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work?

Is this OK to do?

If they are abusive, it is OK to flag them as abusive. The link above defines abuse, including: "As a rule of thumb, everything that would be out of place in polite discourse is rude or abusive."

In today's SE, would that be preferable to flagging for moderator attention?

A few points:

  • As you note, the automod is working during the strike. So, this is the most efficient way of dealing with abusive behavior. Even outside of the strike, using R/A flags against R/A content is good practice.
  • On the other hand, if the auto-mod deletes the post, the flag is considered handled. So, it's possible no human will ever look at it. And it's generally good for humans to look at rude/abusive content, since we can and do send mod messages and suspensions if there is a pattern.
  • Personally, I view the presence of rude/abusive content on the network as a good example of why moderation is necessary, and why staff should not malign their moderators to the point where we resign and/or strike en masse.
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    Indeed, the auto-deletion of posts or comments that receive a lot of flags helps get rid of content that just needs to be removed, but it doesn't really address the people behind the content or help to explain rules and policies here. Just removing the content is probably sufficient for blatant spam and slurs, because the posters behind them understand and just don't care and aren't really welcome here in the first place. But, we have a lot of rules that impact people who could fit in here, and they need a human response that automatic deletion doesn't provide.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 20:19
  • Haven't seen "resign en masse" happening. People seem to want to keep access to mod account as well as make a show of "being on strike"
    – user13267
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 8:31
  • Talks are ongoing; to me it would seem silly to resign if the situation can be resolved satisfactorily. We shall see where we are when the talks finish.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 16:52

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