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Keep a record of previously-invalid flags

Doing a little looking here it seems that moderators have the ability to manually mark flags valid and invalid and that's how it gets decided if a flag was valid or not. But, for example, I was just reviewing things and noticed that on this question

Javascript namespace conventions

I flagged the question as 'not constructive', the flag was marked as 'invalid', but then later the question was closed as 'not constructive'. To me this feels like a bug, since by virtue of the question being closed for the same reason as the flag it should automatically become 'valid' even if at some point in the past another moderator ruled the flag as 'invalid' since the ultimate outcome matched the flag.

Probably not a huge issue, but it just feels like 'invalid' isn't behaving the way it should in this case.

  • Despite the title, Keep a record of previously-invalid flags is a request for the updating valid/invalid behavior you're requesting here. I still don't think it's a wise idea. – Grace Note Jul 14 '11 at 14:48
  • Ah, that question didn't turn up in the sidebar. Seemed a little odd this hadn't come up before. – G Gordon Worley III Jul 14 '11 at 14:52
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    It's too bad @Kev's edit didn't appease the community...It seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me. – user102937 Jul 14 '11 at 17:14
  • Kev was just too late. When I voted to close, the question read "upper case, lower case, or mixed case for names?", which is about as non-constructive as it gets. I never saw the inner question, sorry! – Bo Persson Jul 14 '11 at 20:43

Probably not a huge issue, but it just feels like 'invalid' isn't behaving the way it should in this case.

This appears to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what marking a flag as "invalid" actually means. In reality, all it means is that the moderator who processed your flag thought it was useful and accurate, data which is accumulated and used to rank your future flags in the moderator flag queue in accordance with your past flagging history. That is to say, flag weight only has meaning to the moderators who process those flags, and therefore, they are the only ones who get to mark flags as valid or invalid.

The question you cite above was not closed by a moderator. It was closed by 5 regular users who have close vote privileges. What happened here is that the moderator who processed your flag deemed it invalid and did not take any action. That, of course, doesn't keep other community members from thinking the same thing you did and taking action of their own, but that action cannot and should not affect how your flag is marked.

And for what it's worth, I disagree that a flag should be automatically marked as valid or invalid even depending on the action taken by the moderator who processes it. There are plenty of cases where a moderator will decline to take action on a flag, but still mark it as valid. And there are at least a couple of cases where they would conceivably mark a flag as invalid, but still take action. Automating this makes flag weight virtually useless, as it takes its control out of the hands of those it is designed to assist.

The answer here is the same refrain that's been repeated dozens of times already here on Meta:
Flag weight doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Your life will be so much better if you spend less time obsessing over flag weight and the various things that make it rise and fall.

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    Actually, the system does mechanically validate any flags that we choose to take action on, such as closing and deletion. These are also auto-validated for community closure and deletion. The inverse isn't true because "ignoring" isn't actually a trackable action so there's no way to properly mechanize invalid dismissal. Which is a good thing, honestly. – Grace Note Jul 14 '11 at 14:54

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