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Why does it take so long to review a flag suggested by a user?

When I flag a question or comment, some get a response quickly whereas some of them get a response after few or more hours.

Is there any flag review condition which cause so much time to be taken for different flags?

Or are there different moderators for different flag posted?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 34 down vote accepted

We get lots of flags. At the root of things, that's the issue.

As Lucifer noted, some types of flags may not show up right away - or show up as highly ranked - to mods due to actions taken by 10k+ users who review them, but some flags do show up somewhere in our lists right away, such as Spam/Offensive or Other. Our list of flags is sorted magically by different weighted criteria.

Some flags are acted on very quickly, such as spam/offensive flags. Those can actually be handled before a moderator sees them, by enough users all flagging. Either way, these go quickly.

Some other flag types are easy to handle, or are ones that certain moderators might really have an affinity for. Those will tend to go quickly.

Finally, when we have a backlog of flags (almost always), we might tend to let some types of flags wait for community action, in lieu of spending moderator time on them. For instance, flags to close questions might be the last ones some of us look at, since often, regular users may eventually handle them. Moderators no longer see the "Close" flags in our queue; they will go to the Close review queue; so they remain open for a long time.

Ultimately, we don't necessarily go through the flags in an absolute, set order; the above are just some tendencies. Each moderator will have their own personal path they take. For example, I like digging through the 'other' flags, because they can be quite 'interesting', but they aren't always something that can be handled quickly like, say, 'not an answer' or comment flags.

And for anyone else reading this; you should not use an incorrect flag type just because of something you think I am suggesting here; we decline flags that are incorrect. Use the appropriate flag type, and we will do our best (moderators and 10k users) to handle them!

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Ah... i missed this spam/offensive flags part in my answer. One of the important part of Flag. –  Lucifer Mar 30 '13 at 8:14
    
thanks Andrew and @Lucifer i got my answer..:) –  NetStarter Mar 30 '13 at 8:37
    
Is three days considered a long time to have a flag not handled especially when all your other flags are being handled within a day? –  Shafik Yaghmour Aug 26 '13 at 22:00
    
@ShafikYaghmour As I noted in my answer above, different flags can be handled at different times. Don't worry about it; we'll handle the flags as soon as possible. –  Andrew Barber Aug 27 '13 at 0:44

It depends on the type of flag you've made. A standard flag goes to the Flag Queue, which can be viewed by users > 10K reputation. These users will review your flag, and decide its status (approved / rejected / disputed). A post with 6 or more flags will directly go to the moderator's flag queue.

The other type of flag is the Moderator attention flag, which is created when you select the Other option in the flag dialog. These type of flags go directly to the moderator's flag queue and are exposed to their immediate attention.

Sometimes, it may be possible that when you flag a post, other users/moderators are reviewing the flag queue at the same time. So, your flag may get a result very soon.

Otherwise it usually takes about 24 hours to get a review.

You can see all the different kinds of flags in the flag dialog box. There is nothing like few moderators handling the flags or something.

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I am not able to visit the Flag Queue page because of reputation barrier –  NetStarter Mar 30 '13 at 6:23
    
Can you please tell me what are the flagging conditions and is there are different moderators to review different type of flags? –  NetStarter Mar 30 '13 at 6:25
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You can see all the different kinds of flag in flag dialog box, all the moderator reviews all kind of flag there is nothing like few moderators handles few kinds of flags & others handles other flags. –  Lucifer Mar 30 '13 at 6:40
    
ok thanks i know that user can see the flagging history in his profile my quetion was why it takes different time span to get review for different type of flags –  NetStarter Mar 30 '13 at 6:43
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@NetStarter, that part i have explain in my answer –  Lucifer Mar 30 '13 at 6:44

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