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I don't understand this explanation for declining a flag:

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

I should only flag to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention... Isn't that why we flag anyways? Users flag to get the moderators' attention yet they think that they are useless flags? That to me is plain ridiculous. Most of these declined flags are probably from writing a custom flag:

other (needs ♦ moderator attention) or very low quality

Sure, the mods don't have any proof or see why the flag should be helpful. So why can't the mods do this decline reason:

declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

That's a great reason. Our reason didn't have any support or enough evidence to proof it. Fine, kick it out and decline it. Saying that the flags users have used aren't needed the mods' attention is just crazy. My question is why and when do moderators decline a flag with this reason:

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention


Note: If any moderator feels offended by this post, I am dearly sorry and I don't mean it. I'm going after the explanations, not the mods. Please don't downvote if you think I am yelling at the mods.

  • It's not the "flags should only be used to make moderators aware" part but the "content that requires their intervention" part. The message doesn't make this very clear. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 18 '15 at 4:15
19

That decline reason is very widely used for custom flags. We frequently end up with completely pointless flags in our queue that go somewhere along these lines:

Please help I need this asap

I don't know why this is getting downvoted

This looks like homework

All of these scenarios are cases where the user should not have flagged for our attention. But they did, so clearly they didn't get the hint in that message and need to be told again.

Declining these for not showing evidence doesn't make any sense. No evidence is needed, because there's no action a moderator needs to take in the first place.

  • i have question regarding your answer. I too flagged one answer which was totally wrong and with wrong code too but it got rejected with that reason. may i know why? sorry to disturb. – Leo the lion Dec 23 '15 at 11:24
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The meaning of "flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention" is pretty simple. It is the reason given when someone raises a flag asking that some action X be taken when in fact the community can perform X.

A good example is if someone raises a custom flag asking that a question be closed. Unless there's some reason the community cannot close the question itself (e.g. it has a bounty), a mod is likely to decline the flag with "flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention". This is meant to educate the person who raised the flag as to the proper use of flags. Granted the message does not go into the details of what was wrong, but it points the person who raised the flag in the right direction.

It cannot generally be replaced with "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it" because in fact some custom flags will be supported by the evidence and still be inappropriate. Take a question that is asking for a library that can do X. If someone raises a custom flag to close it, chances are that the moderator will agree that it should be closed, but the flag will be declined because the community can close the question.

Custom flags should be raised when there's something that prevents the community from taking care of the situation.

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