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I flagged this answer as "not an answer", because it isn't.

I was in two minds whether to flag it, but only because it might be seen as sour grapes on my part (which I don't think is the case). However, it's definitively not an answer, in that it makes no attempt to solve OP's problem, but merely comments (somewhat redundantly IMO, given the comment thread that already existed) on my answer.

Should I flag it again, or just forget about it?

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I agree - long winded comment. Answer deleted. –  Oded Feb 16 '13 at 22:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I declined that flag, so let me explain my thinking there. We get a lot of "not an answer" flags, and we generally decline them if we can't see from the answer alone (without the context of the full question and other answers) why this isn't an answer. If something is a technical response, and isn't a follow-on question or "me too" comment, it can be very hard to see why something was flagged.

In this case, I did wonder about the flag and read the whole question. I could see that John looked like he was commenting on the viability of the accepted answer, but he provided some useful information in code within his answer. Not being a domain expert, and knowing that John is a fairly experienced user, I assumed that was familiar with comments and how they work and had left this as an answer for a good reason. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided not to unilaterally delete his answer.

Because "not an answer" flags help feed into the review audits, and I could see others being tripped up by this out of context, I declined the flag as well. I hope you can see where I was coming from here and don't take too much offense from the declined flag.

In the future, if you see a trickier case like this, go ahead and use an "other" flag and describe what it is about the answer that causes you to think it should be removed. That makes it much more likely that we'll see what you did and act on it appropriately.

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Thanks for the explanation, Brad :-) I didn't take offence, but assumed it was a case of a busy mod seeing something that looked answer-like out of context. Nice to know that you guys occasionally have time to check into these things in detail ... and your advice re: flagging with "other" is taken on board. –  Zero Piraeus Feb 16 '13 at 22:52

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