This is not related to me, but is related to a recent incident.

I witnessed one user being harassing towards another in repeated comments across multiple Questions and answers.

I flagged the individual comments, but the behavior continued, and the user who was being harassed was getting frustrated.

Now, the abusive comments were flagged and deleted, but the behavior continued.

How can I make the mods aware of a pattern when the offending posts have been deleted, and thus nothing to link?

I despise bullying behavior, and I don't want to think that I'm contributing to it by having the evidence deleted.

  • 2
    Keep flagging the abusive comments. Hopefully the abused user will flag them as well. Mar 5, 2019 at 19:39
  • 4
    I'll wait for a moderator to chime in, but I would say the next time you see it, use the "in need of moderator intervention" flag, which allows you to write a custom message.
    – David K
    Mar 5, 2019 at 19:55
  • @DavidK yeah, but that's what I'm wondering. If the other comments are gone, how would a custom flag help. Mar 5, 2019 at 19:57
  • 6
    I'm pretty sure the mods can still see deleted comments, even if we can't. If you identify the users by name, hopefully the mods have the tools to look up the deleted comments by user. If you can remember the post they got deleted from, even better. But like I said, I'd wait for a moderator to confirm that this would work for them.
    – David K
    Mar 5, 2019 at 19:59
  • 12
    Can't be me, I'm free and easy with the abuse, not targeting any particular individuals
    – Kilisi Mod
    Mar 6, 2019 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


Different moderators might have handled different comments and thus nobody noticed a pattern even while all the comments got deleted. When you see something you think we should take a closer look at, please use a custom flag to clue us in about what's going on.

If there's nothing left to flag but you remember at least one post where it happened, please flag that post. Moderators can see deleted comments, and once we have an entry point we can see what else the people involved were doing.

  • 6
    Thanks Monica. that makes a lot of sense, and explains quite a bit. If five moderators each handle one flag, it looks much different than if one sees all five. Thank you for explaining this. Mar 5, 2019 at 21:06
  • Wait, I thought I read in the flag section that there's 3 steps to accepted flags: the user is issued a warning, a temporary account suspension, and then a permanent suspension if the problem isn't solved yet.
    – Clockwork
    Mar 8, 2019 at 19:27
  • 1
    @Clockwork What do you mean by that? Most flags have nothing to do with warnings or suspensions; most flags are in fact just 'hey fix this problem'. You can flag basically any post if you have something to tell the moderation team; obviously it's more helpful to flag the specific post that you're talking about, but sometimes there isn't a specific post and/or it's been deleted and you can't see it. Accepting a flag just means the mod dismisses it and says it's helpful, any action they take beyond that is their choice.
    – Joe
    Mar 8, 2019 at 20:19
  • 3
    What you're probably referring to are the stages of escalation for user infractions; that's not directly related to flagging. Moderators will not necessarily follow that path directly, depending on the severity of the action; it's common to directly suspend users for more severe actions, for example, though typically for a short period of time unless it's a very serious action indeed.
    – Joe
    Mar 8, 2019 at 20:21

How can I make the mods aware of a pattern when the offending posts have been deleted, and thus nothing to link?

You can cut and paste the comment.

  1. Cut the comment including the user name and date
  2. Flag the comment under 'something else'
  3. Paste the text of the offending comment into the notification box, together with your own explanation that this is not just offensive, and it may be part of a campaign.
  • i think general practice is not spilling names into common Meta posts to prevent "flood wars" Apr 23, 2019 at 21:42

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