I recently improved some closed questions and flagged them to reopen after the edits. Looking at my flagging history, I observe that the number of flags waiting for review has decreased but the number of helpful and declined flags have stayed the samme. And of course, not a single question has been reopend.

So, how can these flags just have disappeared? Can they evaporate without any impact as close / reopen votes can? Or is there a possibility for moderators to "actively ignore" them leading to this strange behavior?

Of course, I appreciate it if flags to reopen do not count as declined flags, but this behavior still seems strange and I'd like to know what is happening here.

  • $\begingroup$ This I want to mention in a separate comment to not spoil the "neutral" support question. But it is very frustrating that improvement+reopen does obviously not work for non-homework and non-very-basic questions. I have observed, that for homework questions it is very easy to get reopend after showing the own efforts and basic questions can easily be improved and reopend too. But for (technical) questions about slightly more advanced or fundamental topics this does simply not work. I can edit them to be more focused to the physics, more to the point, less broad, more clear etc ... $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jun 1, 2013 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ But none of them gets ever reopend anyway. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that any efforts in this direction are pointless and a waste of energy, enthusiasmus, and time. There are no people interested in reopening non-basic salvagable questions anyway apart from me. This is particularly bad in view of the increasing dominance of homework and very basic questions from people who have almost no physics knowledg of their own on this site. $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jun 1, 2013 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think this incident is similar to the close vote by an individual user. It may have been disappeared if they had been left unnoticed. Maybe try flagging it again ;-) $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2013 at 14:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Which flags are you talking about? I only see two recent flags mentioning "reopen", and neither one has been handled yet. $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    Jun 1, 2013 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Im not currently in a position to check your flags, or reopen anything, but I suggest you look at the history of mods and 3k users in the reopen queue. I do regularly reopen non-HW qs, and so do others . The discrepancy in reopens comes from a twofold statistical bias: (1) The number of HW qs that get closed is an order of magnitude higher than the number of technical qs. (2) I haven't seen you flag HW to reopen so you haven't seen any of these declined. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2013 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ If this meta post is about that specific q you pinged me about in chat, I suggest you ping another mod for now :) The Himalayas are too awesome for me to spend time checking on that :p Also, network sucks and using the mod tools from mobile--especially a slow mobile network--is very annoying. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2013 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth, yes it is the anomalous dimension questions + some others I have edited that I think should get reopend. But it never happens what is a bit frustratind :-/. Anyway, forget about it now and enjoy your holidays in the Himalaya ;-). This sounds cool ! $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jun 2, 2013 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


Moderators can't make flags vanish, and neither can the flagging user himself. Once a flag is cast, there is no way to remove it. Moderators can either decline the flag or declare it as helpful. Either way there should be an entry for that flag in your flagging history with a notice on how the flag was handled exactly.

  • $\begingroup$ I think disputed flags work the way mentioned in the above q, but afaict we haven't had any of those here. $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2013 at 2:03

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