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If, in the /tools/flagged queue I come across a post that was flagged as not a real question, and the question is utter, utter crap, which no edit short of re-writing the whole question would help, should I vote to close, or flag as VLQ?

As I understand it, voting to close will dismiss the flag as helpful. In that case, isn't there a good chance the question will just drift off the radar, and wallow with 1 close vote?

On the hand, voting to close will dismiss the flag as helpful, and reduce by one the list of things on the mods' queue. Disk space is cheap, but a mod's time isn't.

This question is similar, but it refers to questions which are salvageable with an edit. So what's the preferred approach to the situation above?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If, in the /tools/flagged queue I come across a post that was flagged as not a real question, and the question is utter, utter crap, which no edit short of re-writing the whole question would help, should I vote to close, or flag as VLQ?

Rather than flagging as "very low quality" you should down-vote the post, and (if you are referring to the question) vote to close it.

Flagging as very low quality means just to pass the job to the moderators, but there are things you can do, such as down-voting, and voting to close. There is not much the moderators can do when you flag a post for that reason, and it is preferable that the community takes action on those posts.

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There is not much the moderators can do - I was under the impression they would god-close it in one fell swoop. But that not being the case, I can see why VTC would be preferable. –  Adam Rackis Dec 7 '11 at 21:38
    
Between voting to close, and flagging as very low quality, the first is preferable. There are users who cannot see flags, but they are able to see when a question has been voted to be closed; if you vote to close, more users can participate in the decision, which is better than passing the job to a restrict number of users (such as the moderators). –  kiamlaluno Dec 7 '11 at 21:39
    
Well, I am Italian, and for me VTC is also a type of military vehicle. :-) –  kiamlaluno Dec 7 '11 at 21:44
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So...you're Italian, and you have 23K rep on English Language and Usage? I am impressed :-) –  Adam Rackis Dec 7 '11 at 21:48
    
Yes, Sir! I am Full-Blood Italian. :-) –  kiamlaluno Dec 7 '11 at 21:52

"Very low quality" flags primarily mean that the content of the post was so bad as to make it incomprehensible (as in, so bad that only the author of the post could possibly know what he means). If you understand the question and it's just a horrible question for whatever other reason, then closing seems more appropriate.

Low-rep users don't have the ability to close, though -- they have to cast flags. And when they flag, the popup lists "very low quality" first, and you only get to see close reasons after you pick "it doesn't belong here". So the natural response is to click "very low quality". We know better, though, so we should choose correctly.

Add to all that, VLQ flags require mod intervention. If you have the power to get rid of a bad question without giving the mods even more work to do...

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Has there been a discussion regarding whether VLQ should be the top item? It seems to encourage using it as a catch all. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 21:37
    
Even if VLQ weren't the top item, "it doesn't belong here" is too generic a description to encourage clicking on it to see close reasons... –  cHao Dec 7 '11 at 22:08
    
True, but it would at least force a user to think whether the post fits the new top item, which would cause them to categorize it. Odds are every post someone flags is "very low quality" in some way or another in their opinion. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 22:10

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