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Consider, perhaps, this question that attracted a late answer. I see a lot of this in the late answer queue. A mushy, inadequate question lures a new user into an answer. Is it a good answer? Only the OP could tell. This would seem to be a pretty strong indication of a 'too localized' question.

So I'm scratching my head, trying to decide what to do with the answer up for review. I could argue that it deserves to be converted to a comment, because all it does is offer a hypothesis that the OP would need to try. Downvoting seems harsh. Commenting that 'your answer doesn't actually offer a firm answer' seems a bit churlish for a question to which no answer would offer a firm answer. I'm not going to upvote, and I'm not sure that it deserves a downvote, for the same reasons. In fact, I flagged for mod as comment fodder.

I begin to wonder if 1-rep users should see a warning when they start typing answers at very old questions, just politely suggesting that 'You should only bother to answer this if you have new information to offer. If you find yourself typing 'you could try' or 'perhaps', better to move on.'

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There was a bug in Hello World? O_o –  Pëkka Oct 21 '12 at 15:43
    
Meh. I deleted the question. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 21 '12 at 15:48
    
@BoltClock'saUnicorn Mr Clock: would you like mod flags in cases like this? I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much when I add one more question to the gigantic close backlog. –  Rosinante Oct 21 '12 at 16:33

2 Answers 2

If an answer is dubious because the question is poor, I'd say that the root of the problem lies in the question rather than the answer.

In this case, the question is old, extremely localized (either PEBKAC or some buggy download or something), and hardly even a question at all. There isn't any point in keeping it around IMHO, and the late answer was posted quite some time ago anyway, so I went ahead and put it out of its misery.

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The question you linked is a bit of an edge case. It has no upvotes on the previous answer, so the new answerer is sort of fishing at the problem, possibly trying to be helpful.

The clearer case is where the question is a year old and has an upvoted, accepted answer, and one or two more upvoted answers. In those cases, adding a "you can try" answer is unlikely to add much value, even if is correct.

As BoltClock correctly points out, the question itself is unlikely to ever be answered meaningfully, given that it it's over a year old, and of remarkably poor quality.

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So, as a person-sans-diamond, what would you gents recommend that I, as a reviewer, do? Flag the question? Just vote to close the question? Hit the 'skip' button? –  Rosinante Oct 21 '12 at 16:34
    
I think you have to go to the question itself to close vote and/or flag for removal. It's up to you how much effort you want to expend. –  Robert Harvey Oct 21 '12 at 16:37
    
I wish you'd expand on close/flag. I hate to annoy mods with chaff flags. Do you consider it 'helpful' to get flags on the likes of this? –  Rosinante Oct 22 '12 at 0:21
    
Yes, I would like to know about these kinds of questions. The moderator flag that was cast on the answer says "Should be a comment? The question is really unanswerable is written," which tells me everything I need to know. –  Robert Harvey Oct 22 '12 at 16:30

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