Looking at this comment and the response to it, I'm a bit confused:
Just to clarify. I shouldn't flag an off-topic answer as "Not an Answer" right? Example: OP asks "How do I append a string to the end of a line". User answers "Here's how you add a string to the beginning of a line" – doubleDown 12 hours ago
@doubleDown: That's a good example. It's a wrong answer. Worthy of a downvote, but not a flag. – Robert Harvey♦ 12 hours ago
Huh? Till now I've always thought that a good faith answer which answers the wrong question is NAA. I've been acting on flags on Physics accordingly.
"Wrong answer" is something that mods aren't supposed to handle. If "answers the wrong question" is classified as "wrong", then isn't that
For a more stark example: Q: How do I parse HTML with regex? A: To convert a string into a character array, use
The answer isn't wrong. However, it obviously doesn't answer the question and imo ought to be deleted.
A real-world practical example would be this, where the OP specifically asked for a pure JS solution (and mistakenly tagged the question as php). That's not a "wrong" answer. That's just not an answer to the question, and seems (to me) to fall under the NAA flag text:
This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.
I don't particularly care about nitpicking on flag reasons. I also don't care about declined flags. I'm worried here about flags not being actioned just because the flag reason makes mods not look for the right issue1.
I personally feel that this discrepancy sprouts from the fact that the SO mod team doesn't have the time to look too deeply into a post. NAA flags are more commonly for questions/comments being posted as answers. And then you have a whole bunch of NAA flags being used wrongly, for "wrong answer". So it's quite easy to deem a flag as "flagging a wrong answer" because the answer doesn't seem to be a question/comment in disguise -- especially when you don't have the time to read the answer and associated question thoroughly. I can see that a custom flag is much better in this case, however, this is not made immediately clear to flaggers.
So, I have two questions:
- Does "answers the wrong question" count as "wrong" in the sense that it is not a moderator's job to identify and delete such posts?
- Should we stop using NAA for "answers wrong question" on SO? How about on the rest of the network? If this is the case, the NAA flag reason probably should be tweaked to remove the ambiguity.
1. An example of this is when a broad question receives a spam flag. A moderator may miss out on the actual issue because of the flag reason. This is OK by me, because it ought to be obvious to the flagger that "spam" != "broad".
However, NAA is ambiguous here, and it's not obvious at all that "answers wrong question" != "does not attempt to answer question". If this ambiguity is leading to flags not being actioned, we have a problem.