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Yesterday a deeply offensive answer was added to a question about a couple disagreeing on whether to have another child or not. I flagged it as offensive. It stuck around for most of the day, and gathered at least seven downvotes.

  • it takes less rep to flag than to downvote. Every single person who downvoted it could have flagged it as offensive
  • 6 offensive flags auto-deletes a post

Therefore those people didn't all flag. Why not? It had atrocious grammar and if you puzzled out what it was trying to say you would wish you hadn't. (I am not going to paraphrase it nor provide a link.) How can people be motivated to flag instead of just downvote?

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  • That was offensive, but I have rarely seen that kind of a comment last very long - including the one you are referring to here. I thing as participation increases over-all the time it takes for something like that to be gone will get even shorter. Nov 28, 2013 at 3:16

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People did flag, and the post did auto-delete.

It received 9 downvotes, and 7 flags. 6 of those flags were Offensive. 1 was "Other".

The answer auto-deleted on the 6th offensive flag, which was the 7th flag overall.

The post was created at 15:56:09. It was deleted by the community at 20:39:33, so it was up for less than 5 hours.

As for how to motivate people to flag....

The motivation to flag is a community free of offensive content. There are a few badges related to flagging, but the badges are unlikely to make a big difference in flagging participation.

In my experience, people here in parenting.se do flag, and not just for offensive content. However, we don't really get much that really needs moderation. The vast majority of the flags are for posts where new visitors chime in by posting a comment as an answer. All in all, I take this as a very strong positive that we've got a pretty friendly and well-behaved community :)

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    I think that 7 flags in 5 hours is actually pretty swift action for a site of our size. It works :) Nov 26, 2013 at 20:45

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