I'm unsure if this problem was temporary, or if it's an ongoing/intermittent problem that I (or others) will see again.

In the Ask Ubuntu 10k moderation tools today, I clicked "flag or disagree" followed by "it has invalid flags," and was informed: "You don't have the permission to use this type of flag"

message telling me I don't have permission

I successfully used a few "invalid flags" flags very recently, without problems. My rep didn't suddenly take a plunge below 10k or anything. At first, I figured it was a temporary error or a variation on the usual flag expiration situation. But I reloaded the 10k tools page and the flag was still there (and I still that message when I try to raise an "invalid flag" flag).

The flag I was counter-flagging was a single "very low quality" flag. As shown in the screenshot above, another 10k user had already raised the "invalid flag" on the post. (That doesn't typically prevent me from raising "invalid flag," however.)

I am able to use other flags from the 10k tools; for example, shortly afterward I flagged a different post as "not an answer."

Why I think this is a bug.

I am pretty sure this is a bug, though I am not certain of the nature of the bug.

If it's unintentional that I cannot raise an "invalid flag" flag, then my inability to do so is the bug.

If it's intentional that I cannot do so, then the unusually cryptic message is the bug.

I had raised some "invalid flag" flags before this, but not so many that I'd expect to be automatically prohibited from using more.

Perhaps a moderator has looked over my flagging history and decided I counter-flag too much. That is strange since the vast majority of my counter-flags appear by be decided in my favor, in the sense that the flags I'm counter-flagging are rarely actioned by moderators after I counter-flag them. Sometimes they are, though.

Whether the bug is that I cannot use this type of flag, or that I have no way of knowing why not, there is probably a bug.

Aside from reporting this as a bug (and even if somehow it's not considered a bug), I'd also like to know what is causing this.


I was just now (about 50 minutes after initially experiencing the problem) able to dispute the flag on that post (i.e., to flag the post "it has invalid flags" as I had not been able to do before).

I'm not sure whether or not that means the bug behind this is now fixed.

  • 7
    At a guess it's due to the fix for I can dispute flags without 10k rep, and so can you!. Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 6:54
  • 1
    Fix one bug, create whole new bug. That's the essence of programmer's life. ;) Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 7:45
  • 2
    @benisuǝqbackwards you're right, that error message was added to fix the issue you're linking to.. just need to work out the edge case to reproduce and fix this new issue now :)
    – m0sa
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 7:45
  • 1
    @m0sa That's right, call it an "edge case" in case the bosses are looking :-P Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


Figured it out. It happened only when the user hit the flags tab via the /tools route, since it was the last /tools tab he had open.

Fixed in next build that rolls out (before that happens you can simply work around by clicking visiting /tools/flagged). Watch for build rev 2014.1.9.1836 on meta and 2014.1.9.1287 on sites.

  • And now to the next bug! ;-) Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 8:51

I encountered this message (i.e. "You don't have the permission to use this type of flag") today on Stack Overflow.

Apparently the cause was that, between the time I opened the flag dialog and selected the flag, a dupe-hammer was thrown on the question.

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