I am a mod, newly diamonded, and still learning the ropes. I added a test flag onto a post in my site's meta, to see what would happen on my side of the world. Sure enough, the flag came up in the queue, and to my surprise, I was able to immediately mark it helpful. While I understand why mods might need to flag (rather than immediately act) in case they're not sure, I'm not sure when it would ever be helpful to let them mark their own flags as helpful.

I don't necessarily believe that anyone who got to the stage of being a diamond mod would abuse this just for a stinkin' badge or two, but why is the option there? Am I missing a possible usefulness?

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    So that's how all the moderators got their Marshall badges when it was created...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2012 at 19:53
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    I think a better question would be, why wouldn't they have the ability to mark their own flags? At that level, you're supposed to know what's helpful and you are assumed to have the integrity to not abuse the system, n'est-ce pas? Jun 18, 2012 at 19:55
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    @JeremyHolovacs Then you don't need to flag in the first place - just act.
    – Daniel
    Jun 18, 2012 at 19:56
  • @JeremyHolovacs It defeats the purpose of flagging if the flagger already knows what to do, and can do it; and if s/he doesn't know what to do, and flags, s/he shouldn't mark it as helpful, because s/he doesn't know.
    – Daniel
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:05
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    Sometimes I flag when I'm involved in the question, for example when a NAA appears in a question where I have a competing answer. I know what to do, just don't want to do it. A couple of times, when in a rush, I flagged as a bookmark, a "I'll handle this later if the others don't take care of it"...
    – yannis
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:08
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    Occasionally I spot something when on my smartphone and I flag it for later - as some mod tools don't work well (especially trying to migrate questions!! Actually - I should raise that as a bug...)
    – Rory Alsop
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:08
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    Maybe handled flags should count toward Marshal and Deputy and then everyone can shut up about moderators abusing their power to get two stinking badges.
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:11
  • Checked my flags, and apparently at some point I flagged a post for moderation attention because I wasn't sure what to do with it, and a couple of minutes later, when I realised / remembered what needs be done, I dismissed my own flag with the "declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it" canned message (sweet irony ;)
    – yannis
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:51
  • @YannisRizos Betcha you wouldn't have done that in the flag weight days!
    – Daniel
    Jun 18, 2012 at 21:03
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    Related question that might be useful: Can moderators handle flags cast on their own content?
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 9, 2018 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


In addition to leaving "mental notes" as a couple folks mentioned in comments, some sites also use mod flags to talk about a specific question. Plus, if there are multiple flags on the same question, your only option is to either mark them all as helpful or as declined, even if some of the flags are by the mod themselves.

That said, if someone really wants to flag 500 posts and abuse their power to get a gold badge... more power to 'em, I guess, but their diamond and badge just might disappear.

Fun fact: if a moderator flags something as spam it basically flags the post and dismisses the flag as helpful right away, which triggers all the effects of a spam flag - deleting/locking the post, docking the poster 100 rep, etc. So there's an example of where this is actually useful.

  • 5
    Try and stop me!
    – casperOne
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:15
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    In principle, the 100 rep dock could be a powerful tool. In practice, most spammers won't earn enough rep for the 100 rep dock to matter.
    – user102937
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:17
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    @RobertHarvey Very true, although I've seen it kick in for people who've gotten away with excessive promotion or had a bad day and posted something spectacularly offensive.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:19
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn - not true. The post is marked as deleted (and locked) by Community but your flag is marked has "helpful".
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:21
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn If you've experienced that, I think you might be confusing that with the Community user stealing handled flags bug, which I think is fixed
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:25
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    These reasons are sufficient. I'll proceed to discreetly hold my peace...
    – Daniel
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:30
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    RE: Talk about a post: Ability to annotate posts as you can annotate users
    – juan
    Jun 18, 2012 at 20:55

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