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In regards to the Deputy and Marshal badges, what is the policy on flagging questions after one has the Cast close and re-open votes privilege? It says at this point one should not flag questions for moderators anymore, simply vote on them. Does this mean that these two badges must be gained before 3,000 reputation? Given, there are still situations where flags are appropriate after this privilege is gained, but should those who are able to vote still pursue these badges or leave them be?

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I've earned both badges over on Stack Overflow, and they did not exist until after I had already exceeded the 3000 rep level and had VTC privileges. There are still a lot of other ways that flags are important, though, and which contribute to your helpful flag count:

  • Flagging "Not an Answer" posts - If you check the recent posts list regularly you can easily find several per day.
  • Spam and offensive flags (rarer on this site)
  • Flagging comments counts toward your total, AFAIK
  • Anything that warrants an "Other" flag, such as migrations to sites other than SO/Meta.AE, voting irregularities, or other general disturbances.

Also, if you come across a paticularly old post that you really think should be closed (but is unlikely to receive much traffic), I would consider flagging it with the "Other" reason after you have cast a close vote, then briefly explaining your reasoning. Although there are tools available to 10k+ members and mods that show recent close votes, it's easy to neglect them, whereas flags are very prominent. That's probably not going to get you into Deputy/Marshal territory with any kind of speed, though.

  • still good to know the options though. Thanks! – jlehenbauer Jun 19 '12 at 17:11
  • Yes, this. Actually "flagging" instead of "voting" will make it appear directly in our mod queue, so we'll really take notice of it and choose to do something about it (or not). – Bryan Denny Jun 19 '12 at 18:35
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    Not generally a problem here, but on high-traffic sites (read: Stack Overflow) flagging instead of using the close/delete votes you have is strongly discouraged. Even here, where there's not nearly as much moderation to be done, you should save your flags for things that require a Moderator, i.e., things that you can't do. Moderators are the exception handlers, not there to cast their supervotes at your behest. – ale Jun 20 '12 at 12:59
  • @AlEverett: I would certainly only recommend flagging (even on this site) if the post is particularly old and unlikely to be closed via regular traffic. – eldarerathis Jun 20 '12 at 13:02

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