Currently the Flag feature, on answers, offers five choices. Three of them request moderator attention:
- Not an answer
- Very low quality
In the spirit of reducing the burden on moderators, and distributing that work a little bit more evenly around the community, I'm proposing a couple of small tweaks to the way answers are flagged.
Eliminate Very low quality as an option. Very low quality posts that are, nevertheless, genuine answers do not need moderator attention - they should just be downvoted. (Further justification for this is here and here)
Replace Not an answer with four specific options:
Should have been a comment - this is not an answer, it is a comment on the question or on another answer. Flagger would then be required to choose which post it should have been a comment on.
Should have been an edit - this is not an answer, it is additional information about the question from the original asker. Only appears if the answer is from the same user as the question.
Me-too! non-answer - this answer consists of nothing more than "Me too!" or "Did anyone find the answer?"
Conversational and irrelevant - this is not an answer, just a random conversation or rant, or meaningless typing that should be deleted
This makes life much easier on the moderators, because now the moderator is not expected to clean up after the bad answer, they merely have to peek at what happened and click "Agree" or "Disagree". If they agree:
Should have been a comment converts the answer to a comment
Should have been an edit converts the answer to an edit and it is appended to the question
Me-too! non-answer deletes the answer and leaves a form-message for the poster explaining that we don't like "Me too", but they should upvote the question if they think it's important or valuable
Conversational and irrelevant - deletes the answer and leaves a form-message for the poster explaining that we are a Q&A site, etc. etc.
In fact, if enough people with high enough flag weight or reputation (FORMULA TBD) apply the same flag, the moderation happens automatically, without moderator involvement.
To prevent the moderation queue from filling up with problems that might cure themselves, these flags don't even go in the moderator queue until some period of time (TBD) has passed.