On several occasions, I have noticed that when I raise Low Quality or Not an Answer flag, the flags get cleared up without the post deleted, or without the review going through the general process of having many people actually review it.

Sometimes, I can figure it out. LQ flags are cleared if the post is edited, or at least edited from the review queue, even if not deleted. But sometimes, I am completely baffled by the behavior of the queue.

Is there some comprehensive guide as to how the flags and review items interact with the software? When do they clear up, and what would cause them to be removed from the queue?

  • $\begingroup$ I saw there is an old FAQ about low quality flags and reviews. But that thing is over three years old, and to my recollection, there had been quite a few of changes since then. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 12, 2017 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Just to clarify - is the review not shown on the timeline post at all or is it shown there, but it says "invalidated"? $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2017 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ It says invalidated. The flag is cleared as helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 12, 2017 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ Martin, it turns out that the flag was invalidated by a moderator independently, but without any action. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 12, 2017 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ A related post on Meta Stack Exchange: When is a post removed from a review queue? $\endgroup$ Feb 13, 2019 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


I'm not claiming completeness of the list, but these are the reasons that come to mind right now:

A VLQ flag is marked helpful if

  • The flagged post is deleted.

  • The flagged post is edited.

  • The flagged question is closed.

  • A moderator clears the flag as helpful.

Deletion can be a deletion by users other than the author, or by the author themselves. If the author deletes a flagged post, the flag is marked helpful, and the review is marked "invalidated" in the timeline. If the author undeletes a post that was deleted from the review via "Recommend Deletion" votes (they can't single-handedly undelete if the deletion was by three delete votes from 20k users), a system flag is raised so that a moderator looks at the situation. If deletion and undeletion were both done by the author, no such flag is raised.

An edit to the post before the review was completed also shows the review as "invalidated" in the timeline. An edit from the review queue completes the review.

A closure of a VLQ-flagged question before the review is completed also "invalidates" the review, I think.

A moderator decision also "invalidates" the review. Often, a moderator clears a VLQ flag by deleting the post, but it also happens that the flag is marked helpful without deleting the post because the handling moderator thinks there is sufficient reason for the flag, but not quite enough reason to delete the post.


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