This answer https://stackoverflow.com/a/19018558/731947 had a rather unhealthy discussion happening in the comments section and was still ongoing.

I flagged with other, message: "post needs comments cleanup."
as it clearly needed moderator attention...

Few moments later when checking the question I see closed as off-topic by Andrew Barber♦ and the comment feed cleaned up nicely of rude posts, but my flag resolution was just: declined

How is this possible? I mean, since one handles a flag and act upon correct tipping on the issue, why would you mark it as "declined"?

A simple "thank you" would have been much nicer...

  • 5
    Post may have had other flags on it - moderators can clear all flags at once, but not one by one. Could be that most flags were inaccurate.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:18
  • reasonable... but I doubt it, it was raining fire on those comments
    – CSᵠ
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:20
  • Another possibility - It could be that it was declined because it wasn't the question that was the problem but the comments - so it should be the comments themselves that were flagged.
    – JonW
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:32
  • indeed I flagged a comment, could have flagged 20 of them, but thougth one is enough to drive a mod there and not fill the flag que
    – CSᵠ
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:33
  • 1
    +1 A simple "thank you" would have been much nicer... :)
    – JDB
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:43
  • @JohannesKuhn - How could that question possibly be a duplicate considering it has no answers
    – JDB
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:50
  • I think the "requires answers" restriction does not apply to meta. In fact I voted to close meta.stackexchange.com/questions/198849/burninate-letter as duplicate of an other question with no answer. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


I am the one who declined the flag and wiped the comments, in addition to closing the question.

I can only guess that whichever comment was initially flagged didn't look that bad to me, or something like that. Clearly, yours was a valid flag in that case. There were no other active comment flags at the time, so that's not an excuse I can use!

In the history, I see it took me a couple minutes to go from flag decline to wiping the comments. Maybe I reconsidered?

  • 3
    Oh; and thank you for that great flag! :) Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:38
  • Well... it's a service to the community as it can't be a service to you. So bottom line, flag should go on the most rude comment for a proper resolution ?
    – CSᵠ
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 19:39
  • 1
    @cs I'm sure I made a mistake there, but yes; a comment flag like that should definitely go on the 'worst' of the comments. Or, put a flag on the post itself, as we tend to give those a little bit more effort. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 19:46

Your flag was

Post needs comments cleanup.

OK. Why?*

In the vast majority of cases where a user flags properly but gets declined, it's almost always because they provided insufficient explanation in their flag. In fact, you didn't even explain what was happening in this Meta post, only describing the conversation as "unhealthy."

Always explain why the action needs to take place in your flag.

*It's some argument about cURL, and whether or not it runs on a particular operating system, in case anyone is curious.

  • The odds of your flag being accepted and acted on go up dramatically if you include a brief explanation why you are flagging. Just sayin'.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 19:39
  • I'd still go with a short bit of descriptive info, rather than a full explanation. Need to keep the mods vigilant and let them take the proper action, wouldn't want to influence before seeing the issue.
    – CSᵠ
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 19:57
  • Yeah, those damn mods. Can't take your eye off them for one moment; they're always slacking.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 20:20

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