I'm ready to dive in and help the moderators weed out content which requires their attention. What does each flag mean and when is the best time to use it?

  • Quite a bit of overlap here with the existing FAQs. Any plans to merge or copy these answers with the Ask Ubuntu FAQs? Good info on both pages and it may be better to have it all in one place. Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 19:51
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    @TomBrossman We only have the ability to manage the first section of FAQ, which is why we maintain a list of additional items in the faq tag Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 19:53
  • @MarcoCeppi What about comment flags? Any plans to include them here?
    – nanofarad
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 15:19
  • @ObsessiveFOSS didn't think of those, I'll add them in a bit Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 15:29
  • Informally, is askubuntu.com/a/160006/54298 flaggable on the grounds given in my comments? Editing would go against the last "How to Edit" point.
    – nanofarad
    Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 13:32
  • @ObsessiveFOSS in this case, yes, candidate for deletion. It's not an answer and could be edited, but there's so much editing that you'd end up re-writing the whole answer. "I googled this" is not a solution, but it definitely at least needs a down vote. Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 14:12
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    This is fairly out of date; that said, we have an 'updated' idea of what each flag reason is and what we, the moderators, expect from them, here, at the "How do I flag correctly" question on Meta
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 14:34

5 Answers 5


Doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate

This is only available on posts that are "questions". Users who have close vote powers already know what this menu and it's options look like. However, those who have not seen what the close vote screen looks like may be slightly confused as to what this is. When you select this option a second menu appears that presents you with the following options:

Exact Duplicate

Rather self explanatory, place the duplicate question in the box.

Off topic (OT)

There is wide range of off topic criteria:


Not constructive

Not a real question (NARQ)

Too localized


Not an answer

The not an answer flag can only be associated to answers themselves (and not questions). Flagging criteria differs from scenario to scenario but the end goal is almost always post removal. Keep this in mind when flagging.

Use this flag when one of the following criteria is met:

  • An answer is blatantly wrong and potentially harmful or dangerous to run.
  • The answer is actually a comment which needs to be moved to the appropriate post
  • The answer is instead another question which needs to become it's own separate post
  • Instead of editing a post, someone has posted an edit as an answer and it needs to be merged in to another post instead

If an answer is just a "poor" answer (not very detailed, little perceived value, or you feel the urge to flag as not an answer when it does not fit the above criteria) then you should down-vote that answer instead of flagging it.

While some corner cases may exist that aren't covered above, those are the majority of cases that fall under this flag.


Very low quality

This answers content is not understandable or translatable, it can't be saved with editing or offers little to no solution at all.

This flag is designed to be used not because a post is "bad", but because it can not be saved at all. As a rule of thumb, if you flag a post because it needs to be edited, you should be editing it instead of flagging it.

This close reason also overlaps Not an answer in that if a post has no real solution (no real solution as it does not offer any support or solutions, not necessarily that the solution isn't optimal or a solution isn't exactly what the author is looking for) then it might as well be flagged as very low quality.


It is spam

This flag reason is pretty straight forward, with a few caveats. Spam is pretty easy to spot. Obviously purchasing Lucky brand jeans will not answer your questions about Ubuntu, if you see one of these posts use this flag reason instead of the "not an answer" flag reason.

The only caveat is with self-promotion. Self-promotion is allowed on the site to an extent. First the post must identify this is a solution they've created or work for, secondly they need to provide more than just a link (that is, either an abridged version of the solution, or a brief explanation of how to apply the software to fix the question asker's situation).


Not welcome in our community

While some may derive this to mean posts about things that are Offtopic this flag is designed for posts that do not fit within one of two rules.

  1. Violates the "be nice" rule
  2. Violates the Ubuntu Code of Conduct

If any posts break the content of these two covering rules on the site the post is not welcome in this community. Depending on the severity of the offense, the post will at a minimum be removed and the user may encounter any number of actions including and not limited to suspension or permanent ban.

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