A moderator of a graduated site (but not Stack Overflow) told me in chat today (I am making a cursory attempt at anonymity, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out who it was for the determined):
But don't forget what flags are for.
They are for things that must be handled immediately.
If it can wait, start gathering them on that Meta post as an answer.
However, the help center says this:
When should I flag?
If anything happens on our site that makes you feel uncomfortable or that, in your opinion, clearly does not belong here, please flag it and bring it to our attention!
To me, this implies that I should flag anything that is inappropriate, regardless of the time sensitivity.
For clarity, this issue is something that the moderator and I:
- Both agree is a problem
- Both agree is not time sensitive
- Both agree this is something that requires moderator attention, and cannot be handled by the community
- "Cannot" is the correct word here. It is not an issue of "will take a long time for the community to accumulate enough votes", it's actually impossible for non-moderators to handle.
So, which is it? What is intended by the Stack Exchange philosophy?
- Flag things that need immediate attention only, go to meta if it's lower priority
- Flag everything that requires moderator attention, regardless of priority
- Treat such lower priority issues on a case-by-case basis.
- Other? (I'm not sure what other would be, but I include for completeness)