Currently, the behavior of flags in the 10k queue is this:

  • If action is taken, either by the community or by a mod, the flag is "helpful" (positively affecting flag weight)
  • If they are marked "invalid" by community members, they get forwarded to the ♦ queue. The mods can take action on them, but the flags get marked as "disputed" regardless of their validity. Disputed flags don't affect flag weight.
  • If they aren't counterflagged/actioned by 10k users, and if a moderator sees them and declines them, then they have a negative effect on flag weight.

Wait... Back up there for a second... Does this mean that if one user (a mod) says the flag is bad, flag weight is reduced, but if multiple users (a mod and some 10kers) say the flag is bad, then the flag weight is not affected? That's right.

To me, this is completely illogical. A side effect of this will be that if a site has a good crowd of 10k users, then a user who keeps misflagging shall continue to do so (as the flag hellbanning will never be triggered.)

Jeff's comment here about "pitting users against each other" is imo obsolete -- flag weight is no longer displayed and isn't that big a deal for most users (it is somewhat a big deal for mods, though).

I don't care much if invalid flags give flag weight to the counterflaggers or not, but I feel that a flag correctly marked invalid should penalize the flagger at least as much as a normal declined flag. Either that, or some threshold of invalid flag votes should automatically mark a flag as declined.

I know that currently, all flags on a post (except spam/offensive) are treated as one big flag with the option to mark as helpful/declined, and you can't choose which flags to decline amongst these, but I'd like a change in this. Maybe make the invalid flag "special", similar to spam flags?

  • 8
    I agree, this is why more and more I don't even bother marking flags as invalid. What's the point? I may help a moderator, but I also help that user get off without any penalty.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 7, 2013 at 18:45
  • The problem is that you can't decline the one flag and accept the others. All flags on one post are treated equal (except spam/offensive). Jan 7, 2013 at 18:46
  • @animuson: Exactly. I can't give details, but I know for a fact that this has happened at least once (a user getting off without any penalty) Jan 7, 2013 at 18:52
  • @DanielFischer: I know that. That's with the current system. I'm asking for a change in it :) Jan 7, 2013 at 18:52
  • 1
    @Manish the last paragraph should have been in the post in one form or another from the start. Jan 7, 2013 at 18:55
  • @DanielFischer: True, which is why I added it now.. Jan 7, 2013 at 18:56
  • @animuson: You know it! Jan 7, 2013 at 19:01
  • This is crazy, so I flagged a post "not an answer", it says "disputed" although it's subsequently deleted. Very illogical it's not considered "helpful"...
    – hayd
    Feb 6, 2013 at 23:00
  • 1
    @hayden: eh, I don't care much about flags not getting marked helpful. That just makes it slower to get badges (if you're flagging correctly, flag weight shouldn't be a problem) Feb 7, 2013 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


I agree, and with the recent changes to flagging I think this needs to be revisited.

Every time I go through the SO flag queue, I see a few proper flags and a load of invalid ones. There are clearly people who flag as "not an answer" anything with a question mark or that hints that the answerer ran into the question themselves, even when the post does provide a full and proper answer. I really, really want to tell the mods that those flags are invalid, but I have stopped flagging as invalid because all that does currently is protect the original flagger from a net flag count (formerly flag weight) penalty. The more deserving a flag is of being flagged invalid, the more it deserves a penalty, not to be protected from it.

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