Some explanation and transparency on 'hidden posts' please?

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I am curious about the mechanisms behind MusicBrainz making posts ‘hidden’.
There are posts being hidden because they have been ‘flagged by the community’.

What does that mean exactly?

What is the criterium that qualifies a post to become hidden so other users can’t see them without an extra effort?
How is a consensus of ‘the community’ computed and decided on?

I am asking because while I can understand perfectly well that a completely off-topic post gets flagged and hidden, or that a post containing cursing words gets flagged and hidden, I also see posts getting hidden that don’t obviously fall into one of these two categories.

Sometimes even posts that have received quite a few ‘loves’ by other forum members get hidden, and remain hidden. (or is it ‘like’? The symbol indicates ‘love’?)

So, who or what decides what gets flagged and hidden, and who or what evaluates and decides if that’s justified?


Nothing to do with MB, all to do with Discourse.

It is their way to have a “self moderating” forum. So if a small number of people don’t like what you say they can censor you.


So if only one or two forum members that don’t agree with an opinion flag a post, it gets hidden?
That’s it?
And everybody is o.k. with that?


That help page for the forum software says Three, but adjustable by the forum admins.

I agree with you, it is a bit quick for any kind of debate. Doesn’t take much to get those clicks against you - even from silent readers. It stifles debate, but that is instead of Mods. I guess they see this place as a music forum and not a politics place.

I’ve had it hit me before on bizarre misunderstandings, yet someone can outright abuse you and nothing gets done. All a bit weird really.


I’m not 100% sure, but I believe the intent is that the Community Manager (i.e. @Freso) reviews all flagged content to determine whether or not it should be flagged.


O.k., thanks for the feedback.

To be clear, I am not complaining.
Some of my messages have been flagged and so have been made hidden.
But they also received quite some likes.
Likes from respected forum members that have some track record, while I suspect the ‘complainants’ didn’t have much of a history in positively contributing to the forum.
(and they are comfortably anonymous)

But no worries, I think I have some understanding of human nature, and a hidden post with a couple of likes is much more prone to get opened and read then an un-hidden post with no likes, so I am not really worried here.
Still it would be good to be transparent about how all this works, since it pertains to free speech.


A quick scroll back through that thread and it is clear you’ve had people who are aware of how Discourse works using the flag to shut you down. That seems incorrect in the context of that debate. But the debate is very different to normal discussion on here, so it is not that surprising that it has triggered a lower “3 votes and silenced” block.

Personally I would have hopped that the second part of the Discourse help page would have come into use and an admin should have reviewed the posts and given you either a reason for them to stay suppressed, or brought them back into view.

I do not see how any of those posts are: It’s Inappropriate: This post contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or a violation of our community guidelines.

This is what made me laugh about those posts. By the nature of the censorship it makes people like me more likely to read them. :joy: And no doubt why you got so many more likes due to the censorship.

In my case it is a debate I just had to stay away from as I would likely have said the wrong thing.


You could have a debate :boxing_glove:with three people on each side and no visible posts. :rofl:

(Edited to add: This post is a joke trying to add some humour into the debate to help calm things down.
Apologies to those who flagged this if the sarcasm was misunderstood.)


Thanks for resonating with me, and confirming all this ‘hiding posts’ that MusicBrainz is accommodating for is simply silly, and I shouldn’t take it too seriously or personal.

I’m still going to report on you!
Not sure about what exactly at this moment, but I will.


Absolutely support your right to take part in that debate. No matter if I agree with you or not. Nothing abusive was in your posts. Worst posts are visible in there. You just triggered the Lazy Mod Filters.

Let me know which post and I’ll pile in with more votes. That’s how online bullying usually works isn’t it? Pile in out of context. :joy:

With that big debate I keep wanting to post this, but I’d be told off. So I’ll post it here and I can be told off for not taking it all seriously enough.

I come to this forum for music, cataloguing my music, finding new music. Can’t be bothered with the arguments. This website is an escape from The RealWorld™…


Definitely not ok with that.

The amount of flags needed to hide a post seems configurable. Generally flags by users with a higher trust level have greater weight and can even trigger automatic actions. Likes on a post don’t affect the flagging system.
(e.g. when I flag a post without replies as “spam” the whole topic will be immediately hidden from index)

Moderators have various options how to handle flags. Should they choose to ignore a flagged and hidden post it will be automatically deleted in 30 days:

Moreover, a flagged and hidden opening post will delete the topic too after 30 days:

Also, if you flag something as spam it will not send automatic messages.

BTW, your first flag is not anonymous due to the badge system
(Some time ago one of my posts was flagged and I could exactly who did it, not that it wasn’t already obvious)

Protip: Since the PMs are disabled for the MeB Discourse instance navigation links to the message center seem missing.
Go to<username>/messages to see the messages from the flagging system.

What I find pitiful is that while community hidden posts can be made visible with JavaScript enabled this doesn’t work when disabled, rendering such posts invisible to most web crawlers. Wayback Machine or won’t capture those posts.
Threads are also paginated, 20 posts per page, making manual archiving a bit of a chore.



Even better. Thanks.

I’ve already read up on it before but forgot to link the topic where this was lamented:

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In those cases, do please report the stuff. While we haven’t been as on top of flagging as we maybe should have, we’re hoping to improve, and while I feel that it’s ok for the community to partially hide stuff (but not delete it), I also don’t feel it’s ok for abuse to be ignored just because the community didn’t happen to hide it :slight_smile:


Dang. At least on Craigslist, when I accidentally “flag” a post instead of “hiding” it, I can offshoot the flag by also clicking the “nominate for best of” button.
*there’s me using those scary quotation marks again.

Wow that Discourse meta page says:

If a post stays hidden for 30 days, it is automatically deleted.

This is worrying, considering the ongoing flagging frenzy…


That page also says the original poster needs to edit the post to make it reappear. I assume they can click on it and add a sentence like “this has been flagged, so I edit it to make it reappear”.

What is strange is that there seems to be no balance. People who don’t agree can flag it, but three times as many likes will not count for anything.


I would like someone here to explain if that’s the case in this site. One thing is the post getting hidden behind a click, another is removing its content entirely.

For what’s worth, I’d rather there was no flag button.

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I think it’s the case.
Because I have 2 "Post hidden by community flags" from 2019 in my messages.
And the 2 posts they mention are now removed from the forum.

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