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Proposed improvement to flagging, for answers

I see a candidate answer to receive a "very low quality" flag by me. It's just a link pointing elsewhere basically saying, "try this." I generally do this for answers I see that are like this and have been successful every time so far. I save "not a real answer" flag for other cases such as someone asking another question in an answer or "thanks" answers. I want to flag it as "VLQ" but I don't see that as an option*. In fact, I don't see it as an option anymore on any site throughout the Stack Exchange network.

* This was not possible before when I initially posted this. Michael's observation on the needed downvote seems to be the reason it didn't show up.

Did it just get phased out as being unnecessary? Should I be using "NARA" as the flag reason for this case now?

I'm not sure if the "NARA" explanation really covers this case well: (emphasis mine)

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

These sorts of answers can answer the question in general. The site linked to might very well completely answer the question. (in this particular case, maybe not however) It's just that the answerer really should do something to improve the answer. It's not like it's a "This question is a duplicate of this [onsite question] post" or some other general spam. Those cases are clearly "NARA"/spam.

There was a somewhat recent question regarding the necessity of this flag reason. Answers point out that it is needed and I agree. There hasn't been anything mentioned (that I am aware of) in terms of removing it by the team.

Was this officially removed now in favor of other flagging reasons? Or is this just a bug and it was "accidentally" removed?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Uphill Luge, The Unhandled Exception, Kevin Vermeer, John, Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '11 at 17:26

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Alternate theory: Or too many people were screwing up using this flag reason for the wrong reasons and you guys are trying to prevent people from using it again? – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '11 at 9:04
Can't repro, the "very low quality" flag reason is available on that answer when I click on the flag link. – Mat Nov 5 '11 at 9:09
I'm in the process of adding more details to the question (including some screenshots). It might be worth noting that I am already at 750 FW. Oddly, I can see the "very low quality" reason on this answer but nowhere else. – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '11 at 9:11
@Mat, try another answer on that same question. Maybe the flag is enabled only on negatively-rated answers? The referenced answer wasn't downvoted when Jeff posted this; now it is. – Michael Petrotta Nov 5 '11 at 9:12
@MichaelPetrotta: I think you might be right about that. I see it on this answer and now on the candidate answer now that it is downvoted. There used to be no restrictions on what posts could be flagged with this reason. Maybe this is a new thing? So much for flagging with this reason on an upvoted post... that'll be tough. – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '11 at 9:16
@MichaelPetrotta: yep, that seems to be it. – Mat Nov 5 '11 at 9:21
@MichaelPetrotta: Hmmm, doesn't seem like it applies to questions anymore. – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '11 at 9:27… was just a few hours ago as well. – agf Nov 5 '11 at 12:02
up vote 12 down vote accepted

"Very Low Quality" is available on posts scoring 0 or less.

The intention with this flag is to communicate to the mods that a bit of content is so bad, it can not be salvaged by editing and needs to be removed. Clearly such questions should be closed and answers downvoted.

share|improve this answer
But then the flags get rejected as "don't indicate technically wrong answers with flags" – agf Nov 5 '11 at 12:01
feelings on…? – agf Nov 5 '11 at 12:02
@agf: Tim gives a really good answer there. But the short answer is simply, you should never be asking moderators to judge the technical accuracy of a post - that's what voting is for. There can actually be some value in a heavily-downvoted, heavily-criticized answer... Folks can read it to learn what not to do! – Shog9 Nov 5 '11 at 16:11
Did you guys just tweak it so 0 vote answers are now eligible to be flagged? I can see it everywhere now. :) – Jeff Mercado Nov 8 '11 at 19:43
@JeffMercado Jeff is in love with "very low quality" and wants to have its babies. I HATE it with a passion, it is a horrible means of communication and we can not tell what it means much of the time. He took a break from his holiday to check in a change that allows it for 0 score posts. I hate this change, but he is the boss. He thinks it means "no dumping". I think it means "Im too lazy fix it for me" half the time. – waffles Nov 8 '11 at 21:15
also see:… – waffles Nov 8 '11 at 21:21
While I understand that VLQ provides very little information, I don't agree with your argument for it only being available on posts with score strictly less than 0. If a downvote is implied by the VLQ flag, then I see no reason to use up both a flag and a vote on a single post that I think should be deleted anyways. – Josh Caswell Nov 8 '11 at 22:37
A downvote is not implied, @JoshCaswell something I will open a meta question on – waffles Nov 8 '11 at 22:44
@waffles what I object to, violently, is your idea that a post with a score of zero should be exempt from VLQ. You of all people should know that a post with score zero signifies nothing, absolutely nothing, because there's simply not enough voting on posts system wide. I have no issue at all with VLQ being barred from posts with score of 1 or more, because at least there we have some vote data indicating the post probably isn't VLQ, that is, needing deletion or a pooper-scooper. – Jeff Atwood Jan 2 '12 at 13:18
@shog if only people actually downvoted the bad posts, but more often than not, they slip by unnoticed. And as noted above, why bother downvoting something that you'd classify as dog poop? You downvote things that have some value as an object lesson (eg the Spice Girls really suck, so stop with the synthetic marketing girl bands); poop has no intrinsic value and should simply be removed (eg A Bunch of Guys Randomly Banging on Drums). – Jeff Atwood Jan 2 '12 at 13:24

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