I noticed that when I find an answer that qualifies for a NAA flag, or some other flag which would make the answer eligible for deletion, I can both flag the answer and vote to delete it. If the answer already has delete votes, I can have my flag automatically validated if I cast the last delete vote. Is this abusing the system, or is accepted behavior? Also, is there any reason to (not) flag an answer that I vote to delete if one of the available flags applies to the answer?

  • 2
    I would say yes, but by the time you reach the 20k reputation limit for unlocking the privilege to delete posts, most people probably already have 500+ flagged post. At that point, you've already earned all the Badges related to flagging, so really the only thing you gain from doing this is padding your approved flag number count. In your case, you have over 650+ flags approved, while you've only recently got to 20k reputation. – Timmy Jim Jun 14 '18 at 12:07
  • @TimmyJim: Looking at people with the Marshal badge and comparing them to the sorted list of users by rep, it looks like about half of users with that much rep have the Marshal badge. (There are also more people with the badge than people with 20k rep, quite a contrast from SO where there are about twice as many people with 20k rep compared to people with the badge.) – user2357112 supports Monica Jun 21 '18 at 17:26

I don't believe so if you are making the Delete Vote for the right reasons.

The flag in your question is

not an answer

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

when you flag the answer, you put it in the review queues for other users to check out as per what the privilege says

What happens to flags?

Many flags are handled by other members of the site like yourself, who've earned review privileges. Close flags, Not an Answer, and Very Low Quality are primarily handled this way.

so when you flag as not an answer you're yelling other users that you believe the the answer is

  • possibly be an edit
  • a comment
  • another question
  • or should be deleted altogether

with the second point i believe only Mods can convert an answer to a comment but the others all involve deleting the answer in which the delete vote generally only appears if the score is less than 0 (unless your a mod).

Since flagging is given to us way earlier than deleting, up until being able to delete 3 out of 4 of the reasons given for non-answers you've been telling the community you believe that the answer you flagged should be deleted. when you can start deleting yourself, if you are telling people you believe it should be deleted wouldn't you also want to delete it yourself?

whether or not do you other actions beyond that is up to you. Personally;

  • for questions posted as answers i don't belie we should be posting questions that were posted as answers for the user without a tool to do it for us (like the answer > comment thing)
  • for edits posted as answers i'd post a comment linking back to the source post that should have been edited though you can also do the edit yourself if you're sure of which post the answer was an edit of

that being said of the other flagging reasons

  1. Spam (i.e. undiscriminated bulk advertisement)
  2. Rude or abusive
  3. Not an answer (answers only)
  4. Flag to close (questions only)
    1. Duplicate question
    2. Off-topic (with sub-reasons)
    3. Unclear what you're asking
    4. Too broad
    5. Primarily opinion-based
  5. Very low quality (i.e. no amount of editing can salvage the post) (only new posts scoring 0 or less)
  6. in need of moderator intervention

1 and 2 automatically get deleted when there's enough flags or a Mod picks it up while 5 i would say you would also delete aswell

for all the items under 4 it would be under your discretion as each of them could still have salvageable questions. however if you're not a mod, to vote to delete a question you need the score to be -3 or less in which if you leave it the Roomba would clean it off later anyway unless the votes are turned around


There was a similar question recently asked over on StackOverflow which @Shog9♦ answered, so I will go ahead and quote the relevant parts of the answer here.

... Otherwise though... You have 10K rep at least, and you have to wait for two other people to vote. Yes, you inflate your "helpful flags" count - that and $2 will buy you a Starbucks coffee.

Well... Ok. You can earn some badges if you keep it up long enough. And 10 helpful flags earn you another 1 flag per day, up to a maximum of 100 flags / day... So if you do this on 10 posts (or raise two flags each on 5 posts) you, the 10K user, can earn... 1 more flag tomorrow. If you really work at it, you can hit the limit of 100 flags per day slightly faster than you would be able to otherwise, which might help you hit those badges a little faster...

... The abuse potential is pretty limited, really. Most folks I've seen do this tend to stick to flags that actually make sense: "not an answer" or "very low quality" on posts that are getting deleted for being... Well, not answers and/or low quality. Frankly, if you want to vote to delete and then flag to get more eyes on the problem, that's probably useful. Throw in a downvote too if it's that bad.

Worst-case... You find a way to rack up thousands of completely bogus flags that've done no one any good, a mod stumbles onto your flag history, notifies the team, we hard-delete all of it, and you've just wasted a lot of time and didn't even get that cup of coffee.

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