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We now have a number of high-rep users who can review close flags - there is no need to flag posts for moderator attention if you feel the post should be closed.

Please reserve "flag for moderator attention" for exceptions like spam and other bad behavior which warrant immediate attention.

If close flags are not available (you have less than 3,000 reputation) please use "it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate" for questions which should be closed (unless the question or answer you are flagging meets another flagging criteria).

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    Also note that if you have enough rep to vote to close, please do so. – Aarthi Mar 11 '13 at 23:30
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Are you addressing this to the 19 non diamond people who have the >3k reputation to cast close votes or the Pro Webmasters community at large ?

If the former, great, getting the community to do some of the janitorial work is a good thing.

If the latter then I don't think this is a good way to go. For low rep users, flagging (for whatever reason) is a great way to get involved with the community and learn it's norms. By shutting off this avenue you are denying them an opportunity to contribute and yourselves the opportunity to educate.

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    I would think the question is directed to those users with >3k rep who are perhaps flagging questions for moderator attention when they should perhaps be assigning those questions directly to the close queue instead. – MrWhite Mar 12 '13 at 10:33
  • In many cases, users with sufficient rep will flag a question for closure without actually voting to close - this adds noise to the moderation queue and effectively diverts work from /review and makes closures appear to be based solely on moderator discretion (which, IMHO, weakens the impression of a given closure being a community decision). Flags aren't going away, just trying to encourage minimal use where more efficient procedures have been established. – danlefree Mar 12 '13 at 10:45
  • @danlefree: I know what you mean but it wasn't clear who this was being addressed to. – user2483 Mar 12 '13 at 11:29
  • @w3d: I would think that too but it's not clear. – user2483 Mar 12 '13 at 11:29
  • @lain This post is primarily intended for those who do the most flagging where close votes would suffice, but the difference between a regular < 3k rep user and a 3k+ rep user is really just time. Perhaps I could have worded this better - any suggestions to ensure no one interprets this as flags being discouraged outright? (As I understand it, < 3k users still receive flag weight when using the "it doesn't belong here/duplicate" pathway) – danlefree Mar 12 '13 at 12:16
  • @lain Updated copy - hopefully this update addresses your concerns (please comment if you see any room for improvement) – danlefree Mar 13 '13 at 9:45
  • @danlefree: Sorry, been away for a couple of days - that's clearer - thanks. – user2483 Mar 15 '13 at 19:01
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How about cases where it should be moved to a stack site that is not listed in the offtopic options? My understanding is that the only way to get something moved to say https://ux.stackexchange.com/ was to flag it for moderator attention.

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    Since you can't close something as "belongs on UX" here, there's no close-vote substitute for flagging - so this advice doesn't apply. That said, you should've already voted to close as Off Topic for most migrations, and when flagging for migration please take a second or two to explain why the question should go somewhere else... – Shog9 Mar 12 '13 at 2:31
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It appears that when I use the "flag" and then choose "it doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate" it takes me to the same options that I get if I had chosen "close". Is there a difference between these two paths? If I choose the "flag" link first, does it actually get put in the moderation queue even though it appears that I am voting to close it?

  • It needs moderator attention -> Other appears to be the commonly-used pathway (particularly where "off topic" or a similar close reason is entered in the Other field, instead of using the It doesn't belong here or it is a duplicate pathway) – danlefree Mar 12 '13 at 12:18
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    OK, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't contributing to the problem. I only use "other" when it should be migrated to a site that I can't choose in the offtopic section. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 12 '13 at 12:20

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