I flagged this answer as being "very low quality" because frankly, it looks kind of like the ramblings of a conspiracy nut. But this was declined with: "Please downvote! Flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer." (I've now done that)

But it does raise the queston: how many folks does it take to accept/decline a flag? Do flags get voted on or is it just the first user who gets to it? Also, what happens if you disagree with their judgement (apart from raising a meta question about the concept)? There doesn't seem to be any option to disagree on the flags page, nor any indication as to who made the decision (so you can explain your reasoning). Re-flagging is obviously spammy.

Obviously in some cases (such as this) its subjective, but then wouldn't voting be a preferred option, even just within the mods?

1 Answer 1


That's a good question. We currently have six mods, so two would have to agree. Of course this will increase mod work load and time until flags are resolved.

In this case, I declined the flag. Mostly because I've started to see this pattern that users flag answers as bad but don't downvote them - for whatever reason I don't understand. I agree that this case is borderline and I wouldn't mind to delete it. But please do downvote bad answers that's why SE has this feature.

You can also contact us any time using the chat to discuss flags that you think weren't handled well.

  • 3
    If I flag, I don't down-vote - it seems redundant and I already run out of votes most days. If I get told its wrong (as here) I'll then downvote. Although that requires checking the flag history, which I never even knew was possible until today. --- Separately, doesn't anyone with >10k rep get to decide flags, or is it just the mods as your reply implies? The other questions I read implied >10k would be sufficient. Nov 9, 2012 at 15:49
  • Right, we have three more users > 10k with access to mod tools.
    – underdark
    Nov 9, 2012 at 15:56
  • 6
    +1 SE policy is very clear here: the "not an answer" flag means a reply is just totally irrelevant to the question. Downvotes and comments are the way to go with wrong and even bizarre answers. In strange cases like this one--such as the use of offensive language--please indicate your reasons in the "other" part of the flag dialog. All in all, SE tolerates a lot of junk (have you seen this profile lately?) and expects that community voting and comments will clarify the situation in the end.
    – whuber
    Nov 9, 2012 at 16:20
  • 1
    deleted swearing on the answer - there is no place for it on GIS.SE
    – Mapperz Mod
    Nov 9, 2012 at 16:26
  • 2
    Thanks guys. Although the answer appears to be gone now, so it seems its been re-moded. Thinking about it some more, it is best to err on the side of caution as was done here. Once gone it's gone, at least to us regular users. If you keep it, it can always be deleted later. Nov 9, 2012 at 16:38
  • 1
    Still a mistery to me why some "very low quality" flags get declined, but the answers got deleted anyway by reviewers, while some other "very low quality" flags were marked as helpful, but never got deleted. Is there some kind of master-rule when to use this type of flag? Or is it just depended on the first two mods / highly trusted users reviewing your flag? And I also agree with @GIS-Jonathan that raising a flag is kind of redundant with downvoting. Actually I use it on answers that are even less helpful than just a "not good" answer.
    – MrXsquared
    Dec 8, 2019 at 1:09

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