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There's a fairly constant stream, or at least dribble, of spam and offensive flags being applied to questions which are merely poor. They certainly aren't selling things. They aren't generally flagrantly off-topic -- just weak. Heck, of late, they aren't even particularly subjective.

Look, we got downvotes and we got close votes. Hitting these with the spam flag isn't helping anything. Most of them come from 1-rep wonders, so the big rep hammer will be pointless. There's no special urgency. Even if there were, it's no faster than collecting close votes.

Why do I care? I want to be able to visit the flag page, and quickly see if anything there deserves further attention. If I have to wade through a long list of innoffensive items, it's a lot more time consuming.

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What about offensive? – juan May 23 '10 at 22:56
@Downvoter: edited to include. The questionable flags seem about equally distributed, "It's Spam" versus "I'm offended that you posted this drivel." – Rosinante May 23 '10 at 23:42
Some people do find bad English and a lack of respect for their time shown by no effort to be offensive. – Ian Ringrose Oct 14 '11 at 15:03
@IanRingrose I am offended that you would make such a statement! – Cole Johnson Aug 20 '13 at 0:29
"1 rep wonders" :D – Sabyasachi Mar 2 '14 at 21:07
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I emphatically agree. I've mentioned in the past that too many users appear to use spam/offensive flags as a substitute for question downvotes, probably because downvotes cost rep and there's always some badge-seeking cretin willing to punch in a pity upvote, or because the users in question don't have enough rep to vote to close.

Unfortunately I think it's a bit of Trilogy Terrorism - it's wrong, but it's often effective, rallying other users to flag/downvote, and sometimes getting 10k users (who see the question on the flags page) to vote to close the question.

Is there any disincentive for users considering doing this? Do diamond mods have some report that would help them identify people who abuse the flags? If we don't have any deterrent, then maybe we need one, and if we do, then people need to be made more aware of it.

share|improve this answer
+1 for badge-seeking cretin – Pëkka Oct 14 '11 at 14:58

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