I have noticed that often, when I flag questions, they are marked as "helpful", but the question never gets closed, nor does it get any "vote to close" from those with >3k rep. Some examples:

Total Number of Dimensions in the Universe?

In what order should unit symbols appear?

Could all strings be one single string which weaves the fabric of the universe?

Could life survive a pole shift caused by an asteroid collision?

What is the reason for this? Are the flags accidentally marked as "helpful"? But it seems too much of a coincidence that there are so many flags like that! Or maybe, the reviewers changed their mind later on ? And most of these questions are really questions that are very harmful to the site..

Interestingly, sometimes, the converse is true. The flag is declined at first but the question is closed. That is good however.

Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is?

  • $\begingroup$ Be patient. Maybe they're leaving it to the users. Is there any urgency that the question should be closed right away, once you've flagged them? And, I don't know how you can actually see close votes other than your questions (If so, that's a bug). But, as far as I can see, there are CVs in two questions in your list. (Maybe, I shouldn't insert my head everywhere as question is for the mods). BTW, TeX don't work in meta. What's the use of it here? :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @CrazyBuddy: I thought that I could see close votes even though I can't cast them... Maybe that's the reason why I don't see any close votes on the questions on which the flags have been deemed helpful, even though there are? Or not. I didn't know TeX doesn't work here. But you're right, it's pointless to have TeX on meta. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ @CrazyBuddy: No, it is not about any urgency :) I just wanted to know whether they accidentally deemed it helpful or forgot to close it or lost their internet connection while closing it or someone hijacked their account :) or something like that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Close votes are visible only for 3k users. You can see close votes on your questions (as a 250+ user, I think so) but, not others :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ @CrazyBuddy: Then, probably that's the reason why I don't see close votes. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ @CrazyBuddy: I accidentally clicked "add comment." so continued... on the questions that were flagged and deemed helpful. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ @dimension10 if you click review, then on the profile of the users whose name appears in the close/reopen queue, thin in the profile of these users on activity and.finally on the reviews among their activity, you can find quote some closevotes ... ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ @dimension10 You can see close votes only on your own posts $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 11:22
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    $\begingroup$ Just a note: Looking at your flags, please understand that there's a difference between "wrong" and "crackpot", in the context of Physics.SE. "wrong" says wrong things about an established theory. For example, "In general relativity, singularities are where spacetime is flat". Such answers should be downvoted. "Crackpot" usually applies to questions, and it comes into play when you ask a question about a non-mainstream theory or invoke a non-mainstream theory in an answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


See also: Why does flag marking as helpful/declined not always correlate with moderator action?

Usually, when the moderator sees a flag and has to think for a while over the flag, reading the post carefully (i.e., the action that should be taken is not immediately obvious), the flag gets marked as "helpful", even if the post doesn't get closed/deleted. "Helpful" means "While it may not have applied for this post, don't stop flagging posts for similar reasons". After all, each post is different, and we don't want to discourage you from flagging a similr post (where the flag may be valid).

Besides this, IIRC a close flag gets marked as helpful on the first close vote a post receives.

Regarding your specific flags:

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I can't seem to understand how "Total Number of Dimensions in Universe?" is on-topic though... $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ @dimension10 It could be phrased better, but why isn't it a physics question? We don't deem popular science off topic here. And in fact it is close to being a serious theoretical question. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ Concerning the question Could all strings be one..., it seems that that OP is not proposing an alternative theory per se, but merely wants to understand the role of "antistrings" (whatever that is) analogously to this question about antimatter in QFT. Not addressing whether OP is right or wrong, OP's question seems a legitimate question to ask. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Qmechanic Amen! I like it when you bring in your nicely clear way of thinking and your well founded by physics knowledge point of view into discussions about somehow controversial things like the legitimacy of questions for example, too. If you have time for it... $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 22:30

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