I disagree with the person who declined the flag. That post needs to be removed.

  • I recently had two spam flags declined (flag 1, flag 2), when both of those were very obviously spam posts. I had edited out the spam links before flagging them, which perhaps was the problem. I guess I just wish a bit more care would be taken when declining flags. It would have taken 5 seconds more to look at the the edit history to see that the OP did indeed post spam links.
    – EEAA
    Jan 6, 2013 at 20:19
  • @EEAA:In my experience on both sides of the line considerable care is taken with all flags. We get no benefit from knowing who throws Spam and Offensive flags, unlike others they are anonymous. That you edited them is neither here nor there, no one knew that you threw the flag too and after being edited they look like reasonable answers and certainly don't look like spam. Most flags are handled in under an hour and frequently considerably less, links are all nofollow. If you're going to edit spam out then just edit the whole post to something like Spam Was Here...
    – user9517
    Jan 6, 2013 at 22:35
  • At least then we get some indication who also may have thrown the flag. FWIW the answer related to flag 1 was later flagged as a direct lift from Wikipedia which I guess also caused the other answer to be looked at and deleted too.
    – user9517
    Jan 6, 2013 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


The simple answer to your headline question is moderators or in some circumstances the community. If someone uses the 10k tools and disputes a flag that can negate it, though in this particular case that wouldn't have happened as I don't think offensive flags are shown to the community.

When dealing with flags we generally asses their validity based on the type of flag. I believe it was correctly declined as it was flagged as Offensive, it may offend your professional sensibilities but it's not offensive in the meaning of that flag. An Offensive flag against someone carries a larger penalty than normal too.

If it had been flagged as Other with commentary that it's a truly awful answer that the internet is better off without then it probably would have been removed, no guarantees though, we're closely aligned but not always in full agreement.

Equally, some members of the community would prefer to see hugely downvoted answers left hanging at the gates as a warning.

  • 1
    Spam flags are shown in the 10K tools view, Offensive is another animal though.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Jan 6, 2013 at 14:06
  • The flag-text reads: This answer contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech. This is not a flag for, technically wrong to the point of offense. It is a flag for Egregious lack of decorum and poor judgment in language.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Jan 6, 2013 at 14:16
  • +1 Spam flags show up in the 10K view. Offensive are Mod only. But that was actually 3 flags, two for offensive and another for very low quality. I declined the 'very low quality' flag as I couldn't see any way to improve the answer and I didn't think it was so bad that it needed to be deleted. I wish they'd get rid of the VLQ flag as it's rarely helpful. I don't know what happened to the offensive flags (it doesn't say...). Perhaps it could be removed on grounds of being wholly unprofessional?
    – Chris S
    Jan 6, 2013 at 15:59
  • @ChrisS I'm in the "bad answers have an important place in instructing people what NOT to do" camp, and I think it should be left around... Jan 6, 2013 at 16:46
  • 2
    @ChrisS: It looks like declining the first flag declines all flags thrown on a post - interesting. I too would like to see VLQ removed especially as it is most often thrown without any evidence of attempting to improve the post by for example leaving a comment requesting a fix up by the OP, downvoting etc.
    – user9517
    Jan 6, 2013 at 22:40

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