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I have noticed that on this SE, my community flags get handled by a moderator BEFORE the community has its say through the review queue.

Why is it so?

I thought that the SE theory of moderation said

The ideal moderator does as little as possible.

So why are moderator here handling non-mod-only flags? Why are they intercepting flags intended to be handled by the community?

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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Federico Sep 6 '17 at 8:57
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    One of the flags is named "in need of moderator intervention" @yannis; this strongly implies that the other flags are for things that are not "in need of moderator intervention". There is some discrepancy in how the flag dialog is designed and how the system actually works. How this is handled differs per site and even per mod; some sites/mods tend to leave these flags alone, while other mods tend to take action sooner. There is something to be said for both approaches. – user11249 Sep 6 '17 at 9:17
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    For my part, what I don't quite follow is your chat comment where you mention "I don't see a reason to (mod) delete the answer. That said, regular users with deletion privileges should absolutely vote to delete it". It seems to me that bad posts either ought to be deleted or it shouldn't; not sure why it matters who does it? – user11249 Sep 6 '17 at 9:20
  • Going from that to "moderators are intercepting my community only flags" is a bit of a stretch though @Carpetsmoker. – yannis Sep 6 '17 at 9:20
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    Well, if you're not familiar with how the flag system works for mods then that phrasing is not all that unreasonable @yannis. I think this is a "curse of knowledge" kind of thing ;-) – user11249 Sep 6 '17 at 9:22
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    Mod deletions aren't reversible by the community @Carpetsmoker. That's... tricky. Also, voting to delete an answer is not the same as unilaterally deleting it. Consensus matters here. – yannis Sep 6 '17 at 9:24
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There is no such thing as a "non-mod" flag. All unhandled flags reach the ♦ flag queue, albeit with different priorities.

The flagging system is essentially a private communication system between regular users and community moderators. It's a way for people to ask for help with issues they can't deal with on their own. While some flags may indeed enter a post in a review queue or two, that's more of a side effect, and certainly not the system's primary purpose.

Please do not use flags in an attempt to reach consensus through the review queues. Flags are private, you are essentially asking someone else to deal with the issue for you, and consensus doesn't really work without accountability.

The site offers a plethora of public moderation tools to regular users. Even at the early reputation levels, you can vote, edit and comment. You can also ask other regular users for help in chat or here on Meta. If consensus is what you are interested in, please stick to the public tools available to you. If the public tools aren't enough, then by all means flag. Just keep in mind that you don't get to pick and choose who answers your flag.

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    How can a post be forced into a review queue without a flag? (which is presumably the intended outcome for many cases of people using the flag, myself included) – user4012 Sep 6 '17 at 14:55
  • Almost all normal moderation activities may have the side-effect of putting the post in a queue or two, but I don't think we have a tool that will only do that @user4012. – yannis Sep 6 '17 at 15:45

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