What is moderation?
As one of our most experienced users, we're counting on you to guide the community and lead by example.
- Handle flags on posts when they ask for a post to be deleted
- Cast delete and undelete votes on questions
- View deleted posts
- Access moderator tools
... and assist our elected community moderators, as you have time, in maintaining our community in two major ways: post deletion and flag handling.
When should I act on flags?
Users lacking the ability to cast votes for deletion can still flag answers to request them deleted.
These flags will appear on the list of flagged posts in your moderator tools. You will not be able to see who cast each flag, however.
You will see an information-packed view for each flagged post. Here is a guide to each part of the flag list.
From here, you have a number of options:
- Flag. Use this option if you feel this post requires moderator attention. This post is already in the moderators' flag list, but adding your flag will bring the flag up.
- Flag as 'invalid flag'. Use this option if you feel the flag should be ignored or not acted upon by moderators. This will be visible in the flag list.
- Vote to close or delete. Use this option if you agree the post should be closed or deleted. The button will show the amount of votes already cast against the post, if applicable.
How should I handle flags?
There are 7 categories of flags (not an answer, very low quality, disputed, possible vandalism, duplicated answer, excessively long, rollback war), each of which needs slightly different treatment.
Generally, the workflow is:
- For all types of flags, verify that the flag is valid or invalid. If the existing flags are invalid, flag as invalid flag.
- If applicable, edit to improve the post.
- If applicable, close the question with the appropriate reason.
- If the post is beyond salvage, delete the post (if you have the privilege) or flag the post.
All of your actions count towards maintaining the quality of this site.
Can I see all flags?
No. If a user picks the flag → it needs ♦ moderator attention → other option, the flag will be treated with the highest confidentiality and will only be visible to community moderators and Stack Exchange employees.
In addition, flagged comments and spam/offensive flags are not visible to you.
How can I remove posts from this view?
You cannot remove flags from this list directly. Flags will be removed from this list as they are dismissed. Flags will be automatically dismissed as the post is closed or deleted. Additionally, only ♦ moderators can manually dismiss flags.
On the other hand, posts you have clicked through will become dimmed the next time you reload the page. This will help you focus on newer flags.
Users with this reputation level can delete closed questions with a score of -3 or lower.
When should I delete questions?
Closed questions that are of no lasting value whatsoever should be flagged and deleted.
Before voting to delete, please check that there are no good answers; if so, then the question should be flagged for moderator attention as a potential merge candidate. We don't like to lose great answers!
Also, be cautious when deleting questions closed as duplicates; they can serve as a signpost, directing users to useful answers on another question.
It takes 3 votes, minimum, to delete a closed question. However, the number of delete votes required scales to the number of votes on the question and all its answers.
You must wait for a question to be closed for 2 days before you can vote for deletion. This restriction is removed for trusted users. If you feel a post should be deleted despite having lots of votes or for being new, please flag it for community moderator attention.
You can view a list of posts with outstanding delete votes via the moderator tools delete tab.
What happens when a post is deleted?
Once a post has been deleted, it will disappear for all users except developers, moderators, and other fellow users with this privilege. However, deleted posts can be undeleted by casting undelete votes. Once a post has 3 undelete votes, it will no longer be deleted.
How many times can I vote to delete per day?
At 2,000 reputation, you can cast 5 delete votes per day. An additional vote is granted per 1000 reputation, to a maximum of 30 delete votes per day.
This privilege also grants you access to the following lists:
- Posts with extreme votes
- Posts with the most comments/views/edits
- Recently protected questions
- Recently closed/reopened questions
- Recently migrated questions
- Recently deleted/undeleted posts
- Questions with pending close/reopen votes
- Posts with pending delete/undelete votes
- New answers to old questions
- Suggested edit stats
- Anonymous feedback stats
- The full history of reviews by all users in any /review queue
These help highlight potential problem areas—or just areas of high activity—on the site.
Aside from this, you get the ability to do inline tag edits on questions. Hover your mouse next to the tags and you should see a "edit tags" button: