Yesterday, I flagged this question as off-topic, since to my [limited] understanding of the matter at hand it clearly was. I did not grasp how this could be a WP-related issue at all.

It turns out, it was.

Nonetheless, I just noticed my flag was deemed helpful. Now I ain't complaining, for this was, if at all relevant, not to my disadvantage. The stat is of relevance on SO, I highly doubt it matters much in this relatively small community anyhoo, but still:

Why was it marked as such, when clearly all I did was cost a mod time?

I could have dealt with one flag marked as what it was - not particularly helpful. Why wasn't it? Just to be nice?

2 Answers 2


I was the one handling your flag. I have marked it as helpful because it could have been off topic at the first glance – and when in doubt we mark a flag as helpful.

Not helpful are flags that are obviously wrong (for example revenge flags).
Once we had a user who flagged around 10 posts in 10 minutes as low quality. A simple edit to these question would have been the more appropriate action here. Those were not helpful.

So don’t worry, flag when you think there is a good reason. Just don’t forget we are a community and if you can fix it without a mod try that first.


It is standing recommendation to moderators that treating flags as "unhelpful" is restricted to most severe cases (nonconstructive, malicious, etc).

Simply put it carries a lot of negative weight and even if you weren't correct in this case it's not bad enough to punish your flag credibility.

  • Point taken - yours and @toscho's - wasn't aware it carried much weight at all. Was simply wondering about this aspect of site mechanics. And this woulda been the first time I personally would have - previous to this question - categorized a flag of mine as "unhelpful". Jun 15, 2012 at 19:05

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