Flags can take varying amounts of time to handle, for example a little bit is explained here: How long can a flag wait for review?

I wonder about the case where the flag is something simple. Let's assume it's a flag that just needs to be read once, by one moderator, and decided based on a first reading of the flag explanation. What does this community feel, is a reasonable amount of time for such a flag to be handled by a moderator?

If the community were to feel that such flags need to be handled within 10 minutes, I would think that is unreasonable since even with 4 moderators, once cannot expect that one of the 4 will be online every 10 minutes.

But surely if the flag were to take 1 week, one might be quite surprised that none of the 4 moderators were active enough to see it.

What does this community feel is an appropriate amount of time for the types of simple flags described in my 2nd paragraph of this post?

For reference:

  • in 2019 the number of flags that could not be handled by regular non-moderator users was 1162: 2019: a year in moderation (there's also question flags, but there's less of them, and those can often be voted on by non-moderators, the vast majority of them being "close the question" requests or "very low quality question" flags; or they are often not the "simple" type of flag discussed above).
  • in 2018 the number was 1,031: 2018: a year in moderation

So there's roughly 3 flags per day, and (at present in August 2020) there's 4 moderators.

I am curious to gather opinions and see if there is community consensus in general (as opposed to seeing what people's opinions are on any one specific flag).

  • 1
    I'm a mod for only a month. Rude/abusive, unfriendly, and spam I handle as soon as I see them. Obsolete only if I have time to verify. Custom flags are curve balls. I do depend somewhat on who's flagging, based on my perception of how they have flagged previously.
    – fredsbend Mod
    Sep 3 '20 at 13:21
  • Thank you for the response :) I do see that you've been active quite often. The time zones of the mods seem to be spread out very well: 1 in USA, 1 in UK, 1 in Germany, 1 in Australia. I think it cannot get much better than that. Perhaps the "simple" flags here are handled within a maximum of 12 hours most of the time, but I haven't been here for very long to see. Sep 3 '20 at 14:12

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