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I'm not really interested in seeing flags for posts that are 2+ years old, I mean, I just can't muster any enthusiasm for whether Juan Manuel's question from nearly four #?!$ years ago is off topic or not.


That and the fact that the flag queue is bursting at the seams as it is.

Can we agree to give everyone a break and stop this bull-in-a-china-shop purist's rampage through our collective history?


Allowing too much flagging on unimportant, old stuff, is creating too much work and risks demoralising the crew.

Some ideas:

Off the top of my head, feel free to add more.

  • Give me those flags in buckets, by type (right now I'm not interested in dupes)
  • Let me filter out the old stuff
  • Discourage users from going looking for stuff to flag
  • Limit flags based on queue length (like we do with edit suggestions)?
  • Better tools for checking dupes really are dupes
share|improve this question
Hm... you mean to say people have been flagging that question and no one bothered to fix the obvious spelling mistake? :< – Yannis May 23 '12 at 11:45
So the problem is that normal users are working too hard on the clean up effort? – Lix May 23 '12 at 11:47
@Lix That was my first thought, but I can sympathize, I stopped flagging old crap as soon as I realized how long the flag queue gets and, well, how much more new crap smells... – Yannis May 23 '12 at 11:49
@Lix. Or normal users wastes our time flagging inactive-old posts. – user173320 May 23 '12 at 11:50
@Lix That, or that not enough 10K+ users participate in handling the flags. Together, it leads to an unsatisfactory situation. The queue is permanently bursting. – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 11:53
Or...or...​or​... Users are simply following the instructions given to them by a different moderator... If this is a problem the decision on how to act should be decided upon by the mods and only then formulated into instructions for us lamens... "If the question is old and won't get enough close/delete votes, then flag for moderator attention." – Lix May 23 '12 at 11:53
Two people, TWO people, voted to migrate that to Programmers. Grrr. – ChrisF May 23 '12 at 11:53
@ChrisF Sure, they go by the old rule: "If it's crap, let Programmers delete it". – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 11:54
@YannisRizos. I'm... I used his syntax... :) – user173320 May 23 '12 at 11:54
Why would you want to discourage users from going looking for stuff to flag? If there's something that needs to be flagged, it shall be flagged. Regardless of how old it is, or how many posts are affected. If users go around flagging stuff that doesn't need to be flagged, they'll eventually get their flags declined and will stop doing it anyway. – slhck May 23 '12 at 12:44
I have no idea whether or not it would help, but is there something to be said for a different threshold to participate in flag evaluation. Pehaps a combination of rep (>5k, >7.5k) and flag weight? The idea being, if you have a decent amount of rep and your flags are rarely wrong, you might have a clue about evaluating them as well... As I said, no clue if this would work and what influence it might have on the issue at hand. Just thought I'd throw it out there. – Bart May 23 '12 at 12:48
Old questions need love too! – Cody Gray May 23 '12 at 13:14

This post is pretty much complaining about an instruction given in -

The revision history of that post is pretty massive, but I'm fairly certain that casperOne♦ was the mod who added these instructions -

If the question is old and won't get enough close/delete votes, then flag for moderator attention.

I'd love to help out more - reviewing flags and so on - but I can only do as much as I can with the tools that are at my disposal.. One of which is a bucket of flags to be thrown on old posts so that a more privileged user can come along and handle it...

On behalf of all the <10K users I would like to apologize if we are "...creating too much work and [running the] risks [of] demoralising the crew."...

We are just trying to do our part...

share|improve this answer
I think you meant >10k users :) – Benjol May 23 '12 at 12:08
No... Less than 10K is written <10K... – Lix May 23 '12 at 12:33
Oops, I read the words wrong :) – Benjol May 23 '12 at 12:35

As far as I can tell, you are addressing the flags that feel unimportant but at the same time aren't abuse (otherwise you would have to simply decline flag and quickly move on).

Guidance for cases like that seem to be given in September 2011 Newsletter of SE Moderator Blog.

Per my reading, one can simply dismiss the flag as helpful and quickly move on without taking any action on the flagged post:

...Flags should be closed as [helpful] under most circumstances. ...try to err on the side of clearing as [helpful] whenever the user is trying to be genuinely helpful, even if you do not necessarily act on the flag...
We clarified the guidance for when to dismiss a flags as [helpful] or [declined]:

dismiss flag on this post as…
[helpful] the flags have merit but no further action is required

share|improve this answer
I don't see the 'dismiss as helpful' – Benjol May 23 '12 at 13:25
@Benjol if that's the case, it looks like a problem in 10K tools UI: missing support for actions that look pretty strongly encouraged in newsletter – gnat May 23 '12 at 13:41
@gnat The newsletter talks about how mods should handle flags. Ordinary users can't dismiss flags at all. – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 13:51
@DanielFischer I see. You mean, there's no way for 10Ker to handle flag as "it's OK, but no further action is needed" right? If so, this just does not feel right given the newsletter guidance – gnat May 23 '12 at 14:29
Not directly. You can flag as 'other' and write a message to that effect. If you're a consistently good flagger, that allows the moderator handling it to handle it quickly, after just a short confirmatory glance. The only way to handle flags without moderator intervention is having enough 10K+ or 20K+ users vote to close/delete before it enters the moderator queue (I'm not sure that closure/deletion automatically dismisses the cast flags as helpful, but it would seem reasonable). – Daniel Fischer May 23 '12 at 14:38
@DanielFischer I see, not directly. Well that may be the problem indeed. I mean, I would not worry much about corner case scenarios, but this one looks serious enough to have a closer match to the way how moderators are expected to handle it – gnat May 24 '12 at 8:02

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