Sorry if this has already been asked, I could not find an appropriate answer and I want to make sure that I understand these features.
Question: what's the most correct way to use flags and down-votes?
Or, what makes less harm: an incorrect flag or an incorrect vote down + comment? Should I do nothing if I doubt or should I try to participate?
I am one of those users without enough reputation to vote for closing but I can try to help the site by voting up good questions (which I try to use much more often) and flagging or voting down those which I believe not to be suitable. My question is about what to do in theSo, the question is, if you doubt between what to do latter case.
First, this what the FAQ says about flagging vs answering low-quality posts:
Most importantly, don't feed the trolls! Replying to abusive, off-topic, or inappropriate content only encourages it – whereas flagging allows removal without providing undue attention. Post related to: conventions on downvoting. Which suggest that flagging is the best thing to do when you thing a post does not match the standards we expect. However, declined flags get a preventive remark: Flag declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention.
Which suggests that flagging may flood moderators. Then I thought, maybe it is better that users control content by voting up/down. But whenever you vote down you see a pop-up:
Please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved.
Or in other words, try to make constructive suggestions. But then you can be "feeding trolls"...
Related posts: conventions on downvoting.