As you can see in the picture, I've flagged 10 posts. But if we total the number of flags in the categories of post flags, we only get 9.

After checking which flag wasn't mentioned in the categories, I found out that this flag is not mentioned in the categories:

Flags 1

So is this a problem in the website or am I mistaken?

2 Answers 2


The simplest answer that I can provide is that your flag on this question does not belong to any category so it does not get assigned to any while getting counted anyway.

Your flag on that question has been "Invalidated" by the system before any of us could act on it. So it doesn't belong to any typical category.

Why it has been Invalidated? because before anyone can decide that it's helpful or not the other question has been closed as a duplicate of the question you flagged. So it's a dead end. A loop. Two questions can't be simultaneously duplicate of each other.

  • It used to be possible but it got fixed - if the answer there was more informative, we might be able to see exactly how this happened (#OpenSourceSE)
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 13:50
  • I'm kinda confused about how the posts are taken down (if they are duplicate of each other). Let's say that one person posted 2 questions which are very similar. Which one of these questions will be taken down, if both the questions are flagged by multiple users as a duplicate? IMO, the question which was posted first must remain in the platform and the question which was posted later must be taken down. Is this the way questions are taken down in AskUbuntu (for being duplicate/exactly similar) or is it some other way? Aug 7, 2020 at 14:14
  • 1
    @technastic_tc in the case of a re-post by the same person as here, if there is any difference between the questions, I would generally leave the newest one as it will be more up-to-date. In other cases (where it's not a re-post by the author), there are a whole bunch of factors to consider, but the quality of the answers would be the most signficant imho. FYI, it is not possible to close a question as a duplicate of one that has no upvoted or accepted answers unless the two questions are by the same person.
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:18
  • @Zanna As far as what I remember there was little to no difference. But please check it. I feel that if there are no differences, it's better to have the first post on site. If there are differences, it's better to have the second post on site. Aug 7, 2020 at 14:21
  • 1
    @technastic_tc there was no difference whatsoever, but the one that was not closed had at the time of closure, and still has, a comment with useful information. This is more significant than the time of posting, which doesn't really matter at all if the OP has made no updates. I deleted the closed question just after I answered your meta question here (but only because it's a re-post - duplicates that are not re-posts are not usually deleted, at least not for a while, or at all if they have valuable answers)
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:25
  • @Zanna I feel that AskUbuntu must issue a set of guidelines on their help website to clarify doubts about how posts are deleted if it's a re-post. Or the guidelines are already available? Aug 7, 2020 at 14:31
  • 1
    @technastic_tc I deleted the post because it was identical to the other one. There is no particular policy for this. I simply did it because it seemed correct to me - there was no benefit in keeping the post as it was the same. If anyone had edited it it would have been sent to the Reopen queue. That is very often what you want to happen to a closed post, as the edit may show that it is not a duplicate, or that whatever else caused it to be closed had been fixed, but in this case it would be bad. Deleting one of the twin posts makes sure everyone involved is working on the same version...
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:44
  • Yeah, I agree with you. But it would be better if AskUbuntu had a policy with well-defined definitions in this regard. Aug 7, 2020 at 14:46
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:46

This post on Meta Stack Exchange (found by Mark Kirby) discusses this type of event.

You flagged one post as a duplicate of another - it was actually a question re-posted by the OP.

Before the question you flagged for closure got closed, the target you suggested in your flag was closed as a duplicate of the question that you flagged.

Community♦ cleared your flag (that is, handled it, or deactivated it so that it had no further effects) and marked it "EventInvalidated" (in the flag history, which is not shown publicly). Your flag would have sent the post to the Close Votes queue, but due to the target being closed as a dupe of the suggested dupe, the review also shows as Invalidated in the post timeline.

This meta stack exchange post also explains that some flags are invalidated like this, because there is no reasonable way for them to be resolved. Invalidated flags do not count against the flagger in any way.

These flags used, apparently, to show up in your flag history as "eventinvalidated", but, it seems, now show up as "removed during a deletion", which in this case is very misleading as nothing was actually deleted (this would show up in the timelines of the posts). The wrongness of this message, and the fact that your flag count ends up not adding up correctly seems to be a bug (although I am not sure this linked post actually adequately covers the latter, which was only mentioned in this comment on the post, subsequently moved to chat).

Sorry for the weirdness. Perhaps your flag will turn up in the count eventually.

  • Why can't they create a new category for these kind of flags? Aug 7, 2020 at 14:00
  • 1
    @technastic_tc I don't know - they may indeed do that in the future. At the moment it seems this is under review.
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:27
  • Can we use the meta website for requesting this feature? Aug 7, 2020 at 14:34
  • 1
    Yes indeed, you can post a feature request on Meta Stack Exchange suggesting a way to resolve the situation, although it may get closed as a duplicate of the post by Daniil that I linked to. However, you could also post it on our meta here if you wish.
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 7, 2020 at 14:37

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