I'm a little confused as to what happens to a post when I flag it. Recently I flagged a question as "low quality". It was declined, and the reason that was given was that "flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention."

So, according to that, whenever I flag something, what I'm actually doing is sending it along to a moderator?

If that's the case, how do posts end up in the review queue, like in questions marked as low quality, duplicate or those with close votes?

I've been explained once that things marked as offensive or spam go straight to a mod and are eventually deleted, so I get that part.

Maybe a different way of asking this is:

  • What happens when I flag as off-topic? (Does it go to review queue, or to a mod?)
  • What about flag as Low Quality?

1 Answer 1


Here's my take on which flag goes where. They've been changing it a bit over the last few months so please don't take this for certain.

  • Closure / Duplicateclose vote review queue
  • Spam / Offensive → ♦ moderator queue
  • Very Low Quality → ♦ moderator queue, moderator queue, low quality review queue
  • Not an Answer → low quality review queue, ♦ moderator queue, moderator queue
  • Other → ♦ moderator queue

Some explanation:

  • The items in the low quality review queue are determined automatically based on some heuristics, plus low quality flags by users.
  • The ♦ moderator queue is exclusive to elected moderators and Stack Exchange employees. The moderator queue is accessible to users with ≥ 10k reputation. It allows 10k users to agree or disagree with existing flags.

Note that "very low quality" really should only be used for posts that are unsalvageable due to broken formatting, garbage content, et cetera. Meaning, they should be deleted right away. Questions that appear low quality most likely fall under some close reason, so please use that instead. Often they will just be unclear what you're asking. Closing questions is something the community can handle on its own—no moderator needed to intervene.

  • When you say "moderator queue" do you mean the actually mod queue, or the 10k+ flag queue and mod queue? Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 15:44
  • I meant the diamond moderator queue only. The 10k flag queue is a totally different ball game – I completely neglected it, you're right.
    – slhck
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 17:18
  • @slhck Do Spam/Offensive flags no longer wait for other users to flag as well for automatic removal? Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 15:37
  • @CanadianLuke They do. After 6 flags, the post is auto-deleted, but you won't get a list of existing spam/offensive flags. I guess this is to prevent users killing an innocent post through pile-on flags.
    – slhck
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 17:12
  • You say, “Anything else most likely falls under some close reason, so please use that instead.” But of course that applies only to questions; you can’t “close” answers (or comments). Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 0:36
  • @Scott Correct. I clarified that part.
    – slhck
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 12:25
  • The queues are soon going to get a revamp...the "moderator queue" is being merged into the low-quality posts queue.
    – gparyani
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 17:08
  • @damryfbfnetsi Yes, this was changed now across the network. Thanks for the reminder.
    – slhck
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 20:37
  • @slhck There IS NO "moderator queue" anymore...
    – gparyani
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 18:09
  • @damryfbfnetsi Yes, there is. Under Tools, where it's always been for 10k users. It's just that the NAA flags now go into the review and moderator queues instead of the ♦ queues.
    – slhck
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 21:51

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