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How is this answer not flaggable ? It lacks formatting. It lacks basic syntax. It even has this little tone we try to remove from answers (starts with "C mon guys, it pretty obvious......." and ends with "Nerdy captain flies off.")

I'd like to know because when reviewing my flag raising history, I noticed the flag I raised for this answer has been declined with "flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer".

I'm not angry with the mod that rejected my flag, really. I know that although I've been around for three years, I don't understand the site as much as an elected moderator should.

This is not a wrong answer, and it doesn't contain technical inaccuracies. It just feel wrong to permit such answer on this site, but maybe I'm being too harsh, in which case I'd like your enlightment.

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    This query shows all reviews on that answer. Several reviewers have seen the answer, and it looks like the only result was downvoting. – Molag Bal Apr 22 '16 at 16:41
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    What flag did you raise? This might be helpful in actually assessing your request here. There are many different flags with very different purposes. If it was a "not an answer" flag then this declining reason is the exact proper response to the flag if that answer actually does answer the question. A bad answer is by definition an answer. If you don't like its format or wording alone, rather than its actual content, how about downvoting and/or editing it? A flag is not a super-downvote. If the answer is genuinely offensive, though, you could just flag it as that. – TARS says Reinstate Monica Apr 22 '16 at 16:52
  • I raised the very low quality one. I get your point, I'll consider editing it myself next time :) – Kalissar Apr 22 '16 at 19:57
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Apparently I was the mod who declined your flag, but it was several weeks ago and I really can't remember why. Probably I declined it because I didn't consider the answer worth deleting and hadn't yet got into the habit of sometimes marking flags helpful even when not deleting the answer.


It lacks formatting. It lacks basic syntax. It even has this little tone we try to remove from answers (starts with "C mon guys, it pretty obvious......." and ends with "Nerdy captain flies off.")

None of these is a good reason to flag an answer. If you see an answer that's poorly formatted or contains unnecessary commentary, the best course of action is to downvote it or edit it. If you see an answer that makes no attempt to answer the question, then flag it as "not an answer" (and vote to delete it if you have enough rep to do so). See also this post from a CM on main meta about non-answers, and the following amended picture courtesy of Undo:

enter image description here

I can see, however, that you didn't flag as "not an answer", but as "very low quality". Unfortunately the workings of the "very low quality" flagging system are pretty unclear, and a lot of people agree that it doesn't really work very well. "Not an answer" is relatively easy to define, but "very low quality" is much more subjective and it can be hard to decide when to delete an answer flagged as such.


General theorising aside, looking at the answer now I definitely agree that it is very low quality. Whether or not I deleted the answer, your flag should have been marked helpful. But a single flag won't make a great deal of difference in the long run; the vast majority of the flags you've raised have been marked helpful, so it's not a big deal.

  • Ok I think I get it. Thank you ! – Kalissar Apr 22 '16 at 20:08
  • But seriously, what's a post notice ? – Kalissar Apr 23 '16 at 10:19
  • @Kalissar A post notice is an automatic thing mods can add to a post to say e.g. "add more details to this answer" or "this needs citations". For instance, see this answer and this one. – Rand al'Thor Apr 23 '16 at 12:48
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N.B. I'm not the flag rejecting mod

That's just a really poor quality answer.

The extra things a mod could do after having that brought to our attention are:

  1. Add a post notice
  2. Delete
  3. Convert to a comment
  4. Convert to a wiki
  5. Lock

None of those are useful things from my POV.

You can downvote, and you can edit.

Like TARS said:

If you don't like its format or wording alone, rather than its actual content, how about downvoting and/or editing it? A flag is not a super-downvote.

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    Adding a post notice could have been good ... maybe? – Rand al'Thor Apr 22 '16 at 17:43
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    What's a post notice ? But ok, I get it, next time I'll take more time and edit it myself, or just downvote it. – Kalissar Apr 22 '16 at 19:57

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