Possible Duplicate:
Flag marked invalid even though question was closed for same reason: can I challenge?
Can a declined flag be reverted or removed from history?

I flagged this question because the user keeps reposting the same question and basically asking others to code for him. The flag was declined with the following response:

Looked, saw no evidence. If you could, please ask on Meta, give us some links. Thanks.

@BradLarson then commented that discovered it's multiple users working for the same company.

Could someone reverse the flag decline? Thanks!


Multiple moderators handle flags at the same time. We don't always see the same things when a user or post is flagged, and we all react in our own way, so occasionally we differ in our actions. In this case, you'd flagged that the user had been posting these same questions the previous day, but had deleted their account. The moderator who saw this probably determined that this was not the case and declined the flag (the same user was not posting these questions).

However, others flagged several of these questions in a burst, and we noticed that there was a pattern here, so I marked your second flag as helpful because it pointed us at the real issue here. I couldn't reply to your flag, so I left that comment to let you know that we were looking into it and you didn't need to flag any more of these questions by this same group.

Thanks for taking the time to help us out here, we really do appreciate it. In regards to the declined flag, we can't reverse that status, but don't worry about any negative effects there. The badges we have for flagging only count helpful flags, and if you keep flagging well this won't matter at all. I have a few declined flags myself, and they didn't hurt me in any way. You did get one flag marked helpful out of this, so you came out ahead.

  • Thanks for your clarification Brad. I fully understand that some else can not see a problem at a certain time. The moderator requested me to move to Meta, and so I did. I'm not flagging for a badge or something, just trying to keep SO clean. – Robert Jul 4 '12 at 22:19

Once the flag is declined, or disputed, there isn't a way to change its status.

In the case a flag is disputed, moderators can mark it as helpful, but the flag would still be considered as disputed. This is happens also when, for example, you flag an answer as not an answer, the flag is disputed, but the answer is deleted.

You actually flagged a question because the user kept asking questions to get code from other users; it has nothing to do with the fact there were more than one person using that account. I don't see any reason why the flag should be considered helpful, as you didn't point out that.

  • 2
    ..and: a few declined flags don't really matter, as I assume all of us are only flagging to help, not to gain anything. – Arjan Jul 4 '12 at 19:58
  • Yes, that is correct. There are users who are still obsessed by gaining a badge for flagging. ;) – kiamlaluno Jul 4 '12 at 20:00
  • Oh, wait, there's still a badge for that‽ I thought that was canceled when the flag weight was removed, but I was wrong. Still then, of course, if flags flag an actual problem but do not give enough detail then they might not be worth 1/80th of a badge! – Arjan Jul 4 '12 at 20:04
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    There is also the Marshal badge. :) Users should not flag, hoping to get a badge, but to help with bad/problematic posts. – kiamlaluno Jul 4 '12 at 20:09
  • Yes, it has nothing to do with the multiple users, but I did not have that information at the time. I only raised 3 flags total, so I'm really not obsessing over a badge. Just trying to help... – Robert Jul 4 '12 at 22:22
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    @Robert To make a comparison, it would be as if you flagged a post as spam, when it is not, and your flag should be dismissed as useful because the account was a sock puppet. Moderators don't have the time to check everything about a post, or a user. They check just what reported in the flag, and dismiss the flag as declined, if they don't have any evidence of what reported. – kiamlaluno Jul 4 '12 at 23:08

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