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So on Stack Overflow, I have a lot of aged-away flags. The helpful flags to aged away flags ratio seems out of balance. I have 38 helpful and 21 aged away. I only have one retracted, and it was accidentally self-retracted. (screenshot) I don't understand why I have so many of my flags aged away. Is this normal? If so, this should probably be fixed. However, I feel that I shouldn't have this many flags aged away. Thoughts? It there anything that I can do to improve this ratio?

Related: When are moderator flags automatically dismissed as "aged away" by the system?

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If they're flags to close, then yes, it's common to have a lot of aged away flags. (At least it is on Stack Overflow — having this many aged away flags anywhere anywhere else would be unusual.) The magic number right now is 6.4k:

The number of questions in the queue is always very large on Stack Overflow, and it's been this way for a while. I have over 200 aged away flags on Stack Overflow, which is probably almost 100% close flags, so it's not unusual.

Aged away flags don't count for anything, so you don't need to worry. When you get 3k rep you will be able to cast close votes instead. It's possible for close votes too to age away, but it's typically less likely since close votes count towards closing the question (whereas flags only put the question into the queue).

  • s/for a while/for most of the site's history/ – Nathan Tuggy Jan 8 at 5:58
  • Also, note that close votes count toward prioritizing the question in the queue, which is typically the deciding factor on SO, given the aggressiveness of the sorting+aging combination there: questions with more close votes get shown first and tend to rapidly converge on closure (or sometimes Leave Open), while questions with 1 or 0 votes languish far in the back until they age out. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 8 at 6:00
  • @NathanTuggy For a brief period in 2014, the queue was cleared 🤗. But yeah you’re right about questions with more close votes being prioritized. – Laurel Jan 8 at 6:05
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It all depends on the size of the flags queue. When there are a lot of flags to be dealt with, it can take a very long time to get to all the flags. As such, they aren't always dealt with before they age away. There seems to have been a lot of backlog in the flags queue lately on SO, and it's taken some time for a lot of my flags to be dealt with. You probably have so many aged away flags just because the mods weren't able to deal with them fast enough. As for it being normal, yes, it's fairly normal for a lot of flags to age away. There's not anything you can or should do to change it. Aged away flags don't effect the daily flag count.

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