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You have a fixed amount of flags, but how do they work?

I feel like, everytime I flag something, that is considered helpful, I get my flag back. What happens if I randomly flag, and they are all not considered helpful? Will I never be able to flag a question again?

I currently have 17 flags. The number grew, but why is that?

Thanks for any insight on the "flagging-system".

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You are allotted a certain number of flags a day. Some details at https://math.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/flag-posts

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link. I did not know, that flagging can cause someone to lose up to 100 reputations. This seems like a pretty harsh penalty. Does that happen often? I feel like once a post gets flaged, it is pretty easy, that others flag it as well. Can the creator of the post get the reputation back, by deleting that post? $\endgroup$ – Cornman Jul 30 '18 at 1:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Cornman Note that this only happens if something is flagged as "spam or abusive" by at least 6 people. These flags are designed to deal with disruptive behaviour that is not at all appropriate for the site, rather than run-of-the-mill off-topic or low-quality stuff. The penalties are, I think, quite appropriate. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jul 30 '18 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson Ok. Yes, for spam or abusiv posts, it is for sure apropriate. But I would have a bad feeling, when a flag on a "low-quality post", could result to the loss of 100 reputations. $\endgroup$ – Cornman Jul 30 '18 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Cornman Flagging something as "low quality" will not cause anyone to lose any XP, at least not directly. If someone has too many questions closed, they can lose posting privileges, and if they ask low-quality questions (or give low-quality answers) it is likely that they will lose XP from people downvoting, but flagging does not incur an XP penalty, except in cases of spam or abuse. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jul 30 '18 at 2:22
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You can find a few other useful links in the corresponding tag info. Since you specifically asked about number of flags, this is explained in the answers to this question: On the recent changes to flagging and limits. There is not much to add, but for better accessibility, I will copy the answer here:

You start with 10 flags per day.

Based on your reputation and flagging history, you can end up with as many as 100 per day.

Currently, that means you get an extra flag per day for every 2000 reputation points or 10 net helpful flags (helpful-declined).

Briefly summarized - starting from 10 flags, you can get eventually get up to 100 available flags per day. The number of flags is increased based on the reputation and whether your flags are deemed helpful. I will also add that number of flags is always tied to a specific site. (For example, it is possible that you have 17 flags available on Mathematics, 12 on Mathematics Meta, but only 10 on Mathoverflow.)


Having many declined flags can lead to being banned from flagging. For more detailed information see the flag-ban tag-info on Meta Stack Exchange and the answer here: Allow recovery from flag hellban.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is really helpful, with all the links and all. Too bad the title "On the recent changes to flagging and limits"... couldn't be retitled "On the topic of flagging and limits," because Shog9's answer explains what I take to be the "current" policy. But the post was written in 2013, so the term "recent changes" are no longer recent, but rather, current. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Jul 30 '18 at 16:52

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