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I can't imagine this hasn't been answered on Meta already, but I couldn't find it by searching.

How should one deal with answers posted mistakenly believing SO to be a message board? My example is this answer on Server Fault, where it appears the answerer found the question via search engine, and created a new answer asking more questions of the OP.

Is this an appropriate item to flag for moderator attention? "Please flag with care" always makes me hesitate and back out 90% of the time I'm tempted to use it, though I suppose that's the point.

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See my answer here… – ChrisF Jun 11 '10 at 11:35
Another one's turned up on Super User… – ChrisF Jun 14 '10 at 22:15

as discussed here:

Function to convert an answer to a new question

You can politely remind them, but in my experience these users aren't clueful enough to ever cross the chasm.

That said, we heartily encourage flagging though! Please don't hesitate to tell us when something unusual is happening, it really helps, and we always appreciate it.

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The appropriate behaviour would be to downvote and provide a reason why.

Something along the lines of

If you have a unique question, you should click the "Ask Question" button in the top right of your screen. ServerFault is not a forum, and every "answer" that you post should contain answers to the question, and not more questions. Also see the FAQ(link).

It is doubtful that it will help, the user is not likely to suddenly (instantaneously) become a productive member of the community, but this is to show the rest of the community how they should react to something like this.

Torrents of downvotes/flagging/abusive comments are unhelpful because they indicate to both the user and the rest of the community that this is not a welcoming place. To the individual user, we would also be indicating that they are unwelcome simply because they do not know the conventions yet. Both of those implications are false, and we want to discourage EVERYONE from implying that.

Always be polite, tell them specifically what they did imperfectly and guide them to how to do it correctly.

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It's easy to learn the conventions - simply lurk for a bit. – nb69307 Jun 11 '10 at 8:09
@Neil, if someone finds the site through a bing search, they wouldn't know (from landing on a particular question page) that it is different from a forum. Lurking a bit isn't necessarily an option, because this person is looking for information now (they have a pressing need). So, I'm not saying it's okay for them not to know the conventions, I'm saying it's unreasonable to assume that they already know them. That is why we must help. – devinb Jun 11 '10 at 8:11
Of course, instant gratification overrides sensible behaviour. Everyone must get what they want now, come what may. – nb69307 Jun 11 '10 at 8:37
see my answer here… where I discuss the issue of people needing an answer now and not having the time to stick around to earn rep. – ChrisF Jun 11 '10 at 11:36

@Jeff @devinb Thanks heaps, totally agree +1

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Flagged as spam. – Gnoupi Jun 11 '10 at 11:08

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