So, on Biology Stack Exchange, I found this question: Why do snails come out of the grass when it rains?

I did some searching and I found a very similar question that had already been asked and answered: Why do snails come out after the rain?

I wanted to flag the first question as a duplicate, but I didn't have the reputation to do so. Furthermore, I have no idea what to do in this case, if there's something that's obvious but you can't do anything about it. I suppose I could just wait for someone else to flag it, but I'm not always sure if anyone else will notice. What do I do?

(I checked and I haven't been able to find a similar meta question about what to do if you don't have the correct privileges).

  • @πάνταῥεῖ Well the flagging privilege comes 35 rep before the commenting one, so there'd never be a case where you'd need to use a comment to get around not having enough rep to flag.
    – Servy
    May 22, 2018 at 18:02
  • I believe you should be able to flag your own posts even with 1 rep. You sure you don't see "flag" option below your question? May 22, 2018 at 18:02
  • @ShadowWizard It's not my question, it's a question I found being asked by someone else. May 22, 2018 at 18:03
  • You should use flag when the question need moderator intervention, for dupe the best way to handle this is VTC, which need 3K, or in the minimum commenting that it's a possible dupe, which need 50 reps.
    – yagmoth555
    May 22, 2018 at 20:15
  • Just to note it, once you hit 200 rep on any single SE, you'll get an automatic bonus of +100 rep on all other SE's that you join, enabling you to flag. Actually, looks like you're really close on SE.WorldBuilding now...
    – Nat
    May 22, 2018 at 21:00
  • @yagmoth555 You can flag a post for closure. There's a specific flag reason just for it. It requires 15 rep. There is nothing wrong with their desired flagging action other than that they don't have the 15 rep to do it.
    – Servy
    May 22, 2018 at 22:32
  • @Servy I agree, but it was just to note to the OP, as when I was a newbie I even didnt know the close menu existed, thus I was using a lot the flag menu, but I learnt that if the moderator is unsure, you can have a rejected flag
    – yagmoth555
    May 22, 2018 at 22:36
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 Close flags don't go to a moderator at all. They just put the item in the close vote queue for other users with 3k rep to review, and for possible duplicates it posts the automated comment and results in a banner for the question author to close the question. It's not appropriate to cast a moderator flag for closure (outside of rare exceptions), you should be flagging for closure if you think the question should be closed.
    – Servy
    May 22, 2018 at 22:39
  • @Servy I guess it depend on the sub site culture then, as I was told flag are more for non curatable content while the simple vtc should be used normally
    – yagmoth555
    May 22, 2018 at 23:26
  • @yagmoth555 I had a similar question a while back: "If a spammer makes many posts using multiple accounts, should all be flagged?". The advice that I received there was to just flag everything.
    – Nat
    May 22, 2018 at 23:36
  • @Nat a spammer, I agree, but if it’s a simple dupe or an offtopic question, if the moderator doubt the flag it can lead to a refusal. I got told to not abuse flagging, anyhow if the OP get too much rejected flag, he loose the ability to flag too much. So he better use with care, its my advice
    – yagmoth555
    May 22, 2018 at 23:40
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 Yeah, users should avoid issuing questionable flags. In general, it tends to be preferable to leave things open when it's iffy; I mean, why stop people from asking a question if it's just as reasonable to allow them? So flags are good when correct, but it would seem to be abusive to use flags in unclear cases.
    – Nat
    May 22, 2018 at 23:49
  • @yagmoth555 You should flag for closure any time you'd vote for closure, if you had the privilege to do so. All it's doing is bringing the post to the attention of people with the close vote privilege.
    – Servy
    May 23, 2018 at 13:21
  • @Nat We close inappropriate questions because leaving them open causes problems. Closing quesitons stops low quality answers that those types of questions attract, helps other site users realize that the question is likely not appropriate so they can avoid it if they're just looking for questions to answer, and helps the author of the question realize that they need to improve it and incentives them to actually do so. Leaving the question open just results in no or low quality answers and a post author that is much less likely to fix the question.
    – Servy
    May 23, 2018 at 13:23

2 Answers 2


There isn't anything you can do. You'll need to earn the privilege to flag content to be able to flag content.

  • Hmm... The problem is not only can I not flag content, I'm not sure whether there's a formal means of informing anyone with that privilege. I can understand why people need to work to gain privileges, but I think there should be a way to tell someone else about things such as this. May 22, 2018 at 18:04
  • 1
    @Inflationary_Bubble Flagging is the mechanism of informing people with the privileges to resolve a given problem that there is something that requires their attention. It has a minimal reputation requirement to prevent abuse. You'll need to earn 15 rep in order to be trusted to report issues for others to evaluate. It's a very achievable amount of rep to earn.
    – Servy
    May 22, 2018 at 18:06
  • @Inflationary_Bubble "but I think there should be a way to tell someone else about things such as this." Well, there are chat rooms you can use to do such with a minimum of 20 rep. May 22, 2018 at 18:06
  • Hmm... Okay. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining, but I only use Stack Exchange occasionally, so it can be difficult for me to get reputation. I do understand what you are saying, however. May 22, 2018 at 18:08
  • @Inflationary_Bubble You only need three question upvotes, two answer upvotes, or seven approved suggested edits to gain the required amount of rep. May 22, 2018 at 19:55
  • Wait, @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog, my upvote (on an answer to the snail question) didn't show up and gave me no reputation because I didn't have enough reputation. I'm not sure how one could gain the required reputation that way. May 22, 2018 at 19:59
  • 2
    @Inflationary_Bubble No, it's when one of your own posts gets upvoted, not when you attempt to upvote someone else's post. May 22, 2018 at 20:00
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Whoops. I understand now. May 22, 2018 at 20:01

I suppose I could just wait for someone else to flag it, but I'm not always sure if anyone else will notice. What do I do?

Well, as mentioned in my comment, there are (site specific) chat rooms, you can participate with at least 20 reputation points, to make others aware of your duplicate concerns.

Some of these chat rooms like the SOCVR or Tavern at the meta even have protocols ( + duplicate proposal) installed, that enable such requests being handled in a defined processes manner.

Please don't be surprised if such requests might not be well received there, and be prepared to argue with people based on some factual manners. You just might need to distinguish pure opinion based statements and factual overrides and better evidence claiming against your request.

  • 1
    Anyone with enough reputation to do that already has enough reputation to flag, so this isn't a solution for them not having enough rep to flag.
    – Servy
    May 22, 2018 at 22:25

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