When a post if flagged and then removed by the OP before a moderator sees it, the flag is declined due to the post being removed by the user. This affects the flag weight of the person who flagged the post even if the flag was accurate.

  • The fact the OP removed the post doesn't mean the flag was correct.
    – apaderno
    Aug 29, 2011 at 6:49
  • ^ that's not the issue. The issue is that the there is no other option but to decline the flag, affecting the flag weight of the flagging user without anything they could do about it.
    – Chamilyan
    Aug 29, 2011 at 6:56
  • How do you know there is no other option but to decline the flag?
    – apaderno
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:00
  • I'm not a moderator, but from what I see the options are disputed, denied, or helpful. Disputed does not affect flag weight, but a removed post is not under dispute. It would be declined.
    – Chamilyan
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:03
  • As far as I remember from my experience as moderator, if a moderator deletes a post that has been flagged, the flag is automatically considered valid. Moderators can still set a flag as valid, but then not taking any action; I know that from my direct experience, as one of my flag was marked as valid, but the question I flagged was not deleted.
    – apaderno
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:08
  • 1
    I believe the mod can mark the flag as helpful even if they don't act on it for any reason, including because the post was removed.
    – agf
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:11
  • @agf And in this case, a moderator could have marked the flag as "declined" simply for the fact the user deleted his post; from the point of view of that moderator, the flag was not useful, since the post was already deleted from the OP.
    – apaderno
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:21
  • I suppose that's possible, though I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do that -- I've seen it said elsewhere that standard practice in that situation is to mark the flag helpful (formerly "valid") because the flagger had no way to know the user would remove their own post.
    – agf
    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:34
  • What about some link to answer removed?
    – genesis
    Aug 29, 2011 at 10:46

3 Answers 3


This isn't correct, the flag was deemed invalid by a moderator 3 hours before the post was deleted by the owner...the two events are unrelated.

If you hover over the "declined" or "deemed helpful" indicator on your flag weight screen, we show the time...you can compare this with the time the post was deleted to see they don't match up.

  • I see the time when the post was created. I see the time the flag was created and the time that the flag was deemed invalid but where does it indicate when the post was deleted? Maybe it works differently for a moderator but this information is not on the screen. There are no events 3 hours apart, only 2 hours apart in my case.
    – Chamilyan
    Aug 29, 2011 at 16:26
  • @Ilya - If you click the post, you can see at the bottom: "deleted by JZ 12 hours ago"...of course this is a 10k+ rep user ability (to see deleted questions), so I guess you aren't yet able to see that data, my apologies...but that is what happened. Aug 29, 2011 at 16:29
  • then in my particular case this makes no sense at all. How can a post with a title of How do you use Javascript in a Facebook application? be deemed invalid as a duplicate of Can I use jQuery with Facebook apps?. Invalid? not even disputed?
    – Chamilyan
    Aug 29, 2011 at 16:46
  • @Ilya - I wasn't the mod who decided this, but they are correct. It is not a duplicate, as JavaScript != jQuery. One requires having the entire jQuery framework available in your Facebook app, one requires no such dependency and can be done via different means. In fact, the deleted question explicitly says "common jQuery isn't working". Aug 29, 2011 at 16:52

I'm pretty sure that it doesn't work the way you describe it. If a post is deleted, the flags on it are no longer visible, and in all cases I have seen until now the flag is automatically declared valid. I'm not completely sure if that also happens for self-deleted posts, I tried it and it worked, but I am a moderator so it might work differently then.

If your flag was deemed invalid, I would assume that a moderator manually invalidated your flag, and that the post was only self-deleted afterwards. I'm pretty sure that there is no auto-invalidation for flags.


the flag is declined due to the post being removed by the user

No, that's not true. The flag still remains on the post and will be visible to Moderators via the flag queue. The Moderator can then decide whether it was helpful or not

I just tried this, the flag gets removed from the queue, but the flag gets marked as helpful in both cases

  • When the OP flagged the post and the post was deleted by the OP
  • When someone else flagged the post and the post was deleted by the OP
  • Are flags for self-deleted posts not automatically removed, like it happens for deletion by a mod? Aug 29, 2011 at 10:11
  • @Fabian they do, have updated my answer Aug 29, 2011 at 10:28
  • 2
    @Sathya so you want to tell me that somebody can flag his own answer,delete it to get some flag weight and get it back?
    – genesis
    Aug 29, 2011 at 10:47
  • @genesis-φ possibly - haven't tried though. Aug 30, 2011 at 4:02

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