One of my flags for "non-answer" was declined and I was wondering if I misunderstood what "non-answer" means. I saw someone post an answer that was just a block of code, with nothing in it that was even the slightest related to the question, it was just a random block of code with no explanation. Should I have not used the "not an answer" tag even though the description explicitly says that it should be used when answers "do not attempt to answer the question"?

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    Do you happen to have a link? – Bart Jun 27 '13 at 15:08
  • That would be an answer, but perhaps a poor one. The user seems to be reasonably new to the site, so a comment might still work. (I've left one, so let's see) Other than that, a downvote could be appropriate. More so than a flag. – Bart Jun 27 '13 at 15:14
  • Okay thanks, i'll keep that in mind. – Samuel Robert Jun 27 '13 at 15:15
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    It's not obvious, but that answer doesn't have anything to do with the question. That's when the NAA flag confuses people. – Antony Jun 27 '13 at 15:17
  • @KirKill Upon a further look at the user's content I take back some of what I've said. The flag is still not a good one to use, but the content is beyond suspicious. – Bart Jun 27 '13 at 15:26
  • Maybe the "Not an Answer" flag should be relabelled the "Obviously Not an Answer even out of context from the question" since that's how the mods have to process them. I recently flagged an "answer" that was obviously an attempt to comment on another answer if you'd read the question and top answer, and it was declined. Thinking about it, I don't blame the mod processing it, because without context, it looked "code-ish" and so passed the basic heuristic they are forced to use. – jball Jun 27 '13 at 21:11

Can you say for sure the poster did not want to answer the question? Then it deserves a Not an answer flag. Examples:

  • Me too
  • Thanks

But if it is just a bad answer (of low quality or other issues) then downvote it.

If you need programming inside knowledge to see if the answer is an answer or not, then don't flag for NAA.

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    I would use a spam flag instead of NAA for spam. – Antony Jun 27 '13 at 15:11
  • Of course. Removed that one. – juergen d Jun 27 '13 at 15:12
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    Thanks for the answer, it seems like the part about "does not attempt to answer the question" confused me. I'll keep the programming inside knowledge in mind. – Samuel Robert Jun 27 '13 at 15:18

A block of code is almost certainly an answer on a coding site. It might be a bad answer, but it is still an answer. The only way it might not be an answer is if the OP posted the code to the wrong question, but that doesn't happen very often.

When in doubt, flag with a custom explanation instead of "not an answer," and explain why you think the answer is harmful. Not an Answer flags are for things like "Thanks," "Any update?", questions posted as answers, and attempts to communicate with other users.

See Also
How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?

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