I flagged some very old questions, often without any answer, which seem for me off-topic because the operations involved into them were no longer reproducible.

In the following, some examples of the questions I'm referring to (all the question have the sextante tag):

  1. Issue with Sextante r.map calculator and modeler
  2. Why are split-lines saved in the attribute table? (QGIS 1.7.4)
  3. https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/123665/sagaslopeaspect-curvature

I'm sure that who declined the flags had a right reason for doing that, but I would like to know how these questions can actually have any answer or improvement since it's quite impossible to reproduce the issue.

I hope this will help me to better understand when, in future similar situations, the flagging should be avoided.

  • 1
    Helping to deal properly with the quality of old, unanswerable questions becomes much easier once you get the close/re-open privilege at 3,000. In the meantime commenting why you believe "the operations involved into them were no longer reproducible" may help your flag assessment.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 22:41
  • Thanks @PolyGeo, but what do you mean with the last sentence? If I flag a question as off-topic, I can't add a comment in it. Or maybe are you suggesting using the in need of moderator intervention option?
    – mgri
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 22:57
  • I was thinking more about a regular comment, that the assessing moderator should see and be taking into account but using that other flag option would work too.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 23:09
  • Ok, I asked this because some days ago I used the last option for flags and I received this comment: declined - There are "Close" options including "Unclear what you are asking" - Please don't use a moderator flag for things the community can manage. Probably I've been simply unlucky that day. I think that in the future I'll continue using a regular comment, hoping the assessing moderator will see it. Thanks again!
    – mgri
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 23:17
  • 2
    Actually, I think it is far better to use a regular comment because that is seen by all and moderator can think, "yeah, user has not just one-clicked, they've shown conviction". The flag comment is only seen by the moderator (occasionally more than one) and if it not their area of expertise they are more likely to make a mistake. Normal comment + flag like Unclear means the question goes to review queue where it should be seen by multiple 3,000+ users some of whom should have that expertise to vote and/or further comment.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


The community can assist with keeping things clean by using votes instead of flagging. A Close vote will add it to the review queue and if enough of the community (4 others) agree the question will be closed - these don't need to be flagged for moderator intervention. Down-voting is also recommended to indicate to the asker that their question may need more effort.

Flags should be used to raise the attention of moderators to a question, answer, or comment when required. This would be for spam or abuse or where a new question is asked as an answer etc. These are where moderator intervention is required.

A declined flag should have a comment to go with it to explain the reason for it being declined.

See Flagging help and Close Vote details

I do see that you don't yet have enough reputation for a close vote. In this case a down-vote would possibly be the best option to indicate to the community that the question may not be useful (so those that can vote for closure can consider it).

A flag to moderator for closure would probably still be best for what I'd call trouble-making questions - spam, abuse, inappropriate content.

  • Thanks @Midavalo♦ for the quick reply. I posted this question for two reasons: the first one is because I didn't have any comment about the declined flags (this happened also for other similar flag requests made today); the second reason is that I don't understand very well if it is more useful down-voting or flagging a question. However, the second reason could be another question, but this time I would like to know why the flags reported above were ignored.
    – mgri
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 21:13
  • 2
    @mgri they weren't ignored, they were declined which just means the moderator that reviewed your flag disagreed with your view that they're off-topic or need to be closed.
    – Midavalo Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 21:19
  • Even though it is not system enforced, as a moderator, I think we should always try to write a comment when we are declining a flag. I also agree with you that users should always consider using close/downvotes, etc before flags.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 22:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .