I flagged this post as offensive, which I just saw has been marked as Disputed. Can a Moderator help me understand why?


2 Answers 2


In this answer, it is mentioned that if several flags with differing reasons are made on a post and one of them is disputed, they can all get marked disputed (this is a known bug). There was a flag on that post as spam, which technically, it is not. Therefore, my guess is that someone disputed that flag and all got marked as disputed.

However, when the sixth offensive/spam flag went on, the post was deleted.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the looking into it. So I shouldn't be worried about this? That is, there are no negative consequences of having a disputed flag? $\endgroup$
    – Simon S
    May 30, 2015 at 0:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Don't worry about it. There are no negative side effects that I can think of. See this answer for some clarification. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    May 30, 2015 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ This explication does not seem quite right to me; the post does not seem to have been deleted by flags. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    May 30, 2015 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @quid It originally was flag-deleted. I've explained the course of events in my answer. $\endgroup$ May 30, 2015 at 9:27

As the one who disputed the flags by clearing them, I can shed some further light on it.

Normally, in such cases, a "spam" flag among five correct "offensive" flags would not lead me to clear the "spam" and "offensive" flags - we cannot treat spam and offensive flags separately after a post has been deleted by getting six spam/offensive flags, we can clear either both types or none; before a post is deleted, we can treat them separately. In egregious cases, there is no point in insisting on the technical difference between these types of flags.

In this case, checking the account to see whether it ought to be destroyed - which is the typical fate of accounts with such posts - I found that this post, and one other with the same title and almost identical contents, came from an account that otherwise had useful and normal contribution, on this site as well as on other sites on the network. The completely out-of-line character of these posts made me suspect that it was not the account owner who created these questions, but that the owner incautiously allowed somebody else (temporary) access to their account who used it to post offensive nonsense. Working on that hypothesis, and since disputing flags has no negative consequences for the flaggers [except that they may get their "Deputy" or "Marshall" badges a day or two later], I cleared the "spam" and "offensive" flags from the posts to relieve the account of the penalty connected with having a post deleted via "spam" or "offensive" flags.

It is of course possible that I erred and the posts came from the account owner, in which case they received some undeserved clemency.

Nevertheless, although looking at the bigger picture led me to eventually dispute the flags since there was in my opinion reasonable doubt whether the right person was subject to the associated penalty, let me confirm that casting the "offensive" flags on that post was absolutely the correct course of action on your (and the other flaggers') behalf.

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    $\begingroup$ Daniel, it must be said (once more). You are awesome. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    May 30, 2015 at 10:18

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