I had flagged this post on Stack Overflow as spam. The flag was declined, then later in a meta topic we found it was spam and got deleted as such, but the flag's still marked declined.

However, whenever I try to flag a post now I am presented with an annoying warning:

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Below is a summary of my flags thus far:

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It's annoying (and somewhat scary) to be presented with warnings for no fault.

Is there a way out? Should I stop flagging altogether?

  • Honest questions deserve downvotes! Weird place to be at. – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 11:20
  • Well, this is by-design, as you can discover by researching here. – John Dvorak Aug 17 '14 at 11:30
  • @0xdeadbeef Is the declined flag your most recently resolved flag? – doppelgreener Aug 17 '14 at 11:47
  • @doppelgreener No. There have been 5 helpful flags since. Moreover, "some" in the warning would suggest more than one. However, there has been only 1 declined flag. – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 11:50
  • @JanDvorak What is by-design? Incorrectly declining flags or presenting warnings for an incorrectly declined flag? It appears that you too don't read posts like the moderators. – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 11:51
  • as far as the system is concerned, there is no distinction between correct and incorrect rejections. If the system did know, it would treat them as accepted. – John Dvorak Aug 17 '14 at 12:03
  • @JanDvorak Exactly, the point was why penalize one for others' fault. There ought to be a mechanism to resolve the incorrectly declined flags. Nevertheless, there seems to be little point in asking or saying so. – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 14:09

This is because of the behaviour of that warning:

Flaggers with a recent (past 7 days) flagging history consisting of at least 10 flags where >= 10% of flags were declined will see [that warning] when they flag

You've had 10 flags resolved, 9 as helpful and 1 declined. Since you've been here less than a week, all of those flags are within the past 7 days. So that makes 10% of flags declined in the past 7 days - you've just barely tripped that warning.

You seem to be fine though - you're being helpful. You're just tripping a mechanism not intended for you. That warning exists for other kinds of users who aren't being helpful, to encourage them to pause and think before they flag.

The way out is to wait a few more days, or wait for one or two more flags to get resolved as helpful. The warning is just a warning, and whilst it may be annoying, it's nothing to worry about.

So, carry on! And welcome to Stack Exchange.

Also, regarding the fact was incorrectly declined: even so, the system can't tell the difference, and flag resolutions don't get modified. But it's not really something you have to worry about. As long as you're generally being helpful, the fact you have a declined flag isn't going to mean a thing. (I have several hundred flags on a site I've been active on for ages, and a dozen declined or disputed. Doesn't matter.)

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  • Thanks. This is helpful. (And if it were to be compared with the comments received, much much more.) – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 14:11
  • Ah! So you love playing games? Didn't know that there were so many gaming related sites on the network. – 0xdeadbeef Aug 17 '14 at 14:13
  • I do. Playing, analysing, and when I have the free project time, making them for a hobby. Each of those sites has their own niche: video game playing, video game development, board and card game playing and development, and tabletop and live action RPG playing and development (no relation to video game RPGs). – doppelgreener Aug 17 '14 at 14:28

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