For a couple weeks, moderators have been declining not an answer flags on link-only answers:

declined - Please don't flag link only answers as 'not an answer': When should you decide whether to flag a posted answer as Not an answer?

Image from Lucifer's comment:

enter image description here

If moderators are just declining these flags and requesting a "Link only answer" custom flag, shouldn't "Link only answer" be a permanent (diamond) flag option?

Edit: There seems to be some confusion (credit Doorknob) amongst moderators about this. Could we please get a clarification about how these are supposed to be used?

  • The link you're looking for: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/182283/… – yannis Jun 1 '13 at 5:49
  • @hims I disagree. This is a different time period and under a different context. Also, thanks for the edit! – user206222 Jun 1 '13 at 5:53
  • @KnightswhosayNi - Different time period? For what? – Himanshu Jansari Jun 1 '13 at 5:55
  • @hims The question linked is from February, and lists different reasons - this question is in response to moderators' requests for link only answer custom flags – user206222 Jun 1 '13 at 5:56
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    @KnightswhosayNi, but both questions looks almost same. – Lucifer Jun 1 '13 at 5:57
  • @Lucifer They may look the same, but are concerned with vastly different reasoning. This question doesn't really belong with the other one, since that's about the benefits of a link-only flag, whereas this is about moderator action. – user206222 Jun 1 '13 at 6:01
  • There are still some debate around this. Some would prefer the post to be edited before resorting to deletion, but some would prefer link only answers to be deleted at sight. – nhahtdh Jun 1 '13 at 6:03
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    I used to flag link-only answers as "very low quality", before I became a moderator and started having to respond to the flags instead... – Michael Hampton Jun 1 '13 at 6:15
  • WTH? The question in the moderator message doesn't say a thing about not flagging link-only answers as NAA. – jscs Jun 1 '13 at 7:50
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    This is a 180 degree turn from policy discussed 7 months ago: Is it forbidden to use "Other" flag for link-only answers? where people explicitly ask for NAA flags because that way the community can help out clean those up.. – Martijn Pieters Jun 1 '13 at 8:09
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    @JoshCaswell: yes it does. Please don't flag "Link only answers" as not an answer.. – Martijn Pieters Jun 1 '13 at 8:12
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    Wait, what? – Doorknob Jun 1 '13 at 12:38
  • I've posted an answer to that other question that tries to address this. Probably worth noting that the vast majority of flags are marked valid, whether NAA or custom "link only" variant - folks just take notice of the ones that get declined. See here for the actual context of that particular flag... – Shog9 Jun 1 '13 at 14:48
  • @MartijnPieters: Huh? Question 92505? I'm not seeing it. The accepted answer says "yes, flag 'em", and incidentally mentions using NAA to do so. I can't find your italicized text anywhere at Q81389, either. Where are you getting this from? – jscs Jun 1 '13 at 17:44
  • @JoshCaswell: The image in the OP here; what Lucifer was given as a response to flagging a link-only answer with the NAA flag. – Martijn Pieters Jun 1 '13 at 17:49

Just a thought...

The underlying issue appears to be that "policies" are being enacted before all the votes are in. People seem to be seeing posts on Meta and acting on them before any real agreement has been reached.

I think that too many of our "policies" are more like social norms, or common practices, leaving things open to interpretation and subsequent confusion.

Personally I like the idea of a link-only flag. Failing that I would like to see some kind of final decision on the proper protocol for flagging link-only answers, before people act on it.

Related: How to prevent users applying a policy without agreement?

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    All the votes... all 1.7 million of them? – Shog9 Jun 1 '13 at 14:59
  • @Shog9 Just a simple consensus, how many votes does it take to approve a feature request? Even a terrible proposal will gather a few up-votes, it would be nice if there was some way of discouraging people from acting before the community really supports something. – apaul Jun 1 '13 at 15:05
  • See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/177550/… – Shog9 Jun 1 '13 at 15:29