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This question has been bothering me for a while, but until recently I had simply accpeted it as a part of the StackExchange way.

Now, as a result of Robert Harvey's question concerning moderators and flag reviews, I'm beginning to wonder: Why are moderators reviewing 'not an answer' flags to begin with?

Yes, there will be edge cases which need to be dealt with, but I think a good sense of logic could support those cases. All community moderation will have edge cases. However, the majority of them are simply not valid answers; a very straightforward case. So, why is it the moderators' job to review these flags?

Additionally, if possible, I'd love to see some stats on how many NAA flags enter the moderator queue per day.

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I believe 10kers can see them too. –  Undo Jun 21 '13 at 2:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are 22 "Not an answer" flags on SO right now; as Undo notes, 10K users can handle them too if they wish to - if they don't, then it's up to the mods.

At some point, we'll probably start funneling these into a 10K-only review queue and improve visibility a bit. Unlike "very low quality", I don't think exposing these to less experienced users is a great idea; there tends to be a fair bit of confusion over what "not an answer" means.

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It's also important to note that the VLQ queue doesn't actually contain the VLQ flags, though. –  Undo Jun 21 '13 at 3:18
    
In creating a full queue, perhaps it would be wise to answer the strange cases of the flag, and create a succinct definition. –  Emrakul Jun 21 '13 at 8:03

Because deletion requires 3 community votes, and most non-answers never reach that threshold.

The amount of time that it takes to dispatch these flags is quite small (say, six to twelve seconds), provided the community is using the flags correctly.* These flags are almost never disputed, unless the community is using them for the wrong reasons.

Compare this with evaluating a question, which requires 30 to 60 seconds to evaluate fully.

*Not an Answer flags should only be used for posts that are clearly not answers. For answers that don't address the question, link-only answers or other similar problems, I prefer a Custom flag be used. Tell us why you think the answer is harmful, and should be deleted.

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To back this up, I ran an experiment a while ago where I merely downvoted and voted to delete obvious non-answers instead of flagging them for moderator review. Only a tiny fraction of those answers ended up being deleted by the community, where all were removed as soon as moderators were made aware of them. As Robert said, it's a single click for moderators to delete these, so we can process clear non-answers in seconds. –  Brad Larson Jun 21 '13 at 4:00

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