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Recently, I found the http://facebook.stackoverflow.com part of Stack Overflow. I have found that many of the questions asked here are off topic or otherwise not suitable for Stack Overflow.

When I have found these questions, I have flagged them, and the flags have been marked helpful. Sometimes though, when I flag obviously off topic or vague questions, even though the flag is marked as helpful, no action is taken, and the post remains open.

I want to be a help by flagging bad questions, but I feel that my effort on some of these posts is pointless, because the flag seems to be ignored.

Should I not be flagging these posts, or is there something else I am missing?

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Well, sometimes an action is taken, just not the action that you would have expected it to have been. Also, sometimes non-mod actions, such as regular users deleting/closing a post result in flags on that post being marked as helpful. –  Servy Mar 7 '13 at 15:12
    
I know that mods can take other actions besides closing the post, but for this extremely off topic question that remains open, I would think the mods would at least close the question. –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:16
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Community marked all of the flags on the posts you linked to as helpful. I can't see what action triggered it though. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 7 '13 at 16:21
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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/131890/… –  Flexo Mar 7 '13 at 21:23
    

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are two reasons this could happen:

  1. An edit or other action that occurred between you flagging the post and the moderator reviewing it meant that moderator action wasn't required. However the moderator felt you were right at the time of flagging, and so marked your flag helpful to encourage you. Or maybe the moderator felt your flag was borderline, and that it wasn't a bad enough post to act on it, but wanted to let you know you weren't completely wrong, and that flagging such cases was helpful.

  2. Another user casted a close/delete vote on the question, which resulted in your flagging being marked as helpful.

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I don't think this question is anymore valid now than when I flagged it. In 2, are you saying that my flag could be marked as valid when someone else casts a close vote, even if there are not enough votes for the question to be closed? –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:19
    
Also if someone casts a good flag and someone casts a bad flag, many mods will go with dismissing both as helpful...because we can only mark all of them at once –  Ben Brocka Mar 7 '13 at 15:19
    
@jdwire AFAIK, yeah it gets marked helpful with even one close vote, which the question you linked to does have. –  Raghav Sood Mar 7 '13 at 15:20
    
@RaghavSood That would explain what happened, but If I flag something, I don't think my flag should be completely dismissed until the question is closed or a mod has looked at the flag. Do you know of any post here on meta that goes into more detail about when flags are dismissed as helpful? –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:25
    
@jdwire Note that once a single close vote is applied the question will be added to the close vote queue, in which it will usually quite quickly end up either being closed, or a determination that it ought to remain open be made. –  Servy Mar 7 '13 at 15:28
    
@Servy Hmmm, any idea why this question remained open? Robo-reviewers? –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:30
    
@jdwire Actually, it had only one close vote, so it was still in the under review stage. The close votes review queue is pretty big (50k+), so it might take a while to get it closed through that. –  Raghav Sood Mar 7 '13 at 15:31
    
@RaghavSood Oh yeah, I forgot about how huge the close vote queue is. Now to get to 3K so I can help with it... –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:33
    
@jdwire What makes you think that it was voted to remain open. It has several close votes. Quite quickly doesn't always mean minutes. Part of it depends on the time of day. If your flag was during off-peak hours it's likely that it won't be until the next day's peak hours that it gets handled, which is around now, which is when the post looks like it's just about to be closed (it has 4 close votes). –  Servy Mar 7 '13 at 15:34
    
@RaghavSood That doesn't really accurately indicate much of what you think it does. Recent votes are prioritized, so when someone votes to close a post for the first time it will likely end up right near the front of the queue. It's only getting through the back log of posts with close votes on them from before the queue existed that will take a while. –  Servy Mar 7 '13 at 15:35
    
@Servy It makes sense now why it hadn't been closed yet. I just thought that my flag might have been ignored because it was marked helpful, but the question was still open even though for many of my more recent flags, the question was already closed. –  Joshua Dwire Mar 7 '13 at 15:38

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