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I have lately spent some time reviewing posts and just came upon this one. It does not really answer the question and I find this kind of irony unkind, if not outright insulting.

  • Should I just flag it as "Not an answer"? Until the sarcasm started it did contain a sort-of related opinion, although it should probably be a comment and not an answer.

  • Do you find this post at least mildly offensive as well? Enough to warrant a flag as offensive?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

When the sarcasm is laid on that thick, "not an answer" should be sufficient. It doesn't quite warrant an offensive flag in my mind, but it probably wouldn't get declined either. You can always flag it as "other" and explain what's wrong with a post if you don't think we'll get that it's a joke answer that doesn't really answer the question.

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Part of the question was about me understanding the intricacies of SO moderation - I guess that since "Not an answer" flags are handled by, well, you they can serve as a catch-all for the obvious cases like this, as long as they apply to a degree. Thanks for your answer :-) –  thkala Dec 6 '11 at 20:52
    
-1 "not an answer" should be sufficient is not sufficient without pointing out that there's a risk that moderator disagrees with this interpretation imNSho –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 18:00
    
@gnat Did you stop reading at that point? –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '12 at 18:12
    
Bill before downvoting, I carefully read all the answer, including the part where you mention "Other" flag option. Is there anything unclear in my previous comment? –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 18:21
    
@gnat The concerns in your first comment are already fully addressed in my answer. If you don't think we'll agree that it's "not an answer" then flag it as "other" and explain. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '12 at 18:25
    
formally the wording of your answer should be sufficient. I downvoted for the slippery presentation, without explicitly pointing out the risks associated with not an answer flag, or without at least fully quoting flag description to help reader figure things for themselves. "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." –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 18:35
    
@gnat What risks? That a moderator might not agree? I pointed that out. But I need to quote text that the OP obviously has right in front of him when he's trying to decide between two flag reasons? Really, who's being slippery here? –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '12 at 18:39
    
where do you point out the risk? "not an answer" should be sufficient hardly sounds like that to me –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 18:43
    
@gnat I point that out in the rest of the answer. That's why I asked you if you read the whole thing. Obviously you didn't, but if you insist on trying to justify the downvote I think my rep can take it. It's not a big deal. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '12 at 18:46
    
the way how you point it out sounds slippery to me - that's why downvote. Since you insist on that I didn't read the whole answer, here's the whole quote of what I read: "When the sarcasm is laid on that thick, "not an answer" should be sufficient. It doesn't quite warrant an offensive flag in my mind, but it probably wouldn't get declined either. You can always flag it as "other" and explain what's wrong with a post if you don't think we'll get that it's a joke answer that doesn't really answer the question." –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 19:03
    
think of it. Imagine a flagger asking here at Meta whether it was right to decline his not an answer. Could one use your answer as a definitive reference helping to explain either 1) that decline was wrong or 2) that flagging was wrong? If one can't say yes to neither 1) nor 2) then what's the use of answer like that? –  gnat Apr 26 '12 at 21:31
    
@gnat I answered the question that was asked. If you want to downvote me because I didn't answer the question you imagined several months later, I don't care. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 26 '12 at 21:54

In general, the purpose of a flag is to bring an issue to a moderator's attention, so agonizing over which flag is probably not the best use of your time.

That said, I'd flag it as "not an answer", as to my mind it wasn't intended to actually try to solve the asker's problem. It's mildly offensive or at least annoying, but no, I wouldn't flag it as such.

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I was under the impression that multiple "Offensive" flags are needed to take effect, while "Not an answer" flags are directly handled my a moderator. Doesn't that mean that a single "Offensive flag" would not garner any attention by the moderators? –  thkala Dec 6 '11 at 20:49
    
A moderator should chime in here, but my sense is that, while multiple "offensive" flags trigger automatic responses, anything that gets flagged for any reason is likely to be looked at by a moderator. –  Jacob Mattison Dec 6 '11 at 20:54
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That said, I also did not feel that an offensive flag was entirely appropriate - the line between witty and enjoyable sarcasm and rudeness can be pretty thin and not all people have it a the same place :-/ –  thkala Dec 6 '11 at 20:56

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