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I know that there is this post which talks about how to escalate posts to staff using . But I would like to primarily discuss about "Authoritative reference needed" in this question.

Let's take a look at the description of the bounty reason:

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

Excerpt of the text shown in the bounty box when a post has the aforementioned bounty reason:

XYZ_user is looking for an answer from a reputable source.

So, the instructions given by the bounty system seems to be clear, i.e., the bounty will help users to bring staff's attention to the post.

But, lately, I have seen fellow users advise me to not use the bounty reason and instead flag the post as "in need of moderator intervention" and explain why mod/staff should add tag to the post. I am quite hesitant about flagging posts as "in need of moderator intervention". From the guidance post:

To prevent overloading moderators with flags, please avoid going on flagging sprees. We want to remind you that your moderators will be the first line of people dealing with these. The CMs will work with the mods to make sure this doesn’t generate a huge increase in their workload, and try to alleviate it as much as possible — but we are also relying on you not bombarding them with tagging requests.

It would be great if moderators can explain what exactly is a "flagging spree". Let's say I flag new posts weekly once, for adding tag; is this a "flagging spree"? I have no idea how many flags MSE mods handle per day, so it makes it harder for me to understand the situation. Also, flagging posts makes me feel as if I am pushy (and I don't want mods to feel like that).

Bounty makes me feel comfortable as I am not annoying the mods, nor are mods obligated to respond (unlike flags) and I don't need to be worried if a mod will decline my flag (no response from a mod when I added a "Authoritative reference needed" bounty feels better than a declined flag). Also, I keep looking at my flag page to check if a mod handled my flag instead of doing something productive (yeah, my bad!).

Also, I would love to hear from the staff. Do you people take a look at "Authoritative reference needed" bounties? Or is that bounty reason useless and flagging posts is the way to go? If the bounty reason is useless, can it be removed?

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