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While reviewing I occasionally stumble upon "answers" like this one or this pair of posts. Both cases consist of a question that has been posted as an answer and then has been subsequently answered, although in the second case the thread was practically hijacked by a single user...

Most often, the question is related to another answer and everything can be demoted to a bunch of comments. In some cases, though, this would not really make sense. I normally flag these as "Not an answer", but in some cases I have felt that the content was worth preserving in some form.

  • It seems to me that the answer in the first case took some effort. Is there a way to preserve it, while maintaining the proper Q&A format?

    Alternatively, would it make sense for a reviewer to let posts like this be, in order to preserve the content? I have routinely let some far more useless posts be, simply because they actually were answers, even if it was barely so.

    Is there a fine line somewhere, or should reviewers follow a strict "No questions as answers" and flag away, even for years-old threads?

  • In cases like the second one, should I flag both the question-as-answer and the answering post? The answering post would probably not make much sense after the question has been deleted...

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... or should reviewers follow a strict "No questions as answers" and flag away, even for years-old threads?

Yes. Fortunately, and especially, since it has already been re-asked as a question. Moderators can't move an answer from one question to another, however, so I have left a comment on the question-as-answer asking Thomas if he'd like to do it so I can remove the bad post.

In cases like the second one, should I flag both the question-as-answer and the answering post?

If the answering post answers the question-as-answer, and not the original question, then flag that along with the question-as-answer.

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I've flagged posts like this before and found out that moderators don't have that power -- does it come up often enough that you would like that power? I've only seen three or four cases myself. –  sarnold Jan 6 '12 at 3:07
    
@sarnold: Same here. Personally, I think it'd be nice. I'll have to be really careful with it, though ;) –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 6 '12 at 3:11
    
And there's a point of how much janitorial work are we alright putting on our small team of mods -- at some point, a big negative "close" hammer sends a lesson that might not be learned if you guys magically make things right all the time... –  sarnold Jan 6 '12 at 3:21
    
Indeed. As in A Theory of Moderation, most mod interventions are meant to be exceptional. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 6 '12 at 3:24

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