My not an answer flags for the below answers were declined "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it".

Was it a mistake to flag the above answers? Description for the flag I used says:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

  • 5
    I think you should have stated explicitly that you were flagging these for the broken link. The one time I did that the flag was accepted and the answer deleted
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 7:03
  • Just curious, have you come up with some clever way to query for 'mostly link' answers and test them automatically? This was quite a series :)
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 15:19
  • @TimPost no automation sorry - this list is just a remainder of manual work done to forums.sun.com links: 1) I converted to forums.oracle.com where it was easy to do 2) ignored those where presence or absence of the link didn't make much difference to me 3) bookmarked for further investigation answers where I felt there was a chance to convert to oracle with some additional effort 4) flagged remaining answers which looked as good candidates to convert to comments or delete
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:41
  • 2
    @gnat Well, still good digging, nonetheless :)
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:44
  • Y'know... If you run out of flags, you could always replace the broken links with archive.org versions...
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 20:52
  • 1
    @Shog9 somehow, archive org wayback machine failed to recover Sun forums links I was testing it with. Feel free to test it eg with link mentioned in this question
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 20:43
  • Bummer, looks like the querystring throws it.
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


Many of these should have been removed regardless of the link being broken or not. But yes, flagging as 'other' and indicating a broken link would have helped quite a bit, if only to alert us that the 'answers' should not be converted to comments (or we'd just be turning a broken answer into a broken comment).


Wait, Jeff, I swear, we test every single one before converting it. Really, we do.

  • 4
    interesting. Answers are deleted, but flagging was incorrect anyway right? Sounds like flag description should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether would better change to let's play russian roulette with your flag weight
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 18:24
  • 3
    @gnat What happened is another moderator looked at your second round. While personally, I would have validated the first round of flags and marked them as valid, they are a matter of interpretation. Use the 'other' feature in cases like this and ctrl-v a "not only does this answer depend on a link for it's context, the link it depends on is broken`. I don't have a way to go back and validate your previous flags, or I would, they were spot on. Sorry about that :(
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 19:30
  • @gnat In short, the first mod probably didn't realize the links were dead. It does make sense to add something like "Answer depends on a dead link" in the flag queue to reduce the work it takes to flag this type of thing. I'll propose that this coming week, and cite your post as an example.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 19:32
  • 1
    I guess a related comment would be: Don't be afraid to change the flag type to "Other", and indicate what it is the question/answer is being flagged for - otherwise, it may not be clear why. Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 21:24
  • @TimPost: my last declined flag was a Very Low Quality because the link was 404. It'd be nice to know what you guys are looking for when we run across that.
    – user7116
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 23:56
  • @gnat VLQ is for something that you feel is so extremely problematic that it probably can't be salvaged by editing, or would require heroic editing in order to be something of any value to future visitors. The thing with flags is they are based on your perceptions when raising them, and then the mod's perceptions when investigating them. More often than not, if the mod can find something less than trivial wrong with a post, the flag will be validated as helpful because it brought our attention to the post. The inconsistencies have improved a lot, and will continue to improve.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 4:09
  • Tim, your comment above answers to @sixlettervariables not to me
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 5:24
  • @TimPost: I figured a 404 link-only answer was VLQ :) But I'd be happy with an "Answer is only a link, or a broken link".
    – user7116
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 16:15
  • @sixlettervariables It would be nice to have a flag specific to that, just so we don't accidentally convert a broken link to a comment. Or, maybe the link could be checked for a 200 and say 'no' if 404. I might raise this as a request sometime this week.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 16:31

It is not a mistake of flag all these answers, but you need to flag them in correct category. Some of the answers already selected as Answer for the question. All these may be related to the question but the link is broken now. As Yi Jinng's comment if you flagged as broken link all these may accepted by the moderators.

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