I don't see "Helpful" in the list of things I can do when I press the flag link.

In my profile page I saw "6 helpful flags." How do I earn these flags? May I make them on other peoples' posts or comments?

This is what I am talking about:

  • 9
    Just click that number (it's a link) and you'll see list of all the flags you ever sent. Some might be rejected, some might be marked "helpful" which means the flag was correct and acted upon. As for downvotes, people think it's too trivial - I gave +1 as I remember my days as newbie around here. :) Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 8:07

5 Answers 5


I could have sworn that somewhere in my reputation I saw "6 helpful flags"...

That means that six of the flags you have raised so far were deemed helpful to moderators. You don't flag things as helpful yourself, you flag things that need moderator's attention. The helpful/unhelpful designation is how moderators give you feedback on the quality of your flags.

  • 1
    ... and it seems as though things that are most often helpful are suggestions to move a question or marking a question as duplicate or low quality. Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 19:40
  • 10
    @ScottWilson I wrote up some flagging guidelines a while back. meta.stackexchange.com/a/80273/1288 Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 19:50
  • Just to clarify it, helpful flegs can be given only by moderator?
    – convert
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 17:04
  • @convert Yes, only moderators can mark flags as helpful. Sometimes they do this explicitly, but mostly it's done automatically if they take action on a flagged post that's in agreement with the flag. Commented May 26, 2022 at 18:25
  • @convert actually, some flags can be marked helpful if e.g. 1) the answer you flagged is deleted (by the author, or by regular users in the LQP review queue) or 2) the question you flagged is closed (also by regular users in- our outside the queue).
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Feb 15 at 20:22

Helpful flag simple meaning would be, Flag was helpful to keep the site clean.

After earning 15 or more Reputation, You get a link of "flag", which is for Moderator attention to check for the correct actions.

In the beginning you get "10 inform moderator flags".

After getting the flag intimation from a user, Moderator do research work for a particular flag. When Moderator founds correct information regarding a flag Moderator replies it with result "helpful"

On the right side of that page you can see all flag's report just like below image,

enter image description here

The Image says that there were total 23 attention flags out of which 18 were helpful , 4 were declined and 1 is waiting for review. In case of "decline" you get a message line from Moderator saying "declined - Sorry, had to decline ......"


You can't. The "helpful flags" counter in your profile refers to the number of flags you issued that were deemed helpful, either by a moderator or by an event that occurred, like post deletion. If you click on it, you'll get an overview of the flags you've cast, and their outcome.

Flagging things is for bringing them to the attention of a moderator. Posts or comments certainly don't require mod review because they're helpful.

If you find something helpful, you upvote it.


Flagging is for flagging negatives - the tooltip even says "flag this post for serious problems or moderator attention".

It was never intended for positives - that's what upvotes are for.

Update, now that you explained in comments where you have seen "helpful" and "flags" together:

Moderators and high reputation users will see flags and if they agree with them will mark them as helpful (or not) - as in, they helped with moderating the site. It means "the flags from this user have been helpful".


If you found questions something like Spam, Duplicate, off topic, not constructive, not a real question, etc you can flag it.

If you found answers like Spam, not an answer, etc you can flag it.

If you found comments like rude or offensive, not constructive / off-topic, obsolete, too chatty, etc you can flag it

Moderators and reviewers will look at the issue and decide whether the flag was helpful or not and mark it 'helpful' or 'declined' or 'disputed'.

Also you can earn badges like

Deputy  -  Raised 80 helpful flags 
Marshal -  Raised 500 helpful flags 

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