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the flapper chain might be too long and needs to be adjusted. the tank handle has slipped slightly in the square hole and caused the adjustment to be off. or the flapper is wearing so badly that it no longer floats properly.
typically a flapper should have a small amount of play in the chain to prevent having to hold the handle down.
replace the flapper and adjust the chain. dye test the new flapper with food coloring after adjusting the slack and making a few test flushes. put a few drops of food coloring into the tank and allow it to change color in the tank. if the color doesn't bleed into the bowl after 15 minutes, all is good and you can flush as normal.