I tend to flag questions which are low quality, off topic, or localized after casting close votes, recently I flagged 4-5 questions but all were declined, but were closed later, so my question is what if an user is out of close votes, he will probably flag, so why decline those helpful flags?

I discussed this with a user, he explained me that mods have better work to do and hence we should ignore flagging them often, but on the other hand I've heard that ONLY SOME FLAGS go to the mod and not all... Am sorry if I am missing something here but why should the flags be declined?

I've flagged such questions always and always they used to get approved, the good thing about this was that if mod reads the flag, he closes that question that instant, so I flag them, cuz if the closed votes aren't sufficient, mods can close it anytime.

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    "Once you have 3,000 reputation you should be voting to close, not flagging to close. You have earned the privilege so you should use it. Flagging would be considered abuse of the system so, as you have noticed, if you attempt to flag it is automatically converted to a vote. So you can no longer flag for this reason." Quoted from: meta.stackexchange.com/a/173522/166025 – Aziz Shaikh May 20 '13 at 9:37
  • Did you use the default close reason flags or custom "for moderator attention" flags? – Mad Scientist May 20 '13 at 9:39
  • @MadScientist Custom – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:39
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    "all were declined, but were closed later" I checked: the questions were closed first, then your flags declined. Not only that, but the questions were closed minutes after they were posted, none of which had any moderator intervention, nor needed it (hence the decline message). – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 20 '13 at 9:40
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    You use a custom flag, and it always goes to a mod. – Antony May 20 '13 at 9:41
  • @AzizShaikh I would consider this as help rather than abuse, often some mod closes the question that right instant, some questions are left without closing and eventually the votes expire – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:42
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn Not possible, am damn sure I flagged and than it was closed – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:42
  • @Mr.Alien Yes you flagged the post, and it got closed before the flag reached a mod. So no mod intervention is needed. – Antony May 20 '13 at 9:43
  • @Mr. Alien: Yes, you voted to close, then flagged, then it was closed, then your flags were declined. – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 20 '13 at 9:44
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    You have nearly 20k rep. and you're still flagging for offtopic questions ~_~ – hjpotter92 May 20 '13 at 9:45
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn See my edit, I never ever do that, I never flag if I think the question will be closed soon enough or it is already closed – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:46
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    @Mr.Alien what is considered "help" by you is not reflected in the guidelines. See what the privileges page says "Note that once you gain the reputation to vote to close, you should no longer flag for moderator attention to have questions closed or migrated. It is your responsibility to vote now." – Aziz Shaikh May 20 '13 at 9:46
  • @Mr. Alien: That screenshot is not very clear - the "1 hour ago" is when you raised the flag, not when it was declined. The flagging summary doesn't tell you when a flag was addressed, so I'm telling you now that the flags were declined after the questions were closed. – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 20 '13 at 9:46
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn Oh I got it, so if mod see's my flag after it is closed, it will be declined, right? – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:47
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    @NullPoiиteя: Uh, so they can flag other problems? Not everything is "this question needs to be closed." – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 20 '13 at 14:34

Moderators are here to perform actions that the normal community cannot.

If a question is fairly new and / or has 3-4 close votes on it, odds are that the community will take care of that question without our intervention. In those cases, there is no need to flag to ask us to step in. If possible, we prefer for the community to handle closing / reopening of questions. Among other things, this works against the "evil cabal of moderators are ruining the site" notion we see every now and then.

There are still many cases where flagging a question is appropriate as a 3000+ rep user. If there is something bizarre going on, vandalism, spam, trolling, abusive behavior, or something else that needs urgent attention, that's all stuff we'll want to take a look at. For closing of questions, it's fine to flag an old, neglected question that needs to be closed but will never gather sufficient votes to do so. Additionally, if you really feel that a question should be migrated to a site that's not listed in the standard close reasons, you can use a flag for that.

In the past when 3000+ rep users had voted to close, then flagged a question for closing, we often would mark those flags as helpful because they did indeed have a kernel of truth to them. However, we have a few users now who are clearly farming flags by flagging things that are well on their way to being closed or are already closed. These flags are distracting from the more important issues we need to deal with, so I and others will start declining them.

Again, if there's an old question that needs action and will never see the number of close votes required, it's fine to flag for that or any of the other cases I listed above. We simply don't need to be flagged about questions that will be handled without us.

  • Hrmph. I've worked very hard to be seen as an evil dictator. – George Stocker May 20 '13 at 19:37

Below 3k you can flag OT/NC etc but once you go above 3k the opportunity to cast these types of flags are removed from you.

There is a reason for this, you have the ability to cast a close vote of the same type.

Casting flags when you have already cast a close vote is unnecessary and wastes people's time.

I believe your flags were correctly declined as no moderator needs to be involved as you have all the requisite tools at your disposal.

  • What if user is out of close votes? – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:43
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    @Mr.Alien: Take a rest, or under very special circumstances that you can flag it. – nhahtdh May 20 '13 at 9:44
  • @nhahtdh Actually the flags used to get accepted till now, so I continued flagging, as it used to help mod to close that question right away.. anyways thanks – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 9:58
  • @Mr.Alien: Perhaps someone is trying to educate you in correct flagging. – user147520 May 20 '13 at 10:01
  • @Iain I accept that :) but I was confused with sudden decline of flags – Mr. Alien May 20 '13 at 10:04

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