I am seeing the warning that "Some of your recent flags have been declined." on Stack Overflow.

However, looking at my flag history, this is how it is laid out:

38 Flags overall

  • 7 Active Flags
  • 1 Declined yesterday
  • 1 Declined 2 days ago
  • 1 Declined on Jan 23rd
  • 1 Disputed on Feb 18th
  • 27 Helpful since Jul 19, 2013

Do 2 declined flags within 2 days really trigger this warning? It seems like if I had a larger string of declined flags that this would trigger it, but 2 in a row shouldn't trigger it IMHO.

  • I suspect you went over a threshold. Prior to your most recent flag you had a declined rate of 10%, it's now ~13%. – ben is uǝq backwards Feb 27 '14 at 13:20
  • 3
    The math is in this answer meta.stackexchange.com/a/175405/147247 - you need at least ten flags in the last 7 days of which 10% or more (so 1 out of ten is enough) were declined – Kate Gregory Feb 27 '14 at 13:25
  • possible duplicate of Allow recovery from flag hellban – gnat Feb 27 '14 at 14:17
  • 1
    Not a duplicate; this actually helped me find an error in my documentation there though. – Shog9 Feb 27 '14 at 18:41
  • @KateGregory: Understood, but it's too overzealous. Needs to be a little smarter IMHO – Brian Feb 27 '14 at 18:42
  • You can never outsmart the willfully stupid though @GI Joe (referring to others, not you) - as ironic as that sounds. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 28 '14 at 2:11

The warning is triggered when at least 10% of the flags you've raised, processed in the past 7 days, have been declined. Depending on how many flags you've raised, this could be as few as one flag!

An 80%-90% accuracy rate really isn't that bad - it depends a lot on why that flag was declined. And the only way for you to find that out is to go review your flagging history.

This change was implemented to help folks learn what is and isn't worth flagging. While the most prolific flaggers have long been in the habit of reviewing their flag histories, most users do not - and so there is often a fair bit of confusion as to what (if anything) happens when a flag is raised. This warning attempts to close the loop: if declined flags are more than rare, you might want to spend a bit of time figuring out why - maybe your flags were perfectly appropriate when you raised them but the situation changed by the time they were handled... Or maybe you're flagging things that aren't really problematic.

In other words, treat this as an opportunity to learn something, not a condemnation.

See also: Allow recovery from flag hellban

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  • 2
    There is no reason given for the declines. It just says "declined". Since I can't pull back a flag, I guess I will take the hit if the situation changes with a post. I know how to flag since I have been on SO for a long time. But at any rate, I will live with it – Brian Feb 27 '14 at 19:00
  • @GI Joe: It looks like the flags that were declined were close flags. They don't seem like the kind of flag that the system should account for considering we never see them outside of the mod queue (and thus, never handle them the way we usually do). You should probably get that looked at, Shog (I see you've updated your answer there to indicate this). – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 28 '14 at 2:17
  • As I mentioned in my other answer, I could go either way on that one, @Bolt. We do have rather a flood of close flags too - mods don't have to look at them anymore, but someone does. I kinda suspect the proper solution there is something closer to what we do for VLQ flags, but that'll have to come later. – Shog9 Feb 28 '14 at 2:32
  • Maybe not the right place to ask here, but would it be worth to raise a feature request to be able to see post we flagged, where the flag got declined to able to learn what we could have done wrong. The special case I'm referring to are abusive flags where NAA might have been the correct flag (I'm still trying to understand the different handling for some posts on different sites) – bummi Mar 28 '15 at 22:52

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