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I stumble across questions every now and then that are pretty old - earlier in the year, way back in '09 and such - and have some sort of gross misuse. Like asking for clarifications, or details on an answer by posting another answer your self. (A la here: SharePoint Registration Form - How to Hide Fields)

The particular user who did that in the above post doesn't exist anymore so there's no point in me doing something, but should I post a comment when I see something like that where the user is still active in the community? Should I do that on questions no matter what, just so that people that stumble across a question like that don't repeat that elsewhere?

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Something similar was discussed in Please discourage flags on old questions and answers, but done so as an expressed opinion rather than a question. –  Brad Larson Jul 8 '11 at 18:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

If you see a post that is not what it should be (a non-question question or a non-answer answer), it doesn't matter how old it is. In the case of one where the author is not present to do it, you may flag it for moderator attention ("not an answer" if you're lazy, or use the freeform to suggest a course of action if you're awesome) and a moderator can do the appropriate action. Whether it's old or new, maintaining the quality by cleaning up these kinds of mishaps is still a good thing to do.

If the user is still around, then maybe they might've forgotten that they ended up solving it, or maybe they can get the question back on track. In either case, it certainly doesn't hurt to try and notify the user about the issue.

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unrelated question about the flags, do you know if the mods see what I pick in the moderator attention options as a tag or just as attached text? If it's tagged wouldn't it be awesomer for me to just mark it as "not an answer" so that it gets neatly organized for them? –  chandsie Jul 8 '11 at 16:21
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@chands All of the presets for moderator flags are just moderator flags with text equal to the preset. They'll also stack if multiple people use the same flag, but speaking as a moderator I find it far more useful and faster to address when people explain why it is not an answer, than to have to step in and decide from the entire spectrum of options which is most appropriate. Sometimes it's obvious enough, and sometimes it really isn't clear at all. –  Grace Note Jul 8 '11 at 16:27
    
@chands Moderators see the flag you chosen as text. –  kiamlaluno Jul 8 '11 at 16:28
    
@Grace Note Ahh, okay. I'll try to use the freeform as much as i can then! Thanks! –  chandsie Jul 8 '11 at 16:29
    
@Grace, thanks for the information :) –  sarnold Jul 9 '11 at 2:29

If somebody has posted an answer that should have been a comment to a post, then flag it as "not an answer." It's still not an answer, even if it was posted two years ago.

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