Usually, whenever an automatic flag is incorrectly raised, the moderators on Stack Overflow used to decline the flag. It was really helpful in the case of the Possible Comment Abuse auto flag, as well as the vandalism flags.

However, the new dashboard does not allow us to decline these. Please allow us to decline the automatically raised flags.

This is important because automatic "low quality" flags on answers result in automatic downvotes if they are marked helpful, and there is no way to avoid this other than to go to each answer and upvote it (which revokes the downvote).

  • Hmm... Outside of a short time when we were testing various review auto-flags, I can't think of a time when we used the result of these flags. Did I forget something?
    – Shog9
    Jun 28, 2019 at 3:01
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    Well, it always is important to know if an automatic flag has been useful or not, so that we can minimize the number of wrongly raised automatic flags ... That said, stuff that I used it for was as a means of communication as to what I had investigated, like "declined - This flag is incorrect, apart from one bad comment, all others seem to be fine", which could then have been picked up whenever that user was flagged again. I might have been using the flag wrong, though. Jun 28, 2019 at 3:05
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    @Shog9 Automatic flags that are marked as helpful can result in automatic downvotes, which might be undesirable in some cases. Declining them will prevent that from happening. Jun 28, 2019 at 4:14
  • @SonictheBracketedHedgehog, None of the automatic flags raise automatic downvotes. (atleast on Stack Overflow) Jun 28, 2019 at 4:15
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    @BhargavRao Actually, an automatic "low quality" flag on an answer that gets marked helpful will result in an automatic downvote. This used to apply to questions, but that was later removed. Jun 28, 2019 at 4:18
  • @SonictheBracketedHedgehog, the automatic low quality flag is raised as a "very low quality" flag and not as an "auto" flag. Those would still have a decline option. Jun 28, 2019 at 4:19
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    @BhargavRao: I just encountered an auto low-quality flag that appeared to lead to an auto-downvote when resolving (can’t be completely sure here, since it might be a coinciding regular downvote).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 29, 2019 at 14:29
  • @Wrzlprmft Interesting, that flag is probably disabled on Stack Overflow. Jun 30, 2019 at 6:13
  • @Shog9 I hit the bug today, wasnt able to decline a low quality auto's flag. As casting helpful DV the answer, I tried to undo the result by upvoting it, as the answer was short, but good nonetheless. Please show back the Decline button for those flags
    – yagmoth555
    Jul 1, 2019 at 1:26
  • @Wrzlprmft For VLQ if you mark it as Helpful, not declined, it auto DV the answer.
    – yagmoth555
    Jul 1, 2019 at 1:28
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    Ditto that allowing the community bot to make downvotes without any kind of oversight or approval from human users (which is what this amounts to) is an anti-feature, at least until you make the bot a lot smarter.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 2, 2019 at 14:08
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    I came here because the auto VLQ flag on an answer can only be resolved with "Resolve (auto)" which marks it as Helpful, and there is no way to decline it. This results in an automatic downvote for the affected answer, which is often inappropriate. Jul 2, 2019 at 17:37
  • @SonictheAnonymousWizHog, Apparently there is a completely different "Automatic Low Answer Quality" flag on sites other than Stack Overflow, which is probably what you meant. That does result in an automatic downvote. Jul 2, 2019 at 18:09

1 Answer 1



We've made some changes that let us bring back the one click resolve button:

  1. Low quality (auto) no longer has side effects on resolve. We discussed it with the CMs and it made sense to remove the auto-downvote behavior from the "low quality (auto)" flags. The specific downvoting behavior makes sense for user-raised "very low quality" flags because that's more-or-less what the user was trying to indicate. The autoflag is the system trying to guess at the same thing and is not as strong of a signal. This eliminates any auto-flag side effects, so marking them as helpful and declining them no longer have behavioral differences.

  2. We only change part of the UI. Previously, both the big blue "resolve all" and the per-flag resolve buttons became one click. Now only the blue one does. If, for whatever reason, you want to resolve an auto-flag with a detailed message you can use the per-flag UI.

Screenshot showing one click resolve button but full UI to the right of the flag.


I went ahead and disabled the new UI here until we can properly vet side effects of clearing flags. Whatever solution we arrive at, we probably want to surface the downvote behavior to moderators (when it happens) so they know what the button is doing.

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    wrt user raised VLQ flags, per my reading of an older post this doesn't happen for over a year already: Let's Remove The Auto Downvote On Validated VLQ Flags (On Questions)
    – gnat
    Aug 15, 2019 at 17:22
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    @gnat That's only for questions; it still applies to answers. The main reason is to rebalance the fact that fewer people downvote answers than downvote questions because downvoting answers costs rep; at the time the autodownvote behavior was introduced for questions, they also cost rep to downvote. Aug 15, 2019 at 17:22

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