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What are the “Bad Things,” if any, associated with the declined flag count?

Is there a minimum 'helpful flags' to 'declined flags' ratio that a User should maintain as a base value?

I know there will be ban on asking questions for some situations where the standard of questions fails below a limit , similarly is there any chance of a User to get ban like "You can't flag any more posts" if their number of declined flags overruns the number of helpful flags?


I don't have the details, but if you get too many declined flags and not enough helpful flags, you will eventually lose all of your available flags and no longer be able to raise any more.

Flag with care. Have as few declined flags as possible. That's all we ask.

  • I think the only consequence of a too low flag weight is that your flags won't show up in the queue anymore (but you can still flag).
    – slhck
    Jan 25 '13 at 8:10
  • @slhck: Ah, so sort of like a hell ban? Jan 25 '13 at 8:13
  • I believe so. We had a troublesome user once who did nothing but casting crap flags, and IIRC the official response was to just decline them until his weight dropped to zero, which would effectively hide the flags from us altogether. Might be worth double checking.
    – slhck
    Jan 25 '13 at 8:15
  • 1
    @slhck: Oh, I thought it decreased his available flags to use until it was no longer possible to even flag. Jan 25 '13 at 9:22
  • Details (public on old meta posts): you start with +100 FW, +10 for every helpful flag, -10 for every declined flag. It is +5/-5 for comment flags. I think. FW affects sort order in the flag queue, and if you reach 0, you can flag, but nobody will see 'em. Jan 30 '13 at 4:49
  • Actually, for smaller sites (both Phys/Chem), I like encouraging users to flag even when not sure (after all, we mods are the exception handlers, not them) -- we get a low enough volume of flags to handle that. But that's just me. Jan 30 '13 at 4:51
  • @Manishearth: Ah. When I say "Flag with care", I mean "Put thought into your flags", not "When in doubt, don't flag" :) Although I guess the next sentence implies that somehow. Jan 30 '13 at 4:54

You start with flag weight 100. You get +10 per helpful flag, -10 per declined flag [1]. +0 for disputed flags. If you go above 500, it increases nonlinearly[2]. The higher your flag weight, the higher position you get in the flag queue (and thus your flag is reviewed faster). If it reaches 0, you can still flag, but nobody will read them.

On large sites (The SO/SF/SU trilogy, etc), flag with care, since there are lots more flags and the mods need to use their time efficiently. Flag weight matters here.

On smaller sites, it's OK to be a bit adventurous -- flag even when not sure (that way the mods get to see edge cases/etc), and let the decline message teach you something. Of course, if you're sure a flag will be declined, then don't flag ;-) Flag weight doesn't matter here as there are very few active flags at any point of time, so, unless you reach 0, it shouldn't be a problem.

[1]: What is flag weight? (10k only)

[2]: About nonlinear increase

  • The +10/-10 does not seem right, for higher levels, from when flag weight was displayed (unless it has changed since?) It would take much more than one accepted flag after a declined one to get back to 800. Also, going by the number of flags available displayed now; when I get one declined anymore, it takes me quite a few accepted to get back to where I was (keeping in mind how many I have used for that day...) But also, maybe things are more even for lower weights? Jan 30 '13 at 14:42
  • @AndrewBarber: Hmm, right, forgot about the nonlinear increase (flag weight was killed off before I started here, but I remember reading up about it). See edit. Jan 30 '13 at 14:48
  • Excellent! This post (10k only) seems to have the calculation down; as I suggested above, it is only for higher weights. So the +10/-10 does apply to people newer to flagging. Jan 30 '13 at 14:52
  • Oh... hmm; and I guess I just reached 10k here on meta recently! It only now occurred to me that a couple days ago, I couldn't have read a deleted post! haha! Congrats to me :p Jan 30 '13 at 14:54

Don't worry about it. As long as you flag sensibly, the occasional declined flag won't hurt.

What a declined flag does:

  • slightly lower the priority of your future flags in the moderator queue
  • decrease the number of flags you have available every day

If your flagging history is completely atrocious, the worst that can possibly happen is that your flags get suppressed and won't notify moderators anymore. One helpful flag for every declined flag will prevent that from happening, but obviously you should aim higher than a 1.0 ratio.

  • 4
    1:1 seems pretty bad to me. Jan 25 '13 at 7:01
  • @AndrewBarber will you make it more clear?
    – DD_
    Jan 25 '13 at 7:04
  • Getting one flag declined per each flag accepted seems like a bad ratio to me. Personally, I have 7445 accepted, and 89 declined. Jan 25 '13 at 7:09
  • @AndrewBarber Of course, 1:1 is terrible. I'm just saying that's the bare minimum before you risk having your flags suppressed.
    – a cat
    Jan 25 '13 at 7:17

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