I was looking at the flags history and noticed a "declined" flag, on a "Low-quality" question.

Is it possible to get a one-line feedback from mods at the same time referring to why the flag was declined?

I'm aware that such a task might take much more time from mods, and might be technically impossible; yet this might be an improvement for SE on the long-run; helping users to understand flagging better and to raise better flags in the future.

Is this possible at all? and is it too much to ask?

To clarify what I am referring to by "flags history", here is an image that shows it.


As it can be seen the declined reason is a generic comment, that one can't really learn from. In particular, whan one thinks that a question/answer was a "very low quality"; and a mod thought it wasn't. I have noticed that it is common to ask in the meta forum why a flag was declined.

Wouldn't it be more effective, on the long run, to recieve a one-line feedback from mods to the reason for declining a flag?


1 Answer 1


When handling flags there are some generic reasons available to choose when declining, and also the option to write up to about a three line comment. I usually try to exercise that option.

However, it does take time which can often be in short supply.

The most common reason that I will decline a flag is when it appears to have been used in preference to commenting, editing, downvoting and/or close voting to address issues with a question. Flags should be the tool of last resort (i.e. to call in the human exception handlers).

  • 2
    @dof1985 Your question is probably mostly aimed at mods, but do keep in mind that such a flag also hits review queues where other users can vote on the flag. But to further PolyGeo's reasoning, also note the rationale of that flag: "This answer has severe formatting or content problems. This answer is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed." I frequently see this flag raised as a broad, catch-all 'I don't think this is a good answer' (like because it's short). I almost never use it, as a comment and downvote are more appropriate or should a least accompany.
    – Chris W
    Apr 11, 2015 at 22:33

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