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Since I've been on the site and learned what is an appropriate form of question and what's not I've done my part to flag questions not appropriate for the site. And most of the questions I flag are quickly closed for the very reason I've flagged them.

When questions are closed, the question gets a small box explain why it's closed and who closed it. But I've noticed for the most part my name doesn't show up on the list and I don't get any reputation (there have been one or two times my name does show up and I do get reputation for helping moderate the site so I know you do get rep for helping moderate).

How is it determined who gets credit for flagging a question, and why am I not getting credit for helping close inappropriate questions?

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You never get any reputation from moderation activities. You only ever get reputation for providing worthwhile content (mainly through upvotes, plus a bonus for an accepted answer, and 2 points for suggested edits that are accepted), plus a small bonus for accepting an answer. The complete list is in the FAQ. Closing, flagging and other “janitorial” activities do not generate reputation.

You need at least 3000 reputation points to vote to close a question. Since you have fewer points, you cannot vote to close, but you can flag to close instead. Flags to close are visible to users with 10000 reputation points, who can choose to cast a vote. Custom flags (when you enter some text in the box) are only visible to moderators (with a ♦ after their name).

There is a token of appreciation for flags: if you cast enough flags that are marked as “helpful” (e.g. because you cast a flag to close and the question was subsequently closed), you get a badge: Deputy then Marshal. This site hasn't seen enough flag-worthy content yet to generate many such badges. Other than that, the reward of getting rid of inappropriate content is a cleaner site.

  • Thanks for the answers/clarification on how flagging works. – onewho Aug 10 '12 at 20:28
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To add to what Keen said, you DO get rewarded for correct flagging, by getting badges (as is the case with many useful activities on SE sites):

Citizen Patrol [bronze] - First flagged post 
Deputy         [silver] - Raised 80 helpful flags 
Marshal        [gold]   - Raised 500 helpful flags 
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That box only displays people who voted to close that question. Voting to close is a specific action that mods and high-reputation users can do to get questions closed. It takes 5 high-rep user votes to close a question, or one diamond mod's vote to close a question. Once a question is closed, it gets that box that describes the reason for closing along with a list of the users who voted to close.

Flagging is an entirely separate mechanism, which is largely a messaging system to the mods and high-rep users to point us towards content that needs our attention. Flags also have their own feedback mechanism, if you look at your profile on the main site, there's an entry for 'helpful flags', which has a link that lets you see if flags you submitted were accepted or rejected. As you accumulate sufficient 'helpful' flags, you can earn badges (at 1 flag, at 80 flags, and finally at 500 flags.)

  • "messaging system to the mods and high-rep users" - can you elaborate on the latter? I've never been notified of a flag on the site (i HAVE been buzzed by a flag on chatroom a couple of times though). I also didn't see "flags" anywhere in Review/Tools section. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 10 '12 at 20:21
  • @DVK scifi.stackexchange.com/privileges/moderator-tools – user1027 Aug 10 '12 at 20:24

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