Sometime ago raised two flags of clearly two SPAM answers, explaining why the reason for the flag. Turns out the flags aged away and once that happened the answers disappeared from the site. They had the following links

How to decide which quality methodology for Business IT projects?

Can Lean Six Sigma be implemented in a Service-Oriented Company?

Recently, raised another two flags of two "answers" that are at most only comments as you can see next

How can I use Agile in a telecommuting environment?

Is it ok to define a user story that has no real business value without another story?

It seems to go the same path as the previous two as you can see in the next image.

flags from Tiago Martins Peres

Would like more feedback here because something in this network isn't working the way it should.

  • Please post links to the questions or answers you flagged. Without links, your question lacks sufficient context.
    – Todd A. Jacobs Mod
    Jun 29, 2019 at 8:20
  • Hey @ToddA.Jacobs , i thought it was enough the picture. Just updated the question. Jun 30, 2019 at 16:12
  • "because something in this network isn't working the way I was expecting it to work" here, fixed. :) As CG pointed out on his answer, PM.SE takes a bit longer to take action on some flags as the moderation should be driven by community and there's around 50 users in total with 2k+ reputation to do so. Besides, in some cases, a downvote should suffice.
    – Tiago Cardoso Mod
    Jun 30, 2019 at 19:25
  • I didn't downvote them. Jun 30, 2019 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


What Happened to the Spammy Posts

The two posts you referenced were addressed by the community, but insufficient action was taken by users with sufficient voting privileges. I eventually deleted those questions outright, rather than treating them as spam, for the reasons outlined in the accepted answer to a related meta question.

Flag Aging

Flags can and do age away. This is by design. Long-time users of Stack Exchange might worry about flag weights associated with incorrect flagging or flags that lack critical mass or moderator action. Don't.

Flag-related hell-bans and flag weight in general have been gone for a long time. I don't even think there are any consequences at all for flags that age away, but if you run across some please raise them on meta or contact SE support, as they shouldn't exist.

Mostly, flag aging is a reflection of our (relatively) small community, and the fact that moderators try not to get involved too early because (most of) our votes are binding. So, in many cases, low-eyeball issues that haven't attracted critical mass will age away, but helpful flags remain helpful even if they are not longer counted towards critical voting mass. They help moderators and staff down the road, even if they don't solve a problem today.

In short, I can't see much of a reason to worry about flag aging. If you think something needs more attention than it's getting, bring it up on meta!

Other Flags

I didn't look closely at your other examples, except to note that they are newish. The flags are less than a week old, and on this particular site even the avid users are generally out of pocket nights and weekends. So, you need to give the community (meaning all the users with access to the review queue) a chance to review the flags. There are flaggable problems that need immediate action, but in my opinion "low-quality answers" aren't among them.

On a side note, "not an answer" is also intended for posts that are off-topic or (most commonly) attempts to comment or ask related questions rather than answer the original post. It's not the right flag for answers that can be improved, or even questions that are factually incorrect. Bad answers need to be policed by the community as often as possible, and diamond moderators are here to handle the cases where the review system or voting system lacks critical mass.

I often see "not an answer" used incorrectly, and at least one of the questions you flagged would seem to fall into this category. That doesn't mean the flagging itself was invalid; it just means moderators may not take action on an incorrect flag, and the community may not agree with your flagging reason.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think you're doing a good job drawing attention to problem posts. Please don't let flag aging get in the way of your conscientious attempts to keep the site litter-free!

  • 1
    Thanks for the feedback. Flag aging is a bit unfortunate because one doesn't learn from it (in cases we wronged), the community remains the same (or not, sometimes a flag ages and appears again raised from other users) and goes to stats (which can later on have consequences that I'm not yet able to see). Jun 30, 2019 at 19:50
  • 1
    @TiagoMartinsPeres There are no negative consequences for flag aging, nor for non-abusive levels of flagging. That was the point I was making. You're now solely measured (as far as I can tell) on how many of your flags are marked "helpful," so there's never a decrement applied to the metric. The metric is also largely informational anyway; the system no longer takes flag stats into account in what it shows moderators or other users in the review queue or otherwise. Flag thoughtfully, but treat flag metrics purely as a vanity metric, and then forget about them unless you're chasing a badge.
    – Todd A. Jacobs Mod
    Jun 30, 2019 at 21:49
  • Knowing how many flags one raised and how many were helpful can reveal a different reality. The difference in values can come from flags being disputed or aged away (except SPAM ones, no have disputed attribute). You claim to know only how many flags were helpful. If that comes in the form of a percentage of total, there's still place for bias. If that's just a number of helpful ones (no total), just like what a user like me sees in another one's profile, that makes harder to control abusive flagging. About the badge, could stand the Marshall one but that's gonna happen when it happens. Jun 30, 2019 at 22:31

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