on SO I have 7k reputation currently, which is enough to close questions but not enough to delete questions with downvotes. (I don't know the exact logic for this, but a 10k+ user once explained to me and I recall 10k+ users can vote to delete questions with sufficient downvotes.)

Flagging is incentivized. There are a silver and a gold badge for raising helpful flags. Moderators will mark flags as helpful or unhelpful which I use as feedback much like a lab rat gets an electric shock or cheese. However, something that has confused me is the "very low quality" answers that I flag as probably needing to be deleted don't need moderator attention - they need 10k+ user attention.

Similarly I had the exact same feelings at < 3k with flagging to close questions. Doesn't need moderator attention, but usually marked as helpful.

So I see a conflict between "let the community moderate, save moderators as human exception handlers" with "raise flags that will be marked as helpful." What gives?

  • In all likelihood some of your helpful flags have been handled entirely by 10k users. – Flexo Mar 17 '13 at 14:43

Flags aren't reviewed by Moderators only. 10k+ users can also review a part of the flag queue (I thought they only can't review the 'other' flag option).

So my answer will be: Yes, flag those! Someone, a mod or a 10k+ user, will review it and determine if it needs to get deleted or not.

  • 3
    10kers also don't see Spam or Offensive flags :). – Matt Mar 17 '13 at 14:41

All flags except the custom mod flags and spam/offensive flags are seen by 10k users, and they help handle them. See https://stackoverflow.com/privileges/moderator-tools.

So, continue flagging these, you're doing the right thing. Be careful about Why are the moderators being so strict with quality related flags recently?, though.

Also, note that flagging to close once you have >3k will have your flag converted to a vote to close

  • @JoshCaswell: NAA as well. – Manishearth Mar 17 '13 at 15:09
  • Oh, yes, of course. – Josh Caswell Mar 17 '13 at 16:05

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