6

I answered this question yesterday, and I later noticed another answer. The question was about strings and stringbuilders, and that answer was talking about strings in general. Basically a lengthy, well written answer - completely not answering the actual question.

I did a quick google search - turned out that the later answer was a full undisclosed copy from the top answer given here.

I downvoted and flagged the answer for moderator attention. The answer got quickly deleted - and (because of that deletion?!) my "flag" was showing up as "helpful" a few minutes later.

Now I am wondering: in case a "flag" gets quickly "accepted" as "helpful" (for example because the community agrees and the flagged content gets deleted) - will moderators still look into it?

( assuming that a moderator might take "more actions" on such a blatant acts of plagiarism - compared to a simple "community driven" deletion of bad input )

  • Any comments by downvoters? Especially given the record that even moderators aren't sure what exactly happens in such cases? – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Aug 14 '17 at 8:25
  • The downvotes may be for the mismatch between your question's title and body, making what you are asking uncertain. – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 8:51
  • @PolyGeo Suggestions how to improve the title/question? – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Aug 14 '17 at 8:55
  • It's your question, and I found the body hard to follow. I focused on the only sentence that ended in a question mark. To summarize that I think a title like "When flag quickly accepted as helpful will moderators still look into it?" would work. – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 10:04
  • @PolyGeo 4 Upvotes since changing the title following your advice. Feel free to review my 60 questions on SO as well, way too many of them stuck at 0 ;-) – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Aug 14 '17 at 10:40
  • My advice on structuring good questions for GIS is at gis.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3353/115 but most of it is applicable to any SE site. – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 10:49
6

I handled your flag there.

The answer got quickly deleted - and (because of that deletion?!) my "flag" was showing up as "helpful" a few minutes later.

The post was deleted because as a moderator, I added my binding delete vote there. You can see the timeline of the answer there. https://stackoverflow.com/posts/45657981/timeline

Sometimes we do handle flags within seconds of them being raised and people do assume that their flag was marked helpful without any action. But I can guarantee you that there were many other mod only actions taken on that post.

Now I am wondering: in case a "flag" gets quickly "accepted" as "helpful" (for example because the community agrees and the flagged content gets deleted) - will moderators still look into it?

As other answers have already mentioned, moderator flags can't be cleared by normal users deleting it. So a flag getting accepted quickly, implies that a moderator has seen your flag thaat quickly!. (I get it that it's surprising, because usually SO custom flags stay active for weeks).

assuming that a moderator might take "more actions" on such a blatant acts of plagiarism - compared to a simple "community driven" deletion of bad input

Yes, we do take many more actions. Also if a custom flag was retracted by the user who flagged thinking along the lines that the community handled it, the flag will still be present on the post (but marked as self-removed), so we can assure you that some action will be taken.

4

The "in need of moderator attention" flag can only be processed by a ♦ moderator. The moderator takes actions that he determines useful, and then choose to dismiss your flag as either helpful or declined. A mod may do nothing and dismiss your flag as helpful (rare case).

So it's guaranteed that a mod will read your flag, but what they do is up to them.

  • 2
    why on earth would you think you have to delete the question? remember, on meta votes don't mean the same as on main sites. – Rory Alsop Aug 14 '17 at 8:50
  • 2
    @GhostCat that ship has sailed, you can't delete answered questions ;) – Helmar Aug 14 '17 at 8:50
  • @RoryAlsop 3 downvotes ... bad question. And why keep those around? And yes, I forgot that downvotes dont count here. – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Aug 14 '17 at 9:21
  • 2
    No. It's not that downvotes don't count. 3 downvotes does not mean "bad question" on meta. It more commonly means "I disagree with the premise" – Rory Alsop Aug 14 '17 at 9:22
  • @GhostCat IIRC "Bad question" = -8 score (on Meta). 3 is right for Main sites. – iBug is disappointed in SE Aug 14 '17 at 11:08
4

I downvoted and flagged the answer for moderator attention. The answer got quickly deleted - and (because of that deletion?!) my "flag" was showing up as "helpful" a few minutes later.

I just did a quick test on Ask Different, where I'm a ♦ moderator. It turns out that deleting an answer with a custom flag on it will not only mark the flag as helpful, but also remove the flag from the moderator queue. In other words, if the community gets there first, your flag might not be read by a moderator.

Now I am wondering: in case a "flag" gets quickly "accepted" as "helpful" (for example because the community agrees and the flagged content gets deleted) - will moderators still look into it? ( assuming that a moderator might take "more actions" on such a blatant attempts of plagiarism - compared to a simple "community driven" deletion of some bad answer )

This is a legitimate concern, so don't hesitate to flag another post (even your own), stating clearly that you're raising a flag for the second time because you're worried the first one wasn't read.

  • are you sure this happens when a few regular users delete a post? I thought this behaviour was changed at some point, and custom flags are always kept – Disappointed in SE Aug 14 '17 at 8:12
  • @MadScientist now that I try it for the second time, it seems you're right. I'm confused, I'll delete the answer and do some more tests. – Glorfindel Aug 14 '17 at 8:16
2

The action a moderator takes on a flag will depend on what action they deem to be necessary.

I moderate two sites and flags are usually declined or marked as helpful very quickly - an hour would be a long wait, less than a minute not unknown. I would not expect a moderator to take an action without reading the flag information but moderators read a lot of flags and an experienced one may be able to absorb their detail very quickly.

Once marked helpful I would expect that often the moderators will take no further action. However, flags come in many varieties, and on a case by case basis, they may decide to investigate some much further.

  • 2
    That's not the question. – Helmar Aug 14 '17 at 8:54
  • @Helmar What's "not the question"? The title asked "Are all "flags for moderator attention" guaranteed to be read by a moderator?" while the body asked "Now I am wondering: in case a "flag" gets quickly "accepted" as "helpful" (for example because the community agrees and the flagged content gets deleted) - will moderators still look into it?" I think I covered both but emphasized the one in the body (which the title should only be summarizing). – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 10:02
  • It's apparently about the certainty that a moderator sees it, not about what he does with it. Your answer tackles the second. – Helmar Aug 14 '17 at 10:05
  • @Helmar "I would not expect a moderator to take an action without reading the flag information." – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 10:08
  • Me neither, but the question is if he or she even sees the flag. If it can be auto-resolved. – Helmar Aug 14 '17 at 10:10
  • @Helmar Sounds like the question needs to be clarified. – PolyGeo Aug 14 '17 at 10:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .