The new flagged posts page is great, but I do wonder about the "Consecutive closed questions" comment that comes up, for example for this question:


There is the following comment (as reason for being flagged):

Consecutive closed questions; stackoverflow.com/q/6315814 
stackoverflow.com/q/6315964 – 

Both the "flag or disagree..." and the "close question..." buttons appear, even though the question is already closed. I guess the "close question..." button appearing is a bug.

However, I don't understand what the flag is about - what is the action to take even if it is valid? The only relevant flag option is to alert moderators for "Other", but even here I don't really know what one is supposed to do...

Can anyone enlighten me?


As you can see from my discussion with @studiohack in his answer, my main beef with this flag is that I can't dismiss it from my list. Why show me something I can't do much about in the first place?


4 Answers 4


It's an indication that the user is asking inappropriate questions for the site.

I'm not sure of the value of this flag to non-moderators, but for moderators it's useful because:

  1. It can alert us to someone who's continually posting off topic questions to the site. This could be because they don't understand the conventions of the site or are asking low quality questions that get closed as "Not constructive" or "Not a real question".
  2. It can alert us to someone who's trying to circumvent a question ban on one site by posting questions on another (e.g. posting coding questions on Programmers to get them migrated to Stack Overflow).

In either case we can contact the user and give them guidance or in the latter case suspend them from the second site too.

By checking consecutive questions it shows whether the user has learnt from their previous experience or not - especially if the questions were posted months apart.

  • 1
    The flag should then be visible only to moderators, who are the only ones who can see the history of flags received from users, and decide if the flag about the consecutive closed questions was helpful. 10k users, when seeing that flag can only flag it as invalid, but they don't have any way to see if the user already got that flag another time.
    – apaderno
    Oct 25, 2011 at 9:41
  • Is a 10K user adding a flag "they don't show any signs of improving" useful?
    – Flexo
    Oct 25, 2011 at 11:03
  • 3
    @awoodland - the flag is automatically generated by the system.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Oct 25, 2011 at 11:06
  • 1
    @ChrisF - yes, but with the other auto-generated flags (e.g. possible vandalism) a 10K user can review the posts mentioned and can confirm and elaborate on the issue or mark invalid to refute the issue raised in the automatic flag. The implication is that analysing/adding notes is helpful for mods who later look at it. Is that useful for these automatic flags too? (I'd mostly ignored them in the list so far)
    – Flexo
    Oct 25, 2011 at 11:13
  • @kiamlaluno Regular users can us it as a cue look at the user's other questions / answers and vote to close / delete as appropriate, or leave comments with advice on how to ask better questions.
    – agf
    Oct 25, 2011 at 12:45
  • @agf It seems more probable that 10k users look at the page listing the questions with at least one close vote, than looking for all the questions asked by a user who has been reported to have 2 consecutive questions closed in 8 months. The fact that having 2 consecutive questions being closed doesn't mean there are other questions that need to be closed.
    – apaderno
    Oct 25, 2011 at 13:07
  • @kiamlaluno I actually almost never used that page, but I do frequently leave comments to users having trouble asking good questions or posting useful answers.
    – agf
    Oct 25, 2011 at 13:10
  • Well, you have more chances to find a question that needs to be closed looking at that page, than looking to all the questions asked by a user for which you know that two of his answers have been consecutively closed.
    – apaderno
    Oct 25, 2011 at 13:13

Basically, this flag is a warning to you as the mod/10K user that the OP is about to get blocked from asking more questions since his posts have been closed.

So Community is letting you know so that you can warn the user to change their ways and show them why their posts are getting closed, before they get banned.


10k users that are not moderators will no longer see the vandalism related flags in their queues.

This will be in the next build


You can see if there's a user who needs a bit of help or guidance in creating better questions?

  • There are users who had more closed questions in less than 8 months. The fact the user had two consecutive closed questions doesn't mean the user needs any guidance, especially in a meta site like this, where it is easier to ask a question that has been already asked.
    – apaderno
    Oct 25, 2011 at 9:20

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