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I was involved in some comments on this question and in the process, I noticed that the poster's problem was trivial. They had a single # where one doesn't belong. They even admitted later in an edit that they merely overlooked the problem because they were tired. Why doesn't this qualify as a "problem caused by a simple typographical error"? My flag for that got declined. The problem most likely happened because of not paying attention while doing copy-paste; that is typographical.

How can I avoid this in the future? This seemed so clear cut to me.

  • What specific flag did you use? – psubsee2003 Jan 17 '14 at 20:46
  • @psubsee2003 closing > off-topic > the one with "typographical error" in bold. – Tim Seguine Jan 17 '14 at 20:56
  • I don't see a "flag" for typographical error, did you mean close vote? If you did flag it as other and put in typo, that's likely why it was declined; it can be closed for that reason by the community without moderator intervention. – user400654 Jan 17 '14 at 21:01
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    @KevinB Since I can't cast close votes, I can't distinguish between close votes and flags. I get to it on my interface by clicking on flag > should be closed for another reason > off-topic – Tim Seguine Jan 17 '14 at 21:03
  • I'm not a mod either, and i don't see what you're looking at other than by clicking "close" instead of flag. Could it be a reputation thing? Not enough rep to close vote? – user400654 Jan 17 '14 at 21:05
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    @KevinB you have a different interface than I do though because you have 50 times as much rep as I do. I don't have a "close" link. In particular you have enough to cast close votes. That may be the case for you, but not for me. Low rep users raise flags instead. I have no way of knowing which ones you see as close votes. – Tim Seguine Jan 17 '14 at 21:06
  • Usually a close flag sends the question into the close vote queue. It's marked as helpful if the question gets closed and I believe declined means a number of people said to leave open. It's rare for a mod on SO to handle my close flags - they sit open for months (buried in the CV queue somewhere). – Troyen Jan 17 '14 at 21:18
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    Your flag triggered this review: stackoverflow.com/review/close/3823917 - it got auto declined for 3 "leave open" votes. – Flexo Jan 17 '14 at 21:18
  • The "flag" > "should be closed for another reason" display mirrors the "close" dialog, except that "duplicate" is at the same level as "should be closed..." in the flag dialog. The total available options are the same. /cc @KevinB. – jscs Jan 17 '14 at 21:18
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So when you flag a post to close, it is automatically declined when 3 users click "Leave Open" on the flag in the close vote review queue1. Since this is not the action of a specific moderator and based on the actions of multiple random users (with >3K reputation), I can only guess as to why each might have decided to leave the post open, and since there is no feedback required as to why when they click Leave Open, there's not really a way to determine it.

However, per Shog's recent post describing all of the changes, https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/216585/182513, the typographical error close reason is for those completely idiotic "face-palm" issues where you realize you made a mistake as soon as it is mentioned. I'm not super-familiar with JavaScript or CSS, but it seems like a very innocent mistake and probably one other developers have made, making it somewhat valuable.

For the future, there's not much you can do differently. If you think it is a "face-palm" type issue, then flag it. If not, then don't or flag to close it for a different reason

1 - Thanks to Flexo for the review link.

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    This wasn't an "I am not super familiar with javascript or css" question. The poster wrote specifically in an edit that they only overlooked it. I would facepalm if I were the poster. – Tim Seguine Jan 17 '14 at 21:26
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    As a side note, not to rant, but the flagging system is idiotic here. Every time I get used to what the mods think the flags mean (which is not the same as what they actually say in their text), they get changed to a completely disjoint set of flags. What is considered off topic is a moving target. – Tim Seguine Jan 17 '14 at 21:31
  • @TimSeguine ` What is considered off topic is a moving target`.... welcome to community moderation. When you have 10's of thousands of users with the power to close questions, the definition of off-topic is going to change depending on the specific users, their mood, and how much sleep they had the night before. – psubsee2003 Jan 20 '14 at 0:45

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