The flag seems to put in a close vote as well, but the close vote doesn't flag it necessarily? If that's the case, what's the point of the close button?


1 Answer 1


If you have the privilege to cast close votes

it doesn't matter at all if you do it via the 'close' link or via the 'flag' link and the option 'Should be closed ...'. It will count as a close vote, not a flag. The 'close' link is just a 'shortcut' for an action which is quite often necessary.

If you don't have the privilege

then you don't see the close link at all. Flag -> 'Should be closed ...' will count as a flag, not a close vote.

  • so does the "close" button flag it as well?
    – user335206
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:50
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    Not if you have the close vote privilege, but flag -> close doesn't flag the post either.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:51
  • ~ well this is just needlessly complicated then if that's true
    – user335206
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:54
  • 1
    The SE team could decide to hide the 'Should be closed ...' option if you have the Close vote privilege - that would remove the confusion, but make for inconsistencies between sites where you can cast close votes and sites where you can't.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:56
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    @V0ight - The reason this exists is to steer people down the right path. Moderator flags are intended to be used to let us know about things the community cannot handle itself, but people still commonly use them in place of standard close votes. By having this option present in the flag dialog, a large number of the people who would incorrectly use custom moderator flags for these are directed instead to use close votes. Yes, it's weird to have them in both places, but it cuts down on moderator workload due to incorrect flags. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 17:22
  • @Brad Larson ~ I get it now, I guess the annoying thing is knowing now that close votes don't count as helpful flags now just because you're voting to close.
    – user335206
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 18:00
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    @V0ight - There are tons of ways of casting helpful flags. In fact, close flags didn't even exist for years and none of my 7900 helpful flags on Stack Overflow were for close flags. There's plenty of spam, non-answers, and other troubling content to flag. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 18:09