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The sequence of events:

  • I flagged an answer as "not an answer"
  • I downvoted the answer
  • The user responded to the downvote by deleting the answer
  • As of this writing, the flag still appears in my flagging summary

The questions:

  • What will happen now? Will the flag be left alone and just sit there "waiting for review"?
  • What should happen? There probably isn't much of a need for a moderator review if the post was self-deleted.
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I don't think it's "waiting for review" any more. It should have been resolved as valid, and increased your flag weight. Did that not happen? – Pëkka May 16 '11 at 19:36
@Pekka: Well, I can see it in my review and there are 4 "waiting for review" flags. I am unable to match up the flags to their buckets... but the behavior matches what I surmised in this question. Is there a way for me to verify that what status a particular flag has? – MrHen May 16 '11 at 19:41
Can you link it? I would expect the flag to be auto-cleared as Pekka says, but I don't know for sure. – mmyers May 16 '11 at 19:41
AFAIK the moderator will handle such flag as "no action" and then mark it as "valid", but since no action was taken, you don't get points. – BalusC May 16 '11 at 19:41
@mmyers: This is happening on EL&U. – MrHen May 16 '11 at 19:41
@Chichiray no-action → valid → +10 flag weight, not +0. The only "actions" that cause dismissal are closure and deletion - when there's things like editing or locking and such, we still have to use dismissal directly like that, so we still up the flag weight. – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 19:44
If it's English, then I'm pretty sure you're just hovering in a blind-spot of moderator activity right now. – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 19:45
@Grace: well, probably my memory is lying to me. – BalusC May 16 '11 at 19:45
@Chichiray Faulty memory, I just confirmed this on Gaming as the proper behavior. Well, we can't remember everything, I s'pose. ♪ – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 19:46
@mmyers: Oop, my earlier link was to my profile. Here is a deep link. However, it appears I was merely misunderstanding the flag-summary screen. – MrHen May 16 '11 at 20:04
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In most cases, deletion automatically causes all remaining flags to be dismissed as valid.

If it is retained for any reason, there's not much reason to fret. Flags for moderator do not decay over time, but there's no reason to leave that one alone if the problem has already been resolved. And it was a valid flag, so it probably should be dismissed as valid.

Those kind of flags are the ones that are far less likely to sit around for extended periods of time, since the resolution is quite clear and has already happened. Delay comes mostly from the fact that a moderator for the site might not be around to see it, or it could just be beneath a whole bunch of flags from higher flag queue positions.

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To be clear, does a self-deleted post auto-validate a flag? That seems odd. Assuming this is not true, than it sounds like you are saying that the flag is still in the queue and will processed in due time. Is this correct? – MrHen May 16 '11 at 19:50
@MrHen I would assume, like Pekka and mmyers before me, that it should auto-validate. Regardless of whether it does, whenever it doesn't auto-validate, it'll simply sit in the flag queue until addressed, which makes your second statement true. – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 19:52
@MrHen I just noticed your comment about not verifying the status of a flag - if you look at the text of the flag message, it will be a faded out grey if it has been dismissed or validated, and will be in black if it is still under review. I'm checking with the English mods - they cannot determine which flag you're referring to specifically. Could you link the question you had flagged? – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 19:59
@Grace: Ah, thank you. It was gray. So... nothing odd is happening at all -- I just wasn't understanding what was happening. EDIT: Actually, this doesn't seem to match up either. My summary says there are four unreviewed flags... I can only find three with black text. – MrHen May 16 '11 at 20:02
@MrHen I have confirmed that it was auto-addressed and the mods did not even know that flag ever happened. Looks like auto-validation is working like it should. But nevertheless, the rest of my answer should be helpful for any scenarios in which a flag truly is still around. – Grace Note May 16 '11 at 20:07
@Grace: Thank you for your help. :) – MrHen May 16 '11 at 20:08

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