Not to niggle, but there was a particularly odd post at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7207766/what-c-compiler-when-building-eclipse/7207787#7207787

The original answer was "gcc ofcourse, it is the best."

The poster made the unsubstantiated claim "Because,gcc comes for free(open source), it is open source and it is much better than the buggy msvc.", and I think a comment like that (in particular the line 'better than the buggy msvc') was unsubstantiated.

It wasn't clear, based on the choices, how to properly flag the remark. How does one indicate that a post had a particularly strong opinion or made an unsubstantiated claim?

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    Please don't flag wrong answers, if you disagree with the answer then downvote it and if you have the rep, cast a vote to delete. Moderators are not the arbiters of right and wrong answers or of differences of opinion. – Kev Aug 27 '11 at 19:10
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    I agree with all the answers so far about not flagging wrong answers for moderator attention. But this particular answer? Yeah, I'd flag it. As a moderator, I'd delete it. Your comment to Pekka is exactly right. It's obviously flamebait and there's absolutely no justification provided. But the best choice is probably to go beyond flagging the answer, and just flag the whole question, as it encourages poor-quality opinion-style answers in the first place. "Not constructive" is a good choice. – Cody Gray Aug 27 '11 at 23:37
  • So it looks like the entire question was nuked. – Foo Bah Aug 28 '11 at 3:15
  • @Kev can you close-vote an answer to a question? – Foo Bah Aug 28 '11 at 5:01
  • If you have enough rep (20k) you can vote to delete an answer if it has a score <= -1. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5221/… – Kev Aug 28 '11 at 12:21
  • @cody - in this case this is a great example of the community working together to remove unpopular material and not a moderator diamond in sight. I say well done, do this more often. I'd rather be spending my time clearing out the truly awful such as the chap who was defacing his posts with Russian language obscenities because he fell out with the markdown editor. – Kev Aug 28 '11 at 12:24
  • @Kev are you referring to my question (how it garnered 15 ores is beyond me) or to the original post? – Foo Bah Aug 28 '11 at 21:16
  • No the question you referred to. – Kev Aug 28 '11 at 21:26

It wasn't clear, based on the choices, how to properly flag the remark.

Do not flag at all. Flagging is calling in a moderator to clean up objectively problematic content - spam, answers that aren't answers, foul language etc. Flagging is not a tool to express that an answer is wrong - moderators can't be expected to make judgements on the contents of a post.

What you can do if you disagree with the claim or with its subjectiveness:

  • downvote it
  • Leave a comment criticizing it.
  • Would this fall under the "not constructive" banner? – Foo Bah Aug 27 '11 at 17:05
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    @Foo IMO no. Why do you want to flag it? Is the downvote not enough? It already tells future readers that the answer has been disputed. Voting is intended to make good content float up, and bad content fall down. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Aug 27 '11 at 17:08
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    both the original response (making the claim that gcc "is the best") and the comment (making the claim that msvc is buggy) are manifestly flamebait and really dont add anything to the conversation – Foo Bah Aug 27 '11 at 17:11
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    @Foo I agree, but I personally still wouldn't flag. Downvoting will deal with the issue. Still, if you really have to, I guess you can flag "very low quality" and see what moderators say – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Aug 27 '11 at 17:14
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    It's worth mentioning that the policy might be a bit different on Skeptics regarding unsupported claims or subjective answers. – slhck Aug 27 '11 at 18:18

This is not a case for flagging, what is a moderator supposed to do with that post? If you consider this a bad answer because no reasoning was provided, then just downvote the post.

Moderators should only be involved when you, as a community member, do not have the necessary means to deal with the problem. In this case you have the means, you can comment and downvote. Moderators do not judge the quality of posts, they remove non-answers or spam, but they don't generally remove bad answers, those are for the community to downvote.

  • Would this fall under the "not constructive" banner? – Foo Bah Aug 27 '11 at 17:05
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    @Foo Not constructive is a close reason for questions, it does not really apply to answers. – Mad Scientist Aug 27 '11 at 17:06
  • is there an analogue of "not constructive" for answers? – Foo Bah Aug 27 '11 at 17:07
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    @Foo Bah: How about bad answer? Downvote and comment if you want to. – Marcelo Aug 27 '11 at 17:10

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