I flagged this question as "Not a real question" today, and since then my flag has been marked "invalid" and so I've lost 10 hard-earned flag weight points.

However, the question itself has been closed by the community for the same reason, and has achieved -9 votes in the four hours since it was asked. The question has never been edited, so this isn't a case of a bad question being flagged on day one, improved on day two, and the mod rejecting the flag on the basis of the newly-edited question being of higher quality.

I've seen this related question and I understand that Mods are human and aren't necessarily going to agree with the community all of the time. But -9 votes plus a community closure seems pretty cut and dried to me.

My questions:

  • Is there no process through which I can challenge the "invalid" flag?
  • If the consensus is that the flag is valid, why isn't this a case of "Not a real question"?
  • I feel for you, but "invalid flag flags" were implemented as a response to there being no process for challenging flags. What's next? Flags for bad invalid invalid flag flags? There has to be a line somewhere....
    – Pops
    Jul 12, 2011 at 19:12
  • 2
    Thanks for your responses. I take both your points. The number of meta posts on this topic suggest that the system causes a lot of well-meaning flaggers a lot of irritation however. Indeed, I'm at the point where I consider it a risky business flagging for anything other than "spam" or "Not an answer", as those two are much less subjective and less prone to interpretation. Bottom line, I guess, is that as long as there are enough flags coming through to keep the site clean, none of this is an issue.
    – razlebe
    Jul 12, 2011 at 20:06
  • 1
    @razlebe - if you think flagging things for not an answer isn't subjective, you should check out ux.stackexchange.com. There are plenty of "not an answer" answers there that I have flagged that the moderators have decided to say my flags are invalid. In fact, that issue over there is why I opened your question here to begin with. Jul 12, 2011 at 20:25
  • @Charles I said less subjective...
    – razlebe
    Aug 1, 2011 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


This obsession about flag weight is nuts. It has nothing to do with anything other than how the mod queue ranks your flags.

The question has a score of -9 because the OP has reposted this (low quality) question, or slight variants of it, over and over, thus invoking the wrath of the community. See

The fact is that the question you cited is a real question. Essentially, he is asking

I wish to create a Thread per core. How do I find the number of cores?

Your flag is therefore invalid. If you disagree, I cite the following answer

which contains great information that would be of worth to anyone who was searching for information about how to create a thread per core.

While you can definitely argue that this question is low quality, it is not worthy of flagging, as a simple edit could improve the question to make it acceptable.

  • 6
    Thanks for your response. I'd respectfully challenge two aspects of it however: 1. Flag weight is incentivized by badges and, well, by being visible. As well as being community-minded, that's one of the reasons that people flag. I'd suggest that's far from being "nuts", and I'm certainly not obsessive. It doesn't seem unreasonable to question what the rationale is behind the process. 2. I don't think a question can be said to be "not worthy of flagging". There has to be a point when a question that could be made acceptable by editing - but isn't edited - becomes worthy of flagging.
    – razlebe
    Jul 12, 2011 at 20:03
  • 3
    @razlebe: I can't speak for the dev team here, but showing people their flag weight does nothing but attract questions like yours. And then we end up in some long belly-button-gazing conversation about something which is so trivial. I don't know if they have bigger plans for it later. Point two--anybody can edit. Flagging a question which needs an edit as "not a real question" serves nothing. Its just flat out wrong.
    – user1228
    Jul 12, 2011 at 20:26
  • @Won't @razlebe which is exactly why we didn't show it initially, and why we still don't go into per-post detail. Jul 12, 2011 at 20:48
  • I agree that obsessing about flag weight is nuts. The solution is to hide it.
    – Pekka
    Jul 12, 2011 at 21:43
  • 3
    @Won't - again, I respectfully disagree. Firstly, showing me my flag weight has so far netted SO my 373 valid flags, as well as my 18 invalid ones, and this is the first one I've felt compelled to challenge. Secondly, just because a number of people have posted this sort of question on Meta doesn't mean that some of them aren't correct and that there isn't a problem that needs sorting out. Now if only we could put our collective brains together and figure out a way to make that work. I admit, I'm scratching my head.
    – razlebe
    Jul 12, 2011 at 21:46
  • 4
    @Pekka Even I agree that obsessing about flag weight is nuts. But 419 flags/373 valid/18 invalid/1 challenge is hardly an obsession.
    – razlebe
    Jul 12, 2011 at 21:47
  • @raz yeah, agreed.
    – Pekka
    Jul 12, 2011 at 21:48
  • @razlebe: The only problem is the fact that flagging and the response to flagging is subjective in its nature, and therefore imperfect. You come up with a solution for that and you've solved 99% of the world's problems.
    – user1228
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:12
  • @Won't: There's a point where we are in total agreement. :)
    – razlebe
    Jul 13, 2011 at 14:15

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