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It looks like a bug allowing you to flag a question, then vote to close was recently fixed; you will no longer gain any flag weight if you vote to close a question you've already flagged.

It seems like the reverse is still allowed: if you vote to close a question, then flag it, you'll gain flag weight if the question is subsequently closed. Is this by design? Am I violating the spirit of the law by doing this?

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I think this might have something to do with close votes dismissing flags on the question. IMO, dismissing your own flag via close-voting would be a flag-weight exploit, so this is probably why they show up as none. Anyway, why would you flag a question if you can simply vote to close it? –  lunboks Nov 17 '11 at 21:54
    
@lunboks - There's probably a lot I don't know about how SO works, but I thought the ven diagrams for voting to close, and flagging overlapped. Aren't there situations where doing both is appropriate? Besides, if flagging wasn't appropriate when you could vote to close, then wouldn't there never be any flags from users with rep > 3000? –  Adam Rackis Nov 17 '11 at 22:01
    
@lunboks - moreover, I thought SO wanted you to flag extremely low-quality posts so they could track and bar users who consistently put up crap. Isn't that why they have the deputy and marshal badges? –  Adam Rackis Nov 17 '11 at 22:03
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Note that the first scenario you described is intended to prevent people from gaining flag weight by casting the final close vote on the question they flagged. The same is not true of the second scenario; you still need other people to vote to close after you flag. –  Robert Harvey Nov 17 '11 at 22:09
    
@Robert - that would make sense to me; I just wanted to make sure. Can you post that as an answer so I can accept? –  Adam Rackis Nov 17 '11 at 22:10
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I don't really see the point of adding a VLQ/custom flag on top of a close (and, possibly, down) vote, that's all. At least this guy seems to agree with me. Spam/offensive flags work differently and I always use them when applicable. –  lunboks Nov 17 '11 at 22:12
    
@lunboks - thanks for the link. That was actually really, really helpful. –  Adam Rackis Nov 17 '11 at 22:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The first scenario you described is intended to prevent people from gaining flag weight by casting the final close vote on the question they flagged.

The same is not true of the second scenario; you still need other people to vote to close after you flag.

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Thanks, @Matthew. The older I get, the more I seem to transpose similar words like this. –  Robert Harvey Nov 17 '11 at 22:13
    
No problem, thanks for the clarification about flag visibility. I tend to transpose things myself, especially when multitasking. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 22:22

I see three basic cases:

  1. If you vote to close, then flag for mod attention and say "this is off-topic", I'd consider that abuse.

  2. If you vote to close, then flag it as low quality (for example) and it's not, I'd consider that abuse.

  3. If you vote to close, then flag it as low quality (for example) and it is, all well and good.

I believe #1 will not gain you flag weight automatically, but #2 or another flag type might. So technically you can gain flag weight via abuse if others VTC after you and the question is closed.

I'm not too sure it's important, though. If the flags aren't auto-dismissed then in case #3 above you might get your flag declined after closure, since there's nothing else really to do. You don't want to punish the good guys. And even a flag made just to get flag weight can attract 10k+ users to the question who can close or add their own flags, so it could still be useful.

That said, I've entirely lost track of which flags are mods-only and which are 10k+ and which don't show up at all but are silent in the background, so maybe I'm over- or under-complicating this.

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Well I was only ever interested in case 3, so thank you. When you say: "If the flags aren't auto-dismissed then in case #3 above you might get your flag declined after closure" are you saying that after the question is closed, and your flag is auto-accepted, your flag to still end up being declined? –  Adam Rackis Nov 17 '11 at 22:14
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They're all the same flags; they just show up in different queues at different times, and possibly in different sort orders depending on things like flag weight. –  Robert Harvey Nov 17 '11 at 22:15
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How is vote to close, then flag for mod attention and say "this is off-topic" abuse? I do this on old low-vis questions all the time, not for "flag weight" (don't care about that), but suppose the mod disagrees (or takes no action) or the post gets closed before the mod sees it by other votes (sometimes unlikely due to low activity)? Like I said, I do this frequently and it's not for abuse or "flag weight". –  Wesley Murch Nov 17 '11 at 22:15
    
@AdamRackis No, I'm saying that if the current behavior that enables abuse (auto-valid flags after closure) was changed, then you might end up with mods manually declining valid flags. You trade one evil for another. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 22:17
    
@Madmartigan Mod-only flags are for things that require moderator intervention (one of the reasons to dismiss flags is that they do not). Users who can't VTC require mod intervention to close, but those with the privilege don't. VTCers don't need to notify mods to have something closed unless a question is actively harming the site -- in which case it falls into a category other than off-topic and would also be deleted. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 22:19
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@MatthewRead: I gave you an example of why VTCers should notify mods: low activity or views. Very common on old, now off-topic questions. Maybe not necessary, but I just don't see how this is considered "abuse" as you put it. In that case which was the abusive action: the flag or the close vote? –  Wesley Murch Nov 17 '11 at 22:21
    
@Madmartigan Well-intentioned flags are not what we're talking about here. I think it's abusive to waste people's time when your goal is flag weight. I don't care if your goal is flag weight when you're being helpful (my case #3). –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 22:23
    
@MatthewRead: There are several reasons, one of which is that they appear in the "Related" links. Another is they get necro-bumped by noobs, who are readin the post thinking it's still OK for SO. EDIT: Oops you changed your question to me. In that case, motivation or intention should not matter if it helps the site (and of course cannot be truly determined). Seriously, who cares what UserX's flag weight is? –  Wesley Murch Nov 17 '11 at 22:25
    
@Madmartigan Yeah I misunderstood and thought you meant generally unpopular questions, not bad questions that are unlikely to garner 4 other VTCs due to unpopularity. Flagging when you don't need to doesn't help the site, it just wastes a mod's time. Again, we're not talking about well-intentioned flags here. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 22:27

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