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I recently flagged a joke answer to a question that made the programming reddit front page, but the flag quickly disappeared with no action taken. It didn't increase my invalid flag counter, so I'm guessing this was an automated action, possibly caused by the high number of upvotes on the answer.

Is this correct? Do flags get cancelled if enough people upvote? If so, how do you report these kinds of posts? It seems clear to me that this was not a helpful answer, and the poster certainly did not deserve a Reversal badge for it.

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Just as a sidenote, if a question is 'wrong' (read: off-topic, not a real question etc.) then you should flag the question, not the answers. Personally, I overlook unhelpful/funny comments/answers (as long as they're not insulting, harmful etc.) on questions which will be closed anyway, because it doesn't matter. – Time Traveling Bobby May 16 '11 at 7:29
@Bobby: The question itself got closed quickly. The problem is that people can still vote on the bad answer, and they do because it's "funny". I don't think we should reward this kind of answer with gold badges, which from what I've understood will not be revoked if/when this question eventually gets deleted. But I might be caring too much. – hammar May 16 '11 at 7:47
up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, upvotes most definitely do not cancel flags.

What probably happened is that a moderator evaluated your flag and decided that it was valid or reasonable, but also decided not to take any action. That's why your flag weight didn't decrease (and you didn't see the number of flags you've had rejected increase), but also why the post wasn't removed.

This is definitely an edge case, a gut call whether to delete an answer like that or leave it there. As Bobby points out, it's clearly a joke answer to a terrible question. The answerer probably doesn't deserve all the rep (s)he got for it, but it's not particularly hurting anyone to leave it there, either.

If I were the original poster (or a moderator), I'd mark the answer as "community wiki" and be done with it. We all appreciate a good joke at the expense of a bad question from time-to-time. Unfortunately, I am neither and I was not the one who made the call.

Regardless, your voting to close the question was the right move. Closing questions like this one quickly is how we prevent an onslaught of terribly useless answers, whether because they're overly speculative, or simply meant to be humorous. If the question is later improved, it can be re-opened without too much trash having accumulated.

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If it works, then it's still a valid answer, no matter how humorous it was intended to be. But no, flags do not get cancelled by upvotes. If you found it unhelpful, you should vote it down.

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