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I recently flagged an answer as offensive.

Just now in my "helpful" flags page I noticed two replies to the same flag:

enter image description here

I'm fairly sure I did not submit an "invalid" flag (I don't think the system would have let me submit both types of flag for the same post.)

What does this mean? Is it a bug?

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a 10k user cast a flag saying that your offensive flag was invalid, hence the "disputed". The post was eventually deleted, hence the flag was marked "helpful". – Lorem Ipsum Jun 18 '12 at 2:11
Though you can't see spam flags in the 10k queue. So it must have had other flags on it. – Mysticial Jun 18 '12 at 2:12
If the "invalid flag" was submitted by someone else, why can I see it here? Isn't this page just for flags I submitted? – finnw Jun 18 '12 at 2:13
The only thing that comes to mind is you marked someone else's flag as invalid not realizing you had flagged the post as offensive. :/ – animuson Jun 18 '12 at 2:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

What you're seeing here is two replies to two different flags. You flagged a post as offensive, then marked the flags on that post as invalid, or possibly the other way around.

I'm not sure why you would do this, but it was probably by accident. Maybe you meant to use a "not an answer" flag instead?

And it's perfectly possible to flag a post twice. You can't have 2 yellow flags on a post until the first one is dismissed, and you can't flag a post twice for the same reason, but you can combine a spam flag with, say, a not an answer flag or a custom flag.

I do that all the time. If it's actually spam or offensive, there's really no reason not to.

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Why exactly would you double-flag a spam-answer (which will be deleted anyway)? – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 18 '12 at 11:42
@GardenGnobobby On lower-traffic sites , it helps attract 10k users via the flag queue. If you just flag it as spam, it won't show up there. Also, on a selfish note, you can double-dip on helpful flags this way. – a cat Jun 18 '12 at 11:44
To be honest, I'd consider it as abuse of the flag system. But I see where you're coming from, and it most likely is a good idea on low-traffic sites. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 18 '12 at 11:55
You can include additional information that you think we should know in a custom flag along with a spam/offensive flag. That's perfectly fine with me (and I'm sure with the other mods as well). Of course, spam-flagging a post then raising a custom flag saying "this is spam" is pretty pointless. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 18 '12 at 12:01
@GardenGnobobby It's probably not necessary in most cases, but I wouldn't call it abuse unless you start double-flagging posts that aren't actually spam/offensive to inflate your flag count. – a cat Jun 18 '12 at 12:04
In that case it is probably because I disagreed with a "not an answer" flag then hesitated before flagging as offensive instead. – finnw Jun 18 '12 at 13:37

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