Are we taking a stricter approach to evaluating quality flags?
Yes, we're taking a more 'letter of the law' approach to dealing with quality related flags in order to help reviewers better hone their moderation skills. Previously, most of the moderators were inclined to validate a flag even if it didn't exactly apply, but still pointed us to problematic content.
As flagged (and ultimately deleted) posts are now being used as tests to help reviewers take appropriate actions, we need to ensure that validated flags are, in fact, spot on when it comes to Spam, Very Low Quality and Not An Answer.
Is this the new normal?
For the foreseeable future, yes. The system has to be able to trust the accuracy of quality related flags that we validate.
Well, what flag should I have used? The thing I flagged was smelly!
You can view the reason a flag was declined on your flag summary page. We try to be as helpful to you as we can when declining, but you'll often see that we just found no evidence to support your flag. This is extremely likely if you used a spam flag to describe a post that contained no blatant advertisements, hate speech or anything else remotely offensive.
Each quality related flag available to you displays a short synopsis explaining what it is designed to indicate. Please be sure you've found a match prior to raising the flag.
I'm now unsure what or how to flag, what do I do?
If you feel that there's a problem with a post, and you're not quite sure which flag applies, use the 'other' reason and explain what you see wrong with it and that you're not quite sure which category applies.
Additionally, you can ask the opinion of other users in chat.
I've read this, but I still want to dispute how a flag was handled.
You can raise the issue, but handled flags can't be 'un-handled'. The best thing to do is flag the post again as 'other' and let us know what we might have missed. Still, if you're able to see why your flag might have been declined, please keep in mind why accuracy is currently so critical. It's nothing personal and we do appreciate your help.
You're a bunch of smelly, crooked invalidating politician greasemonkeys!
We love you too.