In the 'Wheel of Time' series, what is the game of stones? was answered by Teknophilia with:

It looks like Robert Jordan said that it was made-up game, but that is was meant to resemble GO.

He then cited wiki.answers.com as his source for the claim, and got four upvotes as a response. Is this really acceptable? Words from the author is indeed a great answer, but only if it comes from a trusted source. An anonymous wiki user hardly qualifies as a trusted source.

Should we downvote/flag as low quality answers with poor sources?

2 Answers 2


Downvote answers you don't think are useful: that's what they're there for. Optionally, leave a comment explaining why you don't think the answer is useful.

Don't flag answers that are merely factually incorrect or misleading: it's not the role of moderators to fact-check. You should really only have to flag an answer as low quality if it has serious issues preventing it from being considered an answer and there is no way to salvage it via edits: extremely poor grasp of the English language and one-line answers that don't explain anything, for example.

The above is codified in the FAQ:

Be honest.

Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Add comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Provide better answers of your own. Best of all — edit and improve the existing questions and answers!

  • What's the low quality flag option for, then?
    – Borror0
    Feb 28, 2011 at 9:24
  • @borror0 Added examples to my answer. Also see the low-quality review page for more examples of what the system considers low quality. For the most part, if an answer is so bad it needs moderator attention, the system automatically flags it anyway.
    – user366
    Feb 28, 2011 at 9:34
  • Very well, but how does that answer not qualify? It's a one-line answer that doesn't say anything. Without a trustworthy source (which it lacks), that answer is nothing more than hearsay.
    – Borror0
    Feb 28, 2011 at 9:51
  • @borror0 If you don't think the answer is useful, it's your perogative to vote it down, comment on it, or answer the question yourself. Perhaps take a step back and ask if it's really necessary for a moderator to intervene every time a person gives a wrong answer. Don't you want the community to filter wrong answers out themselves?
    – user366
    Feb 28, 2011 at 10:08

Stack Exchange is not Wikipedia[1], you don't have to back up every answer by a citation from a reputable source.

This is perhaps not a very good answer, but definitely not flag-worthy. The proper response if you find it useless, or you think it is wrong, is to downvote. It's a good idea to explain why you don't like it in a comment, too: this gives the answerer a chance to correct or remove his answer, and (most importantly, for a wrong answer) warn others about what is wrong with the answer.

If you see an answer with just a link and no explanation, this is a low-quality answer, but not in itself flag-worthy. Ideally, edit the answer to add a short summary of what's behind the link; or post another answer with that summary, if you really care about getting more reputation.

1. Eric. Answer to “Markdown footnotes?”. Meta Stack Overflow. Retrieved 28 February 2011.

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