There is an option to flag a question “it doesn’t belong here, or it is a duplicate” (emphasis added). This seems to invite flags on duplicate questions.
Yesterday for the first time I flagged a duplicate question. The flag was declined with the explanation that “flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention”. To me this means I am being cautioned that duplicate questions do not require moderator intervention after all – I was wasting moderator time.
I am sensitive to moderator workload, and aware that their job is to handle exceptional cases that the community cannot resolve.
Merging duplicate questions requires moderator intervention. Surely this is why the flag option exists. The option to merge is not identified as a privilege available to a non-moderator, no matter how much reputation they have earned.
Even flagging an unanswered duplicate helps moderators. I have seen moderators intervene immediately in such cases before. I assume it is because closing them right away saves moderator time later by avoiding the possibility of a merge.
Where am I going wrong? I do not want to create grief for the moderators.