In the 10k tool if a user has access they may view active flags. I came across a flagged answer which was pretty clearly not an answer, it qualified as the "Say "thanks," or confirm that another posted answer worked for him." clause. It was a one liner, and also had 9 existing not an answer flags with 0 disputes (10 after my vote).

After casting the tenth vote (I realize the round number was not of significance) I visited the post to view the answer which not surprisingly still remained. It made me wonder, is there futility in flagging this so heavily on my end? Was it worthwhile to have cast the tenth vote here instead of just reviewing other content? At some point does the post have Community action it or does it still require a Moderator to step in every time and manually handle the flag?

I tried to find these answers by searching for "flag faq" on meta, and by looking at these posts:

FAQ for Stack Exchange sites
Flagging a post for moderator review
Why are the moderators being so strict with quality related flags recently?
/help/Moderator tools
How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?
As 10k+, how does it help that I review flags?

The most relevant being the last one, in an answer it states that there is a priority queue which gets reviewed by a Moderator, as well as hinting that it is possible to downvote and cast a deletion vote by a 20k+ user.

However, none of them addressed the issue I was trying to determine. Will enough flags solve the issue on their own, or does a Moderator have to always manually handle them at some point?

  • 3
    I have often myself wondered how useful actions on the 10k queue are Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:36
  • +1 I have been thinking about this on so many occasions. How many more of us will flag this as NAA before it gets deleted... it takes only 5 people to close a question, 3 downvotes on an answer to have it "disappear" so while there is only so many of us with 10K+ why do we all have to repeat the same action...
    – user221081
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 16:03
  • IMHO 10k+ users can make their flags contribute more by reviewing the New answers to old questions queue than by piling flags over. There's lots of crap there, and possibly not yet flagged (at least the newer items) Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


is there futility in flagging this so heavily on my end?


Was it worthwhile to have cast the tenth vote here instead of just reviewing other content?


At some point does the post have Community action it or does it still require a Moderator to step in every time and manually handle the flag?

The only community action that could take place is casting a delete vote on the answer. If you can't/don't do that, you are not contributing to a community resolution of this post.

When reviewing flags in the 10k queue the following actions are helpful:

  • Casting an invalid flag if you feel a flag is in error.
  • Casting spam/offensive flags, as those can result in automatic deletion.
  • Voting to delete
  • Going to the post and voting on it, voting to close the post or the question it is posted to, commenting on the post, or taking any other actions beyond just flagging for moderator attention.
  • Casting a flag of a different type if you feel the post has problems, but the wrong type of flag was used.
  • Casting a custom flag if you feel there is some additional information about the post or its flags that you feel a mod should see. Possibly something that's not obvious at first glance, that they might miss when handling the flag(s).

Just casting yet another flag of the same type on a post that's not really ambiguous as to what should be done or some way difficult/confusing to handle isn't being helpful. It's just padding your helpful flag count without really contributing.

  • Where is the threshold for the flag not being futile?
    – Travis J
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:37
  • @TravisJ Was editing that in.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:40
  • Thanks for the edit. So basically, if there is clear consensus on a flag there is no point in adding to that? At that point, it would be more useful to just downvote it than cast another flag (and/or cast a delete vote if possible)?
    – Travis J
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:42
  • 1
    @TravisJ Pretty much. When flagging all you're doing is adding information. If you're only adding information that's already there, you're not really helping anything. If you're adding information that wasn't there before, or actually taking some action, then you're helping.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 15:43
  • 1
    The strongly related post suggests a small number of flags of the same type from high reputation users can help mods to quickly establish that the flag is likely valid. So I would say casting the same flag again can be helpful when there aren't many of that type already Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 16:13
  • @RichardTingle If you needed to actually spend a fair bit of time looking around to see what was going on, and it wasn't immediately obvious what the solution is, then possibly, yes. For the vast majority of NAA flags it's immediately obvious at first glance when they're not an answer, and even with a lot of flags the mods still can't not look at the post at all, so for most of the really "easy" flags you're really not adding anything.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 16:16
  • I'm not yet 10k to do these reviews, but I have to ask... if the post is flagged 10 times, shouldn't it have long since left the 10k queue? It seems wasteful to continually show the same content to everyone when there's nothing more to add. (What sense is a downvote if it'll be deleted soon enough anyway). Is there nothing more to be displayed in its stead?
    – mhlester
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 17:41
  • 1
    @mhlester To your first question, I find that almost all of what was once of great value in the 10k tools has since been moved out to /review. I very rarely use them myself precisely because I just don't see value there. I'd rather find problems I can actually fix. But as to why the posts are still shown, and as my list implies the primary value of the queue is for 10k users to invalidate flags that they find invalid. It's the most important thing you can do. Providing the opportunity for someone to realize a flag is invalid and indicating that is helpful.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 17:46
  • @mhlester As for the issue of downvoting, it does several things. 1) If the post doesn't end up being deleted, the downvote remains, indicating a low quality answer. 2) It contributes to a post ban. 3) It indicates that the post is of low quality from the current time until whenever it eventually gets deleted, for the people who view it in that time.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 17:48
  • Thanks for clarifying! I guess I was just questioning the likelihood of a disputed flag after ten confirmations. Sort of like close votes, where after three leave open votes it leaves the queue. But it sounds like it's just not worth the investment to implement something like that.
    – mhlester
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 17:54
  • @servy that's all a bit surprising, I thought I was doing a good job casting my vote. As for invalid flag vote, it seems that most of those I cast end up disputed. Why is that? The answers I marked as having invalid flags are still on the site so isn't my "invalid flags" flag helpful?
    – Szymon
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 0:29
  • @Szymon Invalid flags are basically handled the opposite of how they should be. In effect they should always be marked helpful when other flags are declined and declined when the other flags are marked helpful, but that just wasn't built into the system. From the system's perspective it's just another flag.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 0:52
  • Thanks for the explanation, @Servy. I suspected that. I guess a request to change that has already been created on meta.
    – Szymon
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 1:16

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