I'm still a bit uncertain on the purpose and the usage of flagging after the 3k threshold, which is the point where one can cast close/reopen votes.

Most of the flags I cast now are "Not an answer", is this the extent of it ? If I can vote to close, why do I still have the option to flag (they present similar options) ?

2 Answers 2


Your close flags are actually considered close votes once you acquire the close vote privilege. Therefore flagging for closure or voting to close, for you, are the same thing. Quoting from the linked Meta.SE answer:

  • When a user flags a question for closure / casts the initial close vote

  • The question goes into the Close Review queue

  • If the user has the close privilege, it also registers a close vote with the stated reason

    • regardless of whether the user used the "close" or "flag" link (so, for such users, the two are identical as far as closure is concerned)
  • If the user doesn't have the privilege (and thus can only flag), it only sets the suggested close reason for the review item
  • Do you have some stats on the distribution of flag reasons ? I barely use anything beside "not an answer", I'm wondering how often spam/offensive/low quality get used
    – blackbird
    Apr 14, 2016 at 17:57
  • I use not an answer and low quality so that the post gets in the queue. Spam I use regularly so that spam posts get deleted. My personal stats are 2:5 spam to post flags. Can't see other people's flags though. See your stats here.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Apr 14, 2016 at 18:00
  • Nice, I meant site-wise though to situate myself relative to others :)
    – blackbird
    Apr 14, 2016 at 18:03
  • @blackbird57 I think you can get flags data through the Stack Exchange Data Explorer (SEDE) -- you certainly can get close statistics there -- but SEDE does not include any deleted posts, so the results would be skewed.
    – user
    Apr 24, 2016 at 20:56

The reason why you still see a flag link after gaining the close questions priviledge is that there are other reasons you may want to flag for than closure. However, Stack Exchange wanted to keep the opening dialogue as identical as possible, probably due to reasons.

The flag dialogue is still helpful to mark spam (flag spam, close later if at all), offensive posts (flag, close later if at all) and whatever may require moderator attention.

The other options (duplicate and should be closed) will just link you forward to your close vote dialogue silently, as JoErNanO explained. The underlying philosophy is that SE is user moderated, so if you can close you should. There is no chickening out like ‘maybe this should be closed, but I am not sure.’

Irrelevant side note: My most popular flag by a very significant margin across all my Stack Exchange accounts is obsolete comment ;)

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