Lets say a topic is non constructive - off topic and there was no real question to answer and it was a rant-disguised as a question and you flag the post as off topic. but few hours latter you find the post to be closed as non-constructive. on some posts you find the opposite happen. What happens to your flag weight? does it decrease as what you raised was not a valid flag as per the action taken?

  • I think you're mixing Flags and Close Votes. Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 14:08
  • @Bobby Users are able to specify a close reason as a standard flag message. If you have enough reputation to vote to close, then a vote to close is cast instead of the flag. But if you have less than 3k, or are out of close votes for the day, you'll end up flagging for moderator attention instead.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 14:39
  • @Grace Note: Oh...I guess I really should start paying attention to that New Features question. Thanks. Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


Flag weight from moderator flags is based solely at the discretion of the moderator who dismisses the flag. It is not directly tied to the actual fate of the question, in both time and reason. Rather, only our reasons are.

What we base our dismissal on (and is reiterated to us on the flags dashboard itself) is whether or not action was taken. You may not specify the correct course of action, but you still brought the post to our attention and it needed our intervention. So in your example, if you flagged something as off-topic, but the moderator closed it as not constructive, then it remains a valid flag because something had to be done.

It is preferable that you do flag for the appropriate reasons, of course. Don't consider this an invitation to just flag whatever you want when you see a problem post. If it's an utter nonsense flag, it probably would get dismissed as invalid. If you're merely being incorrect repeatedly while still flagging problem posts, I imagine you might get a helpful contact on the subject of your flagging patterns.

  • Grace one cant flag a post based on multiple counts.I dont understand the concept of flag remaining valid and flag being dismissed. On an other topic of yours i had seen that old flags can be activated and some how they can be dismissed repeatedly causing a spam decrease in flag weight. what exactly happens to flags and why is it people can access old flags?
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:08
  • @Aditya I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "flag a post based on multiple counts". For the rest of it - when we dismiss a flag, we pick valid or invalid while doing so. "Dismiss" does not mean the flag is invalid. That make any better sense to you? As for old flags being reactivated, that was fixed a while ago.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:11
  • If a question is both off topic and not constructive an average user gets to flag the question with only one option.This is basically my effort to understand how flag weight works as the audit does not provide any clear information on dismissed flags and the weight decrease they cause And to what revision of the post the flag was dismissed.
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:17
  • @Aditya Then that's not a problem at all. If it's still correct, even if it's not the exact reason, and it still gets closed, you're fine. If a question really does qualify under multiple bad topics, then no one would really care too much. You can always use the hand-written message, though, and specify both close reasons that way.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:18
  • @Grace thanks your above comment helped me understand your answer better.
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:21
  • It would be really nice to clearly know which flags were dismissed as invalid. There have been a lot of topics regarding this already and i cant seem to get the technical hurdle involved. Even more so now as we have the flag weight audit showing us clearly most details.
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 15:24

In addition to Grace's answer, some clarifications: some flags (hopefully an increasing number) are now automatically dismissed (with appropriate credit) without moderator involvement. This includes off-topic flags for anything that ends up getting closed as off-topic or migrated, deletions, and a few other common scenarios.

Our aim there is to reduce the weight on moderation.

  • Nice to know that. Now I need to cast last vote to those.
    – YOU
    Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 14:23
  • To close topic lets say we need 5 flags,Say we have 4 flags of off-topic and 1 flag of not-constructive. 1 Does the topic get closed? 2 If the topic does not get closed and a 6th off-topic flag gets added. Does the flag which states not constructive get dismissed as valid or invalid?
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 16:34
  • 1: if you mean close votes8, tha majority wins; 2: only obvious matches are dismissed automatically; the non-matching flag would be left intact (and not dimmed on the moderator display, although the obvious matches *would be dimmed, as already dismissed) Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 17:03
  • Aha! so the mods can dismiss the other ones as invalid...
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 9:32
  • @Aditya yes, but I suspect "valid" is more likely - the person flagging correctly identified that the post was wrong; the exact sub-division within that is less particular... Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 9:44
  • @Marc I Suspect some mods are just plain Evil who take pleasure smiting down flag weight
    – Aditya P
    Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 9:48
  • 2
    @Aditya oh nos, he's onto us... Commented Apr 27, 2011 at 11:14

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