Note: this post is written more for the benefit of visitors and will be used as a reference. Regular LL contributors do a fantastic job complying with the rule.
Back on January 1, I wrote a post cajoling the community to help us when it comes to moderating the site by making an increased use of the flag link when appropriate. Traffic on this site has grown tremendously and continues to grow and I'm sure many of us tremble with anxiety about what the new season of game threads will entail. Even beyond those threads, there are roughly four front page posts per day on average plus a whole host of diaries and the 1,000 or so comments that go into the OTs. It's a lot of ground for us as moderators to cover and we need the community's assistance. Which is where flagging comes in and I refer you all back to the linked article above for more on the subject.
What does flagging have to do with subject lines? Why do we require them in the first place? It's been asked many times before, and we give the same general answer each time; that it allows people to collapse comments (very useful when comments are images, GIFs or walls of text) and that it helps with moderation by giving us direct links to flagged comments. I've seen some people, even other moderators, express surprise at the second part so I decided to provide a direct illustration.
To do so, I flagged two comments by user westbrook; hopefully he doesn't mind*. When I, as a moderator, view our moderation dashboard, there is a section where all recent flags are displayed. If flags are appropriately used, that dashboard is by far the single easiest way for us to keep tabs on the comments. Here is what it looks like:
With the subject line present, I can monitor the dashboard and quickly jump to flagged comments to investigate if any action needs to be taken. Without a subject line, I get nothing and have to manually hunt for the flagged comment.
*Note that comments without a subject line are prohibited at LL and warrant being flagged.