I flagged this answer on StackOverflow because it has absolutely nothing to do with the question that was asked. The comment that was given was:

declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

I understand that if an answer is incorrect then it should be down-voted, and not flagged. However, there is an option for flagging an answer that does not attempt to answer the question. Any answer that does not attempt to answer the original question is inherently wrong. This was such an answer; not only was it wrong, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the question.

At first glance, it may have looked like an answer, but if you actually read through the OP, you will see that the answer has nothing to do with it.

If I am mistaken, and this post truly does belong on SO, please help me to understand why we cannot remove posts like these.

  • Thank you all for your time and for helping to clarify this for me! :) – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:33

Flagging a post as not an answer is only and just only for posts that are not answers like

  • Thank you
  • Me too
  • Did someone solve this problem

Technically wrong answers are still answers!

So when to flag as not an answer? When it is obvious that the poster did not try to answer the question at all.

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    But when the post doesn't even attempt to address the question, how is that to be considered an answer, at all? – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:22
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    In this case it's a stupidly wrong answer, but it is still an attempt at answering something. I've commented on it asking why the OP thinks it is an answer. – Martijn Pieters Apr 15 '13 at 16:22
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    @ZacharyKniebel the reasoning is we do not want to force moderators to make technical judgments on the quality of the answers. Technical evaluation is best left for the community through downvotes and comments. – psubsee2003 Apr 15 '13 at 16:26
  • Isn't it "obvious that the poster did not try to answer the question at all", in this case? (I'm not trying to be argumentative - I'm really just trying to learn and understand, so that I can do a better job in the future). – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:27
  • @psubsee2003 - Fair enough. I'm new to posting on Meta. Do you think it would be worth it to request a new flag to vote to remove blatantly irrelevant answers? – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:28
  • +! by the way for the explanation! :) – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:29
  • No, blatantly irrelevant answers should just be downvoted. – Martijn Pieters Apr 15 '13 at 16:29
  • @MartijnPieters - Fair enough. – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:30
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    @ZacharyKniebel no, such a feature request would be declined. We don't want the moderators to have that responsibility. It would mean that all of the moderators would have to be technical experts in all of the technologies and languages to assess the quality of the answer. – psubsee2003 Apr 15 '13 at 16:30
  • @psubsee2003 - I understand. It's too bad we don't have a system that enables community votes of this sort, based on how many questions with a particular tag you have answered. Such a system would take way too long and be way too expensive to implement, here, though. :/ – Zachary Kniebel Apr 15 '13 at 16:32
  • @ZacharyKniebel: we do have such a system, and the answer is deleted now. (Not based on rep in a tag, just overall rep.) – Wooble Apr 15 '13 at 17:41

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