I ran across this answer in the Late Answers review queue and flagged it Not an Answer as it seemed to be both a partial question and an attempt to reply to a comment.

The text of the NAA flag for reference:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

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This answer later made it to the Low Quality Posts queue, where it was deleted.

However, for some reason, before this occurred, a moderator decided to manually decline my flag.

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Thus raising the question, why was my flag declined? And why wasn't it just allowed to pass through the Queue system like normal?

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    FWIW I also had my flag declined on it if I’m remembering correctly and was wondering the same thing. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Jun 23 '19 at 6:43
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    It's quite an edge case. It seems to be an attempt at answering the question of why Willie stayed with Indy instead of returning to Lao. Yes, it might reference another comment in order to do so and it could sure be more fleshed out. But it's not a "partial question" at all. Are you just confused by the rhetorical question at the beginning? – TARS Jun 23 '19 at 10:37
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    @TARS it’s clearly a reply to a comment and so pretty much a comment in itself. Calling it anything else is a big stretch in my opinion. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Jun 23 '19 at 10:45
  • @TheLethalCarrot Possibly, but that very much includes "partial question", too. – TARS Jun 23 '19 at 10:54
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    Why would you think it's NAA? The question asks why Willie went with Indiana instead of going back to work for Lao Che. The answer points out that (a) Lao Che didn't give up the diamond to save Willie (he doesn't care about her), (b) she got the diamond but didn't give it to him (he might be vengeful), (c) he was a gangster (hence dangerous to work for). It might not be a good answer, without those bracketed conclusions included, but it certainly offers some possible answer reasons, not NaA. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 23 '19 at 21:08
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    The question asks why Willie went with Indiana. The answer, if we are being generous, explains why Willie didn't stay with Lao Che. But that wasn't the question, that was an option OP provided. The answer may say what you are saying it says, but it is shrouded in a (rhetorical) question and a reply to a comment. Could it be a good answer? Perhaps. The information provided could probably the part of a good answer, but on its own, it is a glorified comment about one of the musings OP had, posted as a direct reply to a comment of another answer. – amflare Jun 23 '19 at 22:27
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    At best you can say it should have been flagged VLQ instead of NAA. But it definitely falls under "This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be [...] a comment". It was posted as an answer, it was an attempt to reply to a comment, therefore it should be a comment. – amflare Jun 23 '19 at 22:27

Because it's an attempt at an answer

Borrowing from Meta.SO

NAA/LQP, explained with fruit

It's not a good answer by any stretch, but it does actually try

Q: Why did Willie Scott get on the plane with Indiana Jones?

A: Does anyone remember that Lao Che had refused to give up the diamond to save Willie's life? And when she finally got the diamond, she didn't bother to give it to him. If Lao wasn't a gangster . . . perhaps. But he was. And I don't see Willie going back to him. Not after what had happened in the Obi Wan Club.

Compare that to this -2 answer from the same question

A: After Lao Che got his hands on the diamond, Indy threatened Willie again. This time, Lao didn't give a rat's ass and told Indy that he could keep her. I really cannot see Willie resuming her relationship with Lao after that. And the moment Willie got her hands on the antidote, Indy clung to her like a leech. He didn't even have the opportunity to take the antidote until they were in the car, on their way to the airport.

How is this answer substantially different from the deleted one?

So let's go back to the NAA description

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

  • It does attempt
  • It's not an edit or another question
  • Deleted altogether? Hmm...

Most of the NAAs I've seen on SFF tend to run into

  • Wild speculation (often without sources)
  • Pure commentary and/or rambling
  • Unrelated junk

This is none of those. But what about "deleted altogether"? It's important to note here that NAA/LQP is not a super-downvote. If an answer isn't good downvote it. Downvotes hurt a lot more than deletion. And the system is biased against people who make poor scoring posts. If you want something gone because it's just noise that's what 20k+ trusted users are for (or, in the rare case of positive score answers, mod flags). To reiterate a point I made elsewhere

You're a long term user. You should know what a good answer looks like now.

If you're thinking "But, how can we find crap to delete vote?" there's a 10k+ tool for that.

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    to be fair, even "attempt to answer" seems to be a fairly unclear definition. Depending on who you ask to, an answer claiming that "Pikachu was the one that created the One Ring" is still an answer to the question "Did Superman always fly?" and should not be flagged as NAA. If you like, see here for some related discussion I once had on the main Meta. – SPArcheon Jul 3 '19 at 13:15
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    @SPArchaeologist In general this site doesn't follow the (rather bizarre, IMO) idea that "if it's an answer to something, anything, then it shouldn't be flagged as NAA". – Rand al'Thor Mod Jul 3 '19 at 13:30
  • I know, @Randal'Thor - I've provided the link only for sake of exposition. What I meant is that not even the main meta can clarify what is NAA (apparently, telling me to use framework X after I stated I can't use it right in the question is fine on SO) so a little confusion is bound to happen and any site will have to work its own standards. In this case.... that just seem a poorly written answer that could have been rewritten (but that would have required understanding it in the first place, and the text is a tad confusing, at least to me). – SPArcheon Jul 3 '19 at 13:37
  • @SPArchaeologist I'm not saying we should leave crap laying around. I'm saying that people often go "I don't think this is a good answer. Let me NAA/LQP flag it". If it does try to make a passable answer, NAA/LQP isn't the way to handle it. If people are making wild suppositions without evidence, most SE sites would delete it – Machavity Jul 3 '19 at 13:49
  • @Machavity please, see my previous comment - it wasn't my intention to say you were wrong, so I apologize if I gave you that impression. I was just pointing out that on other sites in the network even answering a different question from the one posted isn't enough to make the answer NAA. Sorry for the confusion ^_^' – SPArcheon Jul 3 '19 at 13:55
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    I'm not mad. Indeed, most SE sites tend to operate by good faith attempts at answers (so Pikachu being Sauron doesn't qualify). I just want people to be careful not to use NAA to delete answer that are merely poor, but still answer the question – Machavity Jul 3 '19 at 14:48

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