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How does attaining the trusted user privilege affect flagging?

Note: spam and moderation attention flags are rather outside of the scope of this question, I'm aware that these should be used whenever fitting.

When I'm reviewing flags, I often flag answers to give them more visibility in the flag review queue. I also add a a delete vote (when I still have delete votes to spare), and a down vote whenever the answer is at zero score and needs to be down voted in order to be deleted, or when the answer is plainly wrong.

Is this behavior the correct one or should I save flags for only posts that I'm not able to vote for deletion?

The main counter-argument against "unnecessary" flags (ones we could handle without flagging) which I've seen in related threads is that these would waste moderators' time, however I believe this does not apply in this case because:

  • The majority (or at least a good part) of non-moderator attention flags are handled by the community.
  • Flagging a post which is already flagged will by no means waste moderators' time (correct me if I'm wrong), if at all it will give more visibility to posts which I believe that deserve deletion faster.

So, is it wrong to flag every answer which I believe that deserves deletion?


Also, small related side-question:

After some experimenting, I've noticed that given an answer with negative score and two delete votes, flagging it and deleting it the second after will result in the flag being deemed "helpful" instantly. This is because flags are automatically deemed helpful when a flagged answer is deleted or a flagged question is closed.

Would this be considered an exploit (if so, I should probably start another thread if there isn't one yet), or a mere waste of flags?


I know that I'm supposed to use common sense in all cases, but I'll be glad if the meta unicorns can enlighten this poor puzzled soul a bit more. :)


Update: There's a flag button in the review queue, so I believe flagging is not an issue at all. Even then, I'd still like a clarification on whether attaining the Trusted User privilege should affect flagging habits.

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The main counter-argument against "unnecessary" flags (ones we could handle without flagging) which I've seen in related threads is that these would waste moderators' time, however I believe this does not apply in this case because:

  • The majority (or at least a good part) of non-moderator attention flags are handled by the community.
  • Flagging a post which is already flagged will by no means waste moderators' time (correct me if I'm wrong), if at all it will give more visibility to posts which I believe that deserve deletion faster.

You are correct.

Your privilege to vote to delete negative-scoring answers is yours to exercise at your own discretion. If you want to learn how to use it, personally I recommend reserving it for blatant non-answers and total garbage that don't otherwise qualify as spam or offensive. Things that you know objectively will be deleted no matter what, and therefore do not need to escalate to a moderator.

But if you are unsure, you don't have to use your delete votes. In fact, we'd rather you avoid using them if you think you might be wrong. Just like the only users who can reverse a closure are the same users who can vote to close (or a moderator), the only users who can reverse an answer deletion are the same ones who can vote to delete answers in the first place (or a moderator).

You can still flag the posts to bump them in the 10k and moderator queues. Every flag gets processed eventually (bugs notwithstanding), and there's nothing wrong with raising flags as long as you're using flags in good faith and for the right purposes (e.g. don't use NAA flags for things that are answers, and don't use mod-attention flags to mean "plz anyone can solve this problem its urgent", holy crap do you have any idea how much of the latter we get every week it's insane).

Other than gaining the ability to vote to delete answers, the decision-making process in terms of flagging posts probably won't change much, if at all, when you become a trusted user.

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  • I just realized that the idea of "unnecessary" flags may have come from the situation where users flag questions for mod attention asking for them to be closed. Those flags are unnecessary because the community at large closes things fairly quickly, and if you're raising custom flags because you're out of close votes then you're actually circumventing your limit which is a no-no. NAA flags are somewhat of a different beast - you have fewer users who can delete negative-scoring answers, and a large portion of them does come to us anyway, unlike standard close flags which we no longer see. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 20 '13 at 10:16
  • Do people actually use moderator attention flags to call for help? Woah. But seriously, yes I'm still new to the deletion privilege, thank you for the advice. =] I believe I have enough sense of what classifies as NAA and the general flags usage, so I should have no problem using them. – Fabrício Matté Dec 20 '13 at 10:18
  • Regarding your comment: I hardly ever use flags to request closing (in fact, I haven't used a single one since I've hit 3k rep), as you said closing is done very effectively by the community which frequents the newest/activity question sections and the close vote review queue (and the cv-ring, broom ring or whatever it is called nowadays). – Fabrício Matté Dec 20 '13 at 10:21

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