I only flag spam and blatant personal attacks that have nothing to do with the conversation. “you’re stupid for thinking that” I wouldn’t bother with. “I feel sorry for your children you arrogant windbag”, I would flag.
It is of course important not to abuse the flagging feature with some petty, self serving dislike of particular members. Should only be done for the good of the site, in terms of a spoiled thread & such like.
It seems like the only time I flag is when someone is a new user who is trying to use the site to advertise their own stuff. I will ignore a rant until I see a link to the site they’re trying to promote.
I always report flaming. Sorry to my friends, but I’ve reported a few people I really liked for flaming.
I hate personal attacks. I have lost my cool and done it a few times myself, so I totally understand the heat of the moment. But I don’t care how much the victim of the attack was asking for it. I have been on sites that I think allowing personal attacks to slip through was the main contributor to the downfall of the site. So I flag all personal attacks—even if I secretly agree with them.
I don’t think that one should even have a ‘flagging’ mindset when posting online, because it’s a very dangerous slippery slope. I try not to log on to a site thinking “what should I flag today”. Something would really have to stand out to me, like a threat, personal attack, being drastically off topic in general or spam. There are sites which have no or little moderation, so I usually avoid those ones anyways.
I never flag anything, besides, it is usually already done, so why bother?
Enforcing the guidelines are the mods territory and I see excessive flagging to be controlling and childishly petty, right up there with those that ask certain people do not answer their Q’s. because they are so immature they cannot tolerate any sort of disagreement without feeling the need to control others expressions, good, bad, or indifferent.
It’s a big sandbox here, easy to take your bucket and shovel somewhere else if you don’t like the corner you find yourself in.