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I am not asking What is a disputed flag?


Most of my disputed flags (~150) actually come from flagging in the moderators tools marking flags as invalid. I can understand this.

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But for example a flag on this answer

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Flagged it as a Low quality. Even though the answer is deleted by our new mod my flag is not considered helpful nor harmful(rejected). Did I not help mods by flagging it? The answer got deleted in the end and it has not been edited... What am I missing here...?


What I am specifically trying to understand is what influences the mod's decision when he responds to flags?

  • The question "What I am specifically trying to understand is what influences the mod's decision when he responds to flags?" implies that you don't understand what a disputed flag is. – Servy Feb 27 '14 at 15:35
  • @Servy there is a difference between what something is vs. how it's made or what purpose it serves. – user221081 Feb 27 '14 at 15:36
  • You're asking why the moderator did what they did, despite the fact that you apparently already knew that the fact that the flag is "disputed" means that there was never any moderator who ever acted on your flag. If there was, it would have been marked as either helpful or declined. – Servy Feb 27 '14 at 15:37
  • @Servy are you saying that my flag automatically got a disputed status because the answer got deleted? Like it was never really handled but since the answer is gone the flag can't be acted on? – user221081 Feb 27 '14 at 15:38
  • I'm saying the flag was most likely disputed, and then at some later point in time a mod happened to delete the post. – Servy Feb 27 '14 at 15:40
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    No, it got a disputed status because other users disputed the flag. A moderator converted the answer to a comment after several more flags were cast on the post. VLQ is the wrong flag for this kind of post. It should be "not an answer" or a custom "Other" flag explaining that it should be converted to a comment. – Bill the Lizard Feb 27 '14 at 15:41
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    Incidentally, I declined the flag (which left yours as 'disputed'), and another mod converted it to a comment. – Andrew Barber Feb 27 '14 at 15:42
  • @BilltheLizard I disagree to NAA, it was an attempt to answer the question but a very poor one. NAA is defined a little bit differently, ie. when there is no attempt to answer the question - most of the time spam etc – user221081 Feb 27 '14 at 15:46
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Flags are disputed by normal users whenever they disagree with how something is flagged. This doesn't immediately determine what a moderator will do with those flags, but it can provide us some guidance that we should look a little closer at the flags there.

In that case, this was the answer that was flagged:

Please check your eclipse classpath file. By default it excludes resource folder

As hinted at by Michael Irigoyen's comment on that answer, it did seem to be an attempt at answering the question, albeit a short one. 6 users flagged that as "not an answer", 5 users flagged it as "very low quality", and 4 users disputed those flags. I'm guessing the divided nature of the flags reflected a disagreement as to whether this should be classified as an answer or not.

The moderator in question looked at all of those flags and decided that it was better to convert that to a comment. In the end, the flags can help us make a decision on what to do, but they don't dictate our actions.

  • I am just not sure how someone else was able to decline my flag since I flagged it from the moderators queue. It already did have some VLQ and NAA flags on it from what I can remember. Since it was an attempt to answer the question I decided to only give it a VLQ instead of NAA. What I am missing is the <timeframe> of what happens between me flagging it from the 10K+ queue and flag getting a dispute status. But thanks for all the info – user221081 Feb 27 '14 at 15:47
  • @mehow - Judging from the 15 flags on this answer, a whole bunch of people apparently decided to weigh in on it from the 10k flag tools. They all can see what you can see there. – Brad Larson Feb 27 '14 at 15:49
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Flags are disputed by 10k users, not by moderators. The whole system is extremely misleading as a single dispute flag by a 10k user will always mark the flag as disputed, no matter what a diamond moderator does with the flag.

You should ignore the disputed state entirely, take a look at the outcome of the flag to decide whether they were valid in the case of disputed flags. If the post was deleted, your flag was likely valid.

I've written a bit more about the problems of the dispute system and how to fix it in a different feature request

  • Flags aren't only disputed by 10k users, and in fact this one most likely wasn't. VLQ flags go into the queue. If the queue didn't decide to delete it, the flag is disputed. – Servy Feb 27 '14 at 15:41
  • Ok so in case of 200 disputed flags on 1000 flags(650 helpful). My 65% of helpful flagging history is actually lowered by the disputed flags... I don't get how this system works, sorry – user221081 Feb 27 '14 at 15:43
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    @mehow Disputed flags are neither helpful nor declined. It's a "neither" option. – Servy Feb 27 '14 at 15:43

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