Specifically, when a post is flagged as in need of moderator intervention what does it mean?

A while ago, this happened:

enter image description here

Little backstory:
I asked a question which was related to a question supplied in the comments but did not answer me. Following that, I received a private feedback to review if that answers my questions or not. Obviously, I clicked on no and pressed submit. Also notified the user who marked it as duplicate and edited the question to make it look pointed towards the author's intent(me). After a few hours, I saw my post taken down as a [duplicate] and Comments on the post deleted?. Upon flagging the post for moderator intervention, it was declined with the above message. No custom comments were put as well.

This of course looks like a custom message, but was my flag a standard one?

I have read the thread What are acceptable reasons for flagging as "Requires Moderator attention"?

but unfortunately it's a continuation to : Is "Please Vote to Close" a valid use for Flag - Requires Moderation Attention

and has answers which genuinely could not address what I have asked.

  • 4
    "Standard" flags are the flags that don't have text areas where you can add custom text. Essentially, anything other than "moderator attention". That said, I can understand how this can be unclear, particularly if you're not completely aware of "in" terminology.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:37
  • @Catija But I suppose mine was a custom request right? So should it be called standard? Aug 14, 2020 at 5:38
  • I understand your problem, but the custom message doesn't include a request.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:39
  • @Glorfindel I would need is a form of request without explicitly using the word Aug 14, 2020 at 5:41
  • 3
    Think of flags as being in two groups - "Standard" and "Custom"... Standard flags don't allow you to add text to "customize" them... "Custom" flags allow you to make them specific to your situation by adding text - so a custom flag can not be a standard flag.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:41
  • 1
    @Catija So it's sorted. My flag was a definitely custom one and the moderator replied with a standard response. Aug 14, 2020 at 5:42
  • "I would need a custom report to this flag" - you don't get reports from flags, you get actions (or no action if moderators don't deem it necessary). They can't even type a report, there's a maximum character limit.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:44
  • @Glorfindel Okay, so I should have written I need a custom message for the flag. What's the character limit? I am sure it can fit 2 lines....anyways my flag was declined unanswered even in the comments section. Aug 14, 2020 at 5:47
  • How is this even a duplicate to the mentioned thread.? Aug 14, 2020 at 13:20

2 Answers 2


I've looked through a few of your flags and I think you need to rethink how flags work on our sites and what moderators are and do.

Flags - particularly moderator attention flags - are designed to draw attention of the moderators when there is something that needs special treatment. These are generally rare flags and users should attempt to use the standard flags first as some of these are given to community members to review rather than the very few moderators on the site.

A question getting closed or marked as a duplicate is not generally something a moderator should be asked to look into. If you want to understand why a post was closed or get a post reopened, flag to reopen the post or go to the per-site meta for the site you're using at the time - so if you're on Physics, go to Physics Meta. On some sites, you may also be able to talk to other users about it in chat.

If you see comments deleted - firstly, question whether they were necessary. Comments aren't intended to be permanent, so it's quite common for them to be removed by moderators... and users can, themselves remove their own comments, so it's possible that mods had nothing to do with it at all. Again, if you have questions about comments being removed, go to meta, don't use flags.

Additionally, our sites are community edited, so edits are normal. If you find an edit changes your question drastically in a way you didn't intend, you're able to roll it back but don't get into a "rollback war" with someone who is repeatedly editing your post. Try to understand why the edits were made and whether they are making your post easier to understand or adding missing details. If you can, engage them in the comments to understand the edits they're making or take it to Meta to discuss if it's a bigger issue.

All in all, use chat and meta more, use flags less. Moderators are not generally going to unilaterally reopen your questions when they get closed - that's for the community to decide, so start communicating with the community, not the moderators.

  • Makes sense to me, also and users can, themselves remove their own comments . Even I commented on my question. That was removed as well. It just made it look like silencio-question closed Aug 14, 2020 at 5:55
  • 3
    You asked why centering the text was changed - that wasn't answered but it was a non-standard use of MathJax and unnecessary. Using formatting like that isn't really accepted practice, so please avoid it unless you're actually using it for equations. The question asking why it was removed was unnecessary. Your other comment stated that you'd updated the question which was clear from the question history, so it was unneeded.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 6:03

Also notified the user who marked it as duplicate and edited the question to make it look pointed towards the author's intent(me).

That's unfortunate, but the correct procedure here is to edit your question to clarify why it's not a duplicate. That's something you need to do yourself, not the task of ♦ moderators. Why? Because if everybody would do that, the workload for them would be unbearable. Therefore, a moderator flag is not warranted for these cases. Perhaps the response you got isn't entirely appropriate, but since your flag message is rather vague, chances are the moderator didn't understand what you wanted them to do.

Comments on the post deleted?

The "Does this answer your question" comment is automatically deleted when the question is closed as a duplicate. If you clarified why you think it's not a duplicate in the comments, please edit that information into the question itself; comments are temporary by nature and are sometimes cleaned up.

  • The "Does this answer your question" comment is automatically deleted when the question is closed as a duplicate. But it shouldn't delete my comments as well right. Saying because even I had commented on that Aug 14, 2020 at 5:57
  • 1
    That wasn't clear from your question here, but that sometimes happens because they're comments and therefore temporary. It's better to edit important information into the question itself.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 14, 2020 at 5:59

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