Is it all right to use the flag option to bring to attention an question that may need to be voted to close because it is off-topic.

Example: What is the best stock market website ??


4 Answers 4


I don't agree that it is perfectly fine to use the moderator flags in matters of voting-to-close.

The Moderators would be the first to say that they are perfectly happy take a look at questions that need attention. That is admirable, but what you are requesting amounts to a supervote-by-proxy, and I don't feel that is appropriate.

Flagging should be reserved for egregious problems (blatant spam, illegal posts, profanity, etc). If you feel a questions should be close as off topic, that's what voting is for. If a questions doesn't get the votes, it shouldn't be closed. Otherwise, all you are saying is "my one vote should be enough." If Moderators have to act on these I-think-the-community-should-close-this flags, then the community is not doing their job.

I agree there are certainly scenarios where manual intervention may be warranted: Problems with a very old question fallen out of public view; illegal or personal issues where the community chose not to act appropriately; etc. In those cases, certainly, flag for moderator attention. Moderators are the "human exception" handler. But moderators should not be called to intervene in routine system community self-moderation unless it is absolutely necessary.

...I need to document what it is, exactly, we expect moderators to do. The short answer is, as little as possible!

A Theory of Moderation

  • 1
    I do however feel it is required when there is not enough 3K users to do voting. Which is sometimes the case. Without them we would not be aware of these questions at all. Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 9:31
  • @Diago: Ah, yes. I agree... Routine Moderator intervention is certainly more acceptable when the community is young and not fully self-reliant. Thanks for the addendum. Commented Dec 4, 2010 at 2:19

Brian, perhaps it's easier to come to the Super User chat room, chances are that there will be 3K+ users around that can vote to close for you, if they agree.

And if I'm around I could have have a peek too, though Robert has a point, it shouldn't be up to just the moderators to close everything :-)

  • Great. Will do. I have thought about joining the chat in the past.
    – SgtOJ
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 10:56
  • The chat rooms are an excellent way to get attention to a question.
    – Troggy
    Commented Dec 4, 2010 at 9:00

Yes, it's perfectly fine to use the Flags -> Requires Moderator Attention to bring a post to the notice of moderators.


With a few exceptions, no, it is not. If you have at least 3000 reputation, you should vote to close. We want the community to be involved in moderating the site. See How should my flagging change when I gain the ability to vote to close?

From https://superuser.com/privileges/close-questions:

Note that once you gain the reputation to vote to close, you should no longer flag for moderator attention to have questions closed or migrated. It is your responsibility to vote now.

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