For reference, I flagged some (IMHO) very poor answers that appear to have been abandoned and only create noise:

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The question for your reference is Where did the Red Brick Road lead to?

Each one of the flags was declined. I'm not new to Stack Exchange, but I don't spend a ton of time on Sci-Fi. Is your policy for flagging different from other network sites? I can't understand the rationale for keeping these answers around. In particular the first answer has a total score of -9 and (again, IMHO) should have been deleted long ago.

  • 6
    Totally agree with you. I've had the same thoughts May 28, 2014 at 15:31
  • possible duplicate of Is deleting really wrong answers OK according to the rules?
    – phantom42
    May 28, 2014 at 15:43
  • @phantom42 I read that question and although it's close to this it's not entirely the same. I'm not questioning right or wrong, but rather the quality of the answers. For example, one of the answers literally reads It leads back to kansas. But they told her to take the yellow one to defeat the wicked witch of the west without citing any information. Another reads The red brick road leads her in another direction than helping the three mystery characters she has to help before getting home! - this is speculation without any sources.
    – Yuck
    May 28, 2014 at 15:49
  • 1
    So, perhaps to rephrase my question, what would constitute a very low quality answer? And further, what about the answers I've cited actually places them outside of very low quality?
    – Yuck
    May 28, 2014 at 15:50
  • Keen's answer on the other question goes into when it's ok to vote to delete an answer, so it addresses your original question you posted, IMO. If you change your question to focus on the definition of the "very low quality", that's a separate, more focused issue which the original answer arguably doesn't go into well enough.
    – phantom42
    May 28, 2014 at 15:53
  • 1
    If the mods won't delete these (mostly) terrible answers, we who have the rep should vote to delete. Oct 21, 2015 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Can you link to some other site's Meta that outlines their policies on the subject?

Personally, I used to delete this sort of answer, figuring that it was part of the reason deletion was there; to clean up junk posts. The more I discussed the subject with other moderators, and read and reread the documentation here and on (formerly-Meta-Stack-Overflow) Meta Stack Exchange, I've changed to the opposite. I don't delete anything that's a non-joke attempt at answering the question, even if that answer is buried in a little cruft. If a post is entirely tangential commentary, a comment/reply to another answer, or trolling/offensive/spam, then I delete. But if the post makes some attempt to answer the question, I don't delete it. Ward's answer over here outlines some of the discussions on MSE on the subject.

Note, that I usually downvote low quality answers. I expect expert users to post comments outlining how an answer is incorrect, low quality, etc. When I have time/capability, I leave comments as well.

Lately, if I received a flag on a post that deserved a downvote, I would downvote and mark the flag as helpful. But I can see how confusing that is, since anyone can downvote, and that's not properly 'moderator action'. So I no longer do this. If a 'very low quality' or 'not an answer' flag doesn't point to a post that should be deleted, I decline the flag. This is what happened to your posts.

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