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Sometimes when I'm bored I sit and do "moderatory things", like formatting comments/questions and flagging some of them. But sometimes I'm facing a dillema, whetever the post is suitable to flag it or not (I'm pretty strict mod on my forums).

My question is, is it better to flag suspicious questions/answers and leave the decision to mods or give up and go to sleep, because they have too much work anyway?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It depends on the question/comment/answer.

My personal mantra is to use what privileges I have already to mitigate flagging the question up the chain, such as editing the question, retagging the question, or posting comments to the OP to ask for clarification. If it's particularly onerous, then I'd vote to close.

If the content is really egregious - a stack dump with no context or offensive material, that's a flag and vote to close on the spot.

Use your better judgment when flagging and use what privileges you may have to reduce the need to flag content. If it absolutely needs it, raise that exception without delay - moderators are just human exception handlers, after all.

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If the suspicion is on technical matters, don't flag. Otherwise, use your flags gently but judiciously. Keep a look in your profile and try to understand which flags are rejected, and which are helpful. If your flags are helpful, read that as an approval and continue with your flagging pattern, whatever it be.

When I haven't enough reputation for casting close votes, one of my favorites was flagging questions as exact duplicate. If the question is not an exact duplicate, I think it is better not to flag it, because assesing the validity of your flag probably requires some knowledge on that tag.

Now, most of my flags are for not an answer. I don't think there is a borderline for that. If the answer is technically wrong, it is an answer: downvote and don't flag. If the answer is a comment, another question, or a thanks/me too note, then the flag is valid (you can downvote in this case, and advanced users will notice the downvote and remove the post, but new users may not take that action, hence I flag in order to help cleaning the site).

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