Short version: I flagged comments on an answer ; flags declined ; question deleted. Huh?

(Or possibly, question was deleted and then either simultaneously or post-deletion, the flags were declined).

I don't know exactly what order things happened here, but I am curious to know if they are related and whether or not it makes sense.

I may be missing something, since I can't see all deleted bits like 10K users/mods.

I know that variables include moderator and reviewer actions, etc., but the phenomenon I'm not happy with is that I flagged three comments in a question, and I really see no reason for them being declined.

So, does deleting an answer which has flags pending on it auto-decline the flags?

If not, why were my flags declined? Were they declined because the question was going to be deleted ; were they declined before it was deleted -- were they not good flags?

This is a minor thing, but at this point, I generally am involved in the site as an editor and reviewer. I don't want my flag average (and invisible flag weight!) impacted without some reason. (Really, because that is how the game is played....)

I flag 'cause it's part of my contribution to the site's tidiness (unless it is not a contribution, in which case, reasons please).

More details:
How to run WhatsApp on Ubuntu? answered Jun 14 '13 at 4:53 by user1182043

obsolete – belacqua 23 mins ago declined
too chatty – belacqua 23 mins ago declined
too chatty – belacqua 23 mins ago declined

The comments I flagged were indeed obsolete and too chatty, and possibly both (ok, in my opinion, but really).

[ This was also a bit annoying because I was in the process of summarizing info to add to the link-only answer in question (yes, an inadequate but not prima facie bad answer which disappeared due to deletion; it was also the only answer which explicitly addressed the OP's [original, pre-edit]) question. I've already got wget-mirrored files for the page(s) in question (lest they disappear and make all fears about link-only answers valid). So, yay, me. ]

I see how this might just appear whiny. But, I like consistency and transparency, which should be enough to make this a legit concern.

  • I can guess that was because you didn't flagged the answer instead.
    – Braiam
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:22
  • No, I commented on the answer, saying that it was link-only, but was still useful. I didn't think it need to be deleted.
    – belacqua
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:23
  • I declined the flags, I don't have time now, but I'll try to write an answer up later today detailing my reasons. Flags are an essential piece to keeping the site running smoothly, so it most definitely is a contribution. But more on all that later. Also, I'm pretty sure flag weight was removed from the system a while ago.
    – Seth
    Feb 27, 2014 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


Alright, so I declined those flags and here's why.

On the first comment you flagged as obsolete:

@Mitch will take care of it. and i'll update the answer soon! – user1182043 Jun 14 '13 at 10:03

This comment was in reply to an earlier comment asking the OP to expand his answer into something more than just a link. This comment isn't obsolete however, because the OP never came back an updated his answer, something he should (and said he would) do.

The other two comments are reminders to the OP that he never updated his answer, re-iterating that he should. I can see how you might think these are "too chatty", but, I don't consider reminding the OP to do something he said he would do "too chatty".

Now, since I was going to delete the answer anyway, and I can see where you are coming from, I would have marked your flags helpful, but the mod tools don't allow me to mark a comment flag helpful without taking some action on it.

So just remember, obsolete flags should be used for something that no longer applies (usually because the post as been edited) and too chatty should be used for something that has become to conversationalist (Thanks!, Me too!, This is awesome!, etc).

I have confirmed that flag weight was indeed removed, so you don't need to worry about it.

Sorry for any confusion I caused, and remember, your flagging is very helpful to the site and a few declined flags isn't anything to worry about :)

  • 1
    Well, if you put it like that, it sounds pretty reasonable. Fair enough, and thanks for the clarification on the flag weight thing.
    – belacqua
    Feb 28, 2014 at 6:44

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