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What exactly happens when questions/answers/comments are flagged?

Are they deleted after a certain number of flags? Or do they just become invisible? Are moderators notified? Is the author notified? Are they still listed in pages/searches?

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Partial dupe: How do comment voting and flagging work? – Bart Apr 16 '13 at 17:06
up vote 3 down vote accepted

When a post is flagged (question, answer, or comment), it goes into the flag queue, where the site moderators will review it. The post will be shown with all flags raised on it (including the type of flag, and any custom message with the flag).

A subset of flags (most of them) are also visible in the queue to non-moderator users with enough reputation.

Several actions can be taken when reviewing a flag:

  • Close the question (or cast a vote to close)
  • Delete the post/comment (or cast a delete vote, if the post is deletable by non-mods)
  • Edit the post/comment
  • Lock the post (prevents edits and voting, prevents new answers to questions)
  • Do nothing, and dismiss the flag
  • Dispute the flag

The post owner is not notified, and the post will continue to appear on the site as normal. The only exception is that a comment will be automatically deleted if it is flagged enough times.

As far as deletion vs. invisibility: all deletions on the network are "soft" deletions. The content is hidden, and only visible to moderators and high-rep users. Only in rare cases is content actually deleted; this can only be done by Stack Exchange developers.

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Author is never notified as per my experience.

But yes question is closed when any moderator closes that question or it gets certain closed votes.

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the question being closed means that it become inaccessible to all users? – Chico Sokol Apr 16 '13 at 17:05
A question is closed after 5 flags? I'm not sure about that. Do you happen to have anything to back that up with? Are you confusing votes to close perhaps? – Bart Apr 16 '13 at 17:07
people can still see that question, but they cannot answer that question anymore. – Akira Apr 16 '13 at 17:08
they are still listed in search results, etc? what about answers closed? (see my edit) – Chico Sokol Apr 16 '13 at 17:10
@Bart Well you are right, i'm not sure about how many votes exactly. But mostly whenever I see any closed question, either 1 name is specified over der which I guess would be moderator. Or 5 names, which I guess are people with more than 10K reputation on SO. – Akira Apr 16 '13 at 17:17
Then you're talking about close votes, not flags. Flags, afaik, only notify moderators. Besides spam flags they don't necessarily lead to closure for a certain number. – Bart Apr 16 '13 at 17:18
@bart Actually, >10k users can see the close flags queue (and vote to close if desired) – David Robinson Apr 16 '13 at 17:21
@Bart, what is a close vote? – Chico Sokol Apr 16 '13 at 17:24
@ChicoSokol It's related to this privilege: – Bart Apr 16 '13 at 17:25

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