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I've read Flag weight audit and , but I still haven't figured it out.

Is it possible to make a flag, have it attract moderator attention, and have it treated as invalid?

Background: In Programmers.SE, I have a flag weight of 95. So far, I've only made one flag, and a moderator added a comment to the answer of interest. So unless flag weight doesn't start at 100, it must have still been treated as invalid. (possibly because I misbehaved in the comments section of the answer?)

Edit: I didn't mean "Can a moderator treat a flag as invalid?", I meant "Can a moderator treat a flag as invalid, even if they do decide to act upon the flag?"

share|improve this question
For what reason did you flag it? – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 19 '11 at 11:15
I said that comments were getting out hand without pointing any fingers. – Andrew Grimm Apr 19 '11 at 11:24
up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are two ways to get to a flag weight of 95 with a single post flag:

  1. +10 Valid post flag
    -5*3 Invalid comment flags

  2. -10 Invalid post flag
    +5 Valid comment flag

(Plus possibly any number of valid and invalid comment flags balancing each other out.)

You haven't said how much you're flagging comments, so either could be the case.

Comment flags are a little tougher for moderators; if you flag a comment and a moderator edits out the offensive portion but does not delete, your flag is still marked invalid. Sorry, and I hope it doesn't keep you from flagging, but there's no way to mark a comment flag valid except deleting the comment. Fortunately it's only a 5-point hit when it happens.

Above all, please remember that flag weight is not a measure of your worth as a human being. That is all.

EDIT: This answer was correct at the time it was written. As of July 2011, comment flags no longer affect flag weight.

share|improve this answer
My question stated I'd only made one flag on Programmers SE. – Andrew Grimm Apr 19 '11 at 12:31
@Andrew It's impossible to reach a flag weight ending in 5 without having comment flags involved. So whether you remember it or not (and note that the flag weight report does not include comment flags), you have made some comment flags. – Grace Note Apr 19 '11 at 12:35
@Andrew Grimm: But this is the answer. You said you flagged the comment, ...there's no way to mark a comment flag valid except deleting the comment. The comments were not removed, just acted upon. Your flag was valid, but can't be marked as such. – Time Traveling Bobby Apr 19 '11 at 12:38
@Grace Note: Come to think of it, I think I made at least one comment flag, and maybe I've made others. It not being mentioned in the report would explain things. – Andrew Grimm Apr 19 '11 at 12:49

Yes, it is possible. A moderator may dismiss a flag as valid (you see an increase to your flag weight) or invalid (you see a decrease to your flag weight). I'm not entirely sure if there's any way to dismiss a flag with no effect to your weight, but I don't think so.

(I share your luck with flags. I myself have been unable to submit a valid flag to that site. I've taken that as a sign that I don't understand what is and is not on topic there, and have thereby stopped flagging on that site)

To your edit: yes, they can. Taking action can be separate from marking mod flags.

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This is correct. There's no way to dismiss a flag with no effect to flag weight. – Bill the Lizard Apr 19 '11 at 4:39
"of topic" should be done by a close vote not a flag. A mod may consider the flag to be invalid due to you using a flag rather then a close vote. – Ian Ringrose Apr 19 '11 at 10:51
Regarding your luck in flagging - I suggest popping into chat and contacting the programmers mods. They all tend to be around at various points in the day, and I'm sure they'll be happy to explain to you what has been wrong with your flags (probably in a private chat room). If you're willing to listen and learn, then the most probable outcome is a positive one for everyone involved. – Grace Note Apr 19 '11 at 12:39
@Ian: at my (low) rep on, I can only flag as it doesn't belong here, not vote to close. It's not clear to me, but I assume those flags go into the moderator queue. – Michael Petrotta Apr 19 '11 at 14:18
@Grace: Thanks for the advice. I don't spend much time on, and really the only time I flag is when I feel bad about a post we've migrated over from SO (often variations on "Is this legal/Will I get sued if..."), and want to help clean it up. Low flag weight on doesn't bother me much - it's probably just a sign that if I want to participate there, I need to hang out there for a while first. – Michael Petrotta Apr 19 '11 at 14:20
To answer with regards to flags and closing - if you flag a post as a close reason, it counts as a moderator flag if you cannot vote to close, and it is transformed into a close vote if you can vote to close. So in your case, they would go into the moderator queue. – Grace Note Apr 19 '11 at 14:22

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