When is it appropriate to use the flag option to flag a post? It says in the sub title to use it for serious problems or to flag post for moderator attention. Would this include if we think its in the wrong SE group and needs to be moved? Or is it intended only for offensive posts and such?

1 Answer 1


For members with less than 3000 reputation

The usual cases for flagging are:

  • A question (or answer) is off-topic. Use the FAQ to discern what is accepted or unaccepted. Also monitor what gets closed by a moderator or closed by getting five votes by other users.
  • A question or answer is spam. If it is obviously unwelcome here, flagging is the single most effective way for getting a moderator's attention to deal with the suspect post.
  • A question that belongs on SO. These are usually riddled with specific technical details. It should be obvious to anyone here what does and does not belong on SO.

Each person will have to learn which posts constitutes flagging, as it's not very obvious from the beginning. When I've been unsure, I've filled out the textbox with a reason for flagging. Then I've watched the question to see what action was taken.

Members with 3000 reputation (or higher)

A question or answer that requires immediate attention. Most users (with 3000 reputation or higher) will vote to close appropriately, but since a moderator has the power to close or remove questions and answers, they should be informed in the case of a post requiring immediate attention. If a question is horribly off-topic or blatant spam, then I believe it should be flagged so that it gets closed ASAP, saving other members from wasting their time reading gibberish. Every other case should be voting to close (assuming all 12 votes have not been used) to conform with the community's beliefs and conventions on what is accepted.

Each day, there's a period of time when the three (active) moderators aren't lingering on this site. The overall activity is lower during that time of the day. The site can get a bit messy from time to time, but once the next moderator is due to wake up, it gets cleaned up promptly. During this time, continue to flag and wait.

Reason for not dismissing my answer: I have a flag weight of 551.

  • In addition to this, a question can also be flagged for migration to any other SE site. We typically won't migrate to sites that are still in beta, but everything else is fair game.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 20, 2011 at 1:03
  • Can you explain the flag weight comment? Thanks for the other information its very helpful and I love the detail you gave!
    – Kenneth
    Mar 20, 2011 at 1:31
  • @Kenneth: Sure. The best source that comes to mind is meta.stackexchange.com/questions/80170/what-is-flag-weight/… I hope it's helpful!
    – J.K.
    Mar 20, 2011 at 1:41
  • If that's the definitive answer, why would I lose flag weight for flagging obvious spam 3 times, all resulting in post deleted? Now flag weight 90
    – Matt
    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:32
  • @Matt: I'm not sure about this either... I've lost a fair bit for what I thought was blatant spam. You'll have to get a mod for an explanation.
    – J.K.
    Apr 27, 2011 at 4:38

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