More than a couple of people have suggested making it possible to remove/cancel/undo/whatever a moderator flag. Some seemed to be worried about flag weight or whatever. (I know "flag weight," per se, is gone; that doesn't mean mis-flagging isn't monitored.) I don't care about that, I care about wasting moderator time, and avoiding silly misunderstandings.

There is exactly zero reason why a moderator should have to look at a flag I've raised if I see that the reason for the flag has been corrected, and it leads to seemingly-nonsensical flags (because by the time the mod sees them, the situation isn't as described) and nonsensical replies to those flags from moderators (because things have changed).

This can be avoided by giving users with sufficient rep (or whatever other measure you want to use) the ability to remove their own flag prior to a mod getting to it.

Most of the requests for this (e.g., here, or here) don't actually have a status-declined on them, but overall it seems as though there's been a decision not to allow users to cancel their own flags. Could we revisit that?

  • 2
    Mostly those folks seemed to be worried about flag weight or whatever - seeing as Flag Weight is no longer around, that's not really the case anymore.
    – Oded
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:01
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    The flag weight is not shown, but it still used to decide in which order the flags are shown. If a user is able to get a 0 or negative flag weight, that user's flags are not anymore shown to the moderators.
    – apaderno
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:03
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    @kiamlaluno No, that's gone too. I can find this but I think there's a status-completed post somewhere there. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:04
  • The usual answer is that choosing the wrong flag reason for a post that needs attention is not that much harm; if you flag as spam an anser that is no-sense (e.g. "dfgdfg dhrtuy45y 4t5363q"), moderators will delete the post the same. Clearly, flagging as spam a legitim post with a link still requires the moderators to handle the flag. I would like to be able to retract a flag, in the same way I can retract an up-vote I gave to a comment. Comments are said to be second-class citizens, and they get that possibility; I would think flags are more important and they should get that possibility too.
    – apaderno
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:09
  • @Manishearth That is about hell ban. That answer doesn't say flag weight is going to be removed: "As part of this, we're re-thinking how flag weight (and thus "hell bans") work."
    – apaderno
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:11
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    Close votes on SO today is around 59.3k. Sounds like a good idea to me to rethink the decision also.
    – Sergio
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:11
  • @kiamlaluno: Thanks for adding the tag. :-) Jul 11, 2013 at 11:21
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    @kiamlaluno Oded and Jarrod Dixon are the developers who did the recent big flag refactor...he knows a little something about flag weight :) Jul 11, 2013 at 11:25
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    @NickCraver The problem with that argument is that I remember hearing "flag weight is gone" from devs when flag weight still existed but wasn't shown. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:32
  • @T.J.Crowder pardon my ignorance, please add the link to relevant post regarding the decision to let people remove flags. Thanks. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:34
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    @CodesInChaos I don't recall ever seeing that, there was a period we didn't show it in the profile, but it was not gone. Now it is, for good. HOw abut I put it this way: I could drop the column from the DB right now and nothing would happen. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:45
  • @AzizShaikh: There are several questions on SO about this. The one I was thinking of was this one: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96950/… but I hesitate to call out any specific one by adding it to the question. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:47
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    @Nick Craver: You mean you haven't dropped it still? I smell a conspiracy. Jul 11, 2013 at 11:51
  • 3
    @NickCraver If you dropped the column from the DB, I'm betting something on the SSL project would break.
    – casperOne
    Jul 11, 2013 at 11:51
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    @GeorgeStocker - Base # of flags, bonus based on reputation then looks at helpful/declined up to a cap.
    – Oded
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


This has since been implemented.

Now, you can retract post flags - even custom flags - after having raised the flag by opening the flag dialog again, and clicking "retract flag":

retract flag button

After clicking, the flag won't be shown as pending to mods, and it does not count against you for a flag ban.

If you retract a spam or rude/abusive flag, you won't be able to flag it with either one of those again. The same goes for VLQ and NaA flags.

You should get a popup saying "your flag has been retracted" after retracting the flag.

You currently cannot retract flags on comments.

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