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What course of action would be appropriate if you notice that a large number of flags are collecting on answers that a single user wrote?

For instance, many of @Dee's answers on Stack Overflow have been flagged as not an answer Even if part of them are low quality, it looks like there may be another reason behind this.

I've marked these posts by using the "invalid flag" option in the flag queue, there are currently dozens flagged as "Not an answer" there.

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...what? Are you saying someone is mass-deleting its answers? –  Time Traveling Bobby Jan 31 '12 at 8:28
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@Bobby - related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/120794/… –  Mat Jan 31 '12 at 8:31
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@Mat: Oh, now I get it, thanks. Didn't see that OP was 20k+ on SO...now that question makes sense. –  Time Traveling Bobby Jan 31 '12 at 8:36
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The flags have reached the mod queue. This is an interesting problem, because they are accurate. However I'm not going to remove the posts. I'm not sure quite what I'm going to do yet, but I'm not going to remove the posts. I fear doing so would block the user from being able to answer. We don't want that, we just want the answers to stand on their own. –  Tim Post Jan 31 '12 at 8:44
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Folks, worth noting .. if things like this happen you can flag one of a user's posts as 'other' and let us know that a substantial amount of their answers don't meet our quality guidelines. My GOD .. it's full of FLAGS. I've contacted the user, please allow a little time for them to make some edits. You know, y'all can also edit too. –  Tim Post Jan 31 '12 at 9:14
    
@TimPost Multiple-Answer-Flag Rampage! :P –  Alenanno Jan 31 '12 at 9:47
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Since when did not-an-answer flags cause mass deletion on answers? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 31 '12 at 10:02
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@Tim - thanks for not removing the posts. With one or two exceptions I "disputed" anything that had upvotes or accepts. I really think we should discourage flag rampaging like this. –  Adam Rackis Jan 31 '12 at 15:41
    
I was responsible for many of those flags. I've posted an explanatory answer here The advice to use a single "Other" flag that describes the situation is noted for the future. –  Andrew Barber Jan 31 '12 at 19:19

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The short answer answer is, you shouldn't be seeing this.

If 10k+ users notice that a substantial number of a user's answers don't meet our quality standards, a single 'other' flag should be raised to alert us to that. Sure it's possible that you might not notice it until you've flagged a few, but at the point where you scream "holy mother of Zed, we have a problem here!", the next thing to do is raise a single flag to let us know.

In this particular case, I sincerely think that the user was just trying to be helpful. He kept posting links to resources that helped people, and the community kept giving him up-votes and check marks to say thanks. The user received no signal that they were doing anything wrong until everything was brought to light at once.

Even in cases where some sort of malice is clearly intended, flag the stuff you think is serious and let us take it from there.

Now, on to what to do about it. A couple of users noticed the trend and left single flags on some of the flagged answers that basically said:

Something isn't right here. Why are so many posts from this user in front of us? WTF?

At that point, we got involved and contacted the people that needed to be contacted. Raising any valid concern on Meta is of course perfectly acceptable, however flagging guarantees that the right people will see the issue in the shortest amount of time.

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thanks for that +1 –  mKorbel Jan 31 '12 at 19:02
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I was responsible for many of those flags. I've posted an explanatory answer here The advice to use a single "Other" flag that describes the situation is noted for the future. –  Andrew Barber Jan 31 '12 at 19:19
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@AndrewBarber Clearly, both of you were just trying to be helpful :) –  Tim Post Jan 31 '12 at 19:25

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