I responded to a chat flag by marking it "invalid" and got the following banner message:

You can only counterflag messages that have been flagged

What does that mean? What is a "counterflag"? Since I only saw the message because it was flagged, how could it have not been flagged? What do I do with this information?

  • 1
    I suspect that the flag was handled before you flagged it as invalid. May 2, 2012 at 19:33
  • @CodeInChaos: I did take a minute or two to look at the context. But in that case, why should I care? What good purpose does the banner provide? May 2, 2012 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


A counterflag is an "invalid" flag — you're flagging the message as well, but instead of saying "this message is bad and should go away", you're saying that the existing flags on it are not justified and should be ignored.

In this case, the flags on it were probably dismissed while you were looking at it, before you could counterflag. Chat flags don't tend to stick around for very long.

  • Hmmm... I wonder why the terminology isn't consistent. (It takes me a moment or two to parse what it means that a flag on a message is valid or invalid. My gut is that I'm evaluating the message itself, but that's not right.) As to chat flags not sticking around, why should I get a banner message when I take too long to respond? May 2, 2012 at 19:40
  • @JonEricson Well, it tells you that your flag didn't go through because you took too long and the flags on that post were already handled. If it's all the same to you, you can just ignore it.
    – a cat
    May 2, 2012 at 19:41
  • I can't: there's a huge banner on the top of my screen until I click to close it. Whether we like it or not, this will discourage people from responding to chat flags. (Which might be the purpose. I don't know.) May 2, 2012 at 19:46
  • 4
    @JonEricson The "counterflagging" terminology likely comes from the way in which flags on chat messages are evaluated, where invalid flags effectively counter valid ones. I suspect the banner message is simply the server not distinguishing between the error condition of sending an invalid request and just sending a delayed one.
    – Tim Stone
    May 2, 2012 at 19:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .