I saw that to the right of the "tools" link was shown a number in a yellow background, but when I clicked on it, I have been taken to the flags page, and the page was empty.

What does that number mean? I thought it could mean the number of flagged posts, but clearly it is not so.


As the number keeps to grow (I now see 12), I guess it is the number of flags still not processed, including the ones I cannot handle. If that is the case, then the counter should not count those flags.

  • Perhaps it's the number of 'tools' you have access to. I don't have enough rep to even have the tools link in the first place, so I've no idea. I only get to see the number of badges I've got, then review chat meta faq. Sigh. One day, when I get these tools, I shall do such things... I shall be the terror of EL&U! Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 22:24
  • It's not the number of tools to which I have access, as that is just a binary value: or you don't have access to the moderator tools, or you have access to the moderator tools.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 22:43
  • Well, having just passed the 5000 mark, I have my own mountain to climb just figuring out what the hell approve tag wiki edits means, and how I should use that one wisely. But I do look forward to earning my end world hunger and cure cancer tags in the fullness of time. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 0:59
  • 3
    I've seen the same behavior. Also showing 7 flagged items. I think this is just a new form of torture for high-rep users. They tease us into believing we have powers, then just as we try to use them they vanish. :)
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 13:55
  • @Robusto I keep seeing "7." Does it mean "the seven tortures," or "the seventh heaven"? :-)
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 13:59
  • @kiamlaluno: Depends on whether you're a masochist or not, I guess. ^_^
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 14:01
  • @Robusto I don't know why, but I was expecting such answer. :-)
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 14:04
  • @kia: Then you're correctly calculated my emotional development as having stopped at the 7th grade. Ah, that magical number 7 again!
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 14:07
  • I think there is an expression saying "seventy times seven," or at least it's an Italian expression.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:10
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/78168/…
    – user362
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 13:43
  • I saw the same behaviour. I simply assumed someone had processed the flags between my loading the page + reading the question and my clicking the yellow number, as it isn't automatically refreshed. But I think I've seen it come back again in such suspicious circumstances that I didn't trust it any more. Then I just assumed that it wasn't always up to date, like the reps on meta. Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 2:34
  • @kiamlaluno: I was just trying to point out one of the several messages on Meta.SO about the new flag tools for 10k users.
    – user362
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 10:22

2 Answers 2


The count there is the number of "actionable" flags but 10k users.

We define an "actionable flag" as a flag you can assist us with. This number is displayed at random, at most, once a day. And requires more that 5 actionable flags to exist to even pop up.

It goes away as soon as you click on it.

It contains a very important performance optimization. When you look at tools\flagged we exclude any flags that you already participated in (by adding more flags, votes). We do not exclude this from the counter.

The rational, usually flags should be handled fairly rapidly by mods. If the counter is slightly off, it is not the end of the world.

Now .....

IF on some SE moderators totally forgot about the queue for a few days, the user experience would be fairly sucky. However, we would rather fix the moderation problem then fix this cache.


It is the number of flagged posts that you, as a 10k user, can assist moderators in handling.

It includes all "default" flag types enterable from the flagging menu, but not flags where custom text to moderators was entered.

  • 1
    What happens when I read (for example) 10, but going on the flag page (through that link) I don't see any flagged posts, or I see less than 10 flagged posts?
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 12:11
  • 1
    @kia @Jeff ... we only show the link once per day, in any case, if you click on it the notification will vanish for 24 hours. sometimes due to caching and people handling flags too fast the number may be a tiny bit off. Commented Jun 27, 2011 at 1:06
  • @Sam Saffron: I routinely click a large number, like 12 or 24 or something, and get taken to the flag page with zero, count 'em, zero flagged posts listed. There's no way all of those flags were dealt with in the few seconds between when I saw the number and when I clicked on it. There is a bug in the system.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 20:21

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