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The explanation when flaggin something as ´not an answer´ is this:

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.

Most times when I should use the flag as 'not an answer', I choose to flag as 'Other' because I can explain why I flagged it exactly.

When I can add my expanation, there is more change a moderator understands my thoughts to flag it. So maybe it's good to add a textfield to add free text when flagging an answer as 'not an answer'.

Now the first flag option doesn't seem useful, when a user can enter free text in the 'other' option, is it?

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Sorry, don't agree with this. It's clear enough the way it is - moderator is smart enough to understand the reason or if it's indeed "other" you already have free text. Personally I use "other" when it should be comment on existing post, adding link to the post, then the moderator have easier life. – Shadow Wizard Jan 18 '12 at 11:13
@ShaDowWizArd <DarthVaderVoice> I find you level of faith disturbing </DarthVaderVoice>. What about the comments on the question here:… And if we end up using the "other" option all the time, what use is the "not an answer" option? – Mike G Mar 11 '12 at 14:57
@MikeG the "not an answer" should be used when it's obviously not an answer, usually newbie asking his own question as answer - so this will be always useful as long as newbies exist. :) – Shadow Wizard Mar 11 '12 at 15:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Adding additional free text boxes to the form is unnecessary, the various built-in types (such as not an answer) given in the it needs ♦ moderator attention section are simply templates - they are not different types of flags or particularly special; they're simply there to help guide flaggers and save them time.

If you feel a flag should be one of the template types (eg, not an answer), but you want to elaborate on the problem, then simply write not an answer; blah blah blah in the other box; that's exactly what it's there for.

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Hm okay, you seem to understand my question (unlike the downvoters). I thought the choices were to make it easier for moderators to judge the flag (so more explanation would make it even better). But its there for the users to flag.. thanks! – Erik Dekker Jan 18 '12 at 11:18
Well, they make it easier for us and the users, really. However, if you've got anything that's exceptional then explaining why it's exceptional will help us more than just using a default-flag which we end up having to investigate. – DMA57361 Jan 18 '12 at 11:21
This helps, and makes sense, but is it written down somewhere accessible? New users (like me!) don't have a hope of working out how to flag efficiently atm it seems. – Mike G Mar 11 '12 at 15:10

Flag an answer as "not an answer" if it should be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether because it is not an answer.

Flag an answer as "other" it no other flag reason applies or you need to explain what's going on.

You don't need to tell the moderator your motivation, only what's wrong with it. I can't follow you, I fear.

share|improve this answer
Well, if I can flag an answer as 'not an answer', I want to explain why I think that its not an answer. That makes it easier for moderators to judge if it indeed should be a commend / edit / something else (that i can explain). Not? – Erik Dekker Jan 18 '12 at 11:15
@ErikDekker: Not if it is obvious. If it is not obvious (f.e. "this does not apply to version x, only to version y in environment z") you should think about commenting instead of flagging. On the other hand, do you have an actual example? – Time Traveling Bobby Jan 18 '12 at 11:29
I had an example, but that answer is already deleted. I flagged that answer as 'other' and explained why it should be a comment and not an answer. After that it was deleted by a moderator. Thats where my question came from. Looking at that it just didn't make sense that there is a 'not an answer' without the possibility to explain it. Not every flag is so obvious. But DMA57361 already explained that its just a template and its no 'different flag' or anything like that, so it makes more sense now :-) – Erik Dekker Jan 20 '12 at 9:12

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