Although these types of flags have been received positively in the past (you can see my flagging history, if you are allowed). I strongly believe that links should be used in comments and not answers.

Stack Overflow itself have been providing this flagging option while reviewing low quality or other type of answers.


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    What did you flag the answer as? Can you provide a link to the answer? – Taryn Sep 5 '13 at 16:51
  • I flagged it as link only, here is the link for the question stackoverflow.com/questions/4861631/… – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 16:53
  • Probably because it is a link to official resource? Those resource tends to stay as long as the technology is still alive. – nhahtdh Sep 5 '13 at 16:53
  • oh no all the answer that I have flagged are no more existed. – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 16:54
  • @nhahtdh still, don't you think link should be the comment. Or an answer at-least deserve what that link refer to? – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 16:55
  • @rptwsthi the rationale is that link-only answers still answer the question. – John Dvorak Sep 5 '13 at 16:56
  • @rptwsthi: I think the final resolution (the whole question being closed down and deleted) is correct, because it attracts crap. – nhahtdh Sep 5 '13 at 16:57
  • @JanDvorak: There is some debate going about how link-only answer can be flagged with NAA flag. There is no consensus, but I have been flagging them as such so far. – nhahtdh Sep 5 '13 at 16:58
  • I personally would have flagged this as other with an explanation that it was a link-only answer. I do think there is some discussion still about whether or not these answers will get deleted, some mods will deleted others decline the flags. – Taryn Sep 5 '13 at 17:02
  • @bluefeet That's what I did. Since forever. – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 17:03
  • @nhahtdh yeah i agree with that "final resolution" thing but now I have 19 declined flags which were 14 since 2 days ago, in 2 and the half year. – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 17:06
  • Shog's answer here is the best summary of how to handle link only answers. Short version... use the flag to describe the actual problem, not just the fact that it is a link. – psubsee2003 Sep 5 '13 at 17:38
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    @gnat Thanks for the edit.. :) – rptwsthi Sep 6 '13 at 12:46
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    @rptwsthi consider taking a look at flagger's guide to link only answers "No matter what flag you use, there can always be a feasible explanation that it was wrong. Explanation will of course depend on the flag, for example..." – gnat Sep 6 '13 at 12:51

He's right, they don't. We should also note that you flagged three link-only answers on that particular question. Doesn't that tell you something about the question? That just maybe it's the question's fault and not the answer's?

The right course of action here is not deleting all the answers for being link-only, but deleting the question for soliciting those link-only answers (and because, in this case, it's a terrible question). Instead casting a single flag on the question explaining why you think it should be deleted would be an appropriate action that moderators could better evaluate. Something like:

This question is just filled with link-only answers. It is closed and has low views and should be deleted.

Please don't just look at answers and think "oh it's only a link, I should flag it." That's a bad train of thought. Actually evaluate the answer in the context of the question.

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    This. A million times. It may seem unfair to those that flag, but if we don't use declinations to shape how people should flag, then we're just opening ourselves up to a lot more work on moderator shoulders that should be at the hands of the community. – George Stocker Sep 5 '13 at 17:24
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    @GeorgeStocker I have seen comment like "Just 200 approved flags in 2 years!" for moderator election candidates. What about that then? They are choosen for these qualities(flagging properly and prominently). So restrict the flagging kind, or reduce the count of available flags if releasing the work load is a motive, and you know what personally I have never been able to cross count of 10 :) :). – rptwsthi Sep 5 '13 at 17:32
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    flagging isn't an issue per se. It's the type of flagging that is not helpful. When you use 'other' as a flag reason, it goes straight to the moderator queue, it doesn't pass through the 10K queue (unlike other flags). That's the type of flagging we're trying to discourage for mundane things. – George Stocker Sep 5 '13 at 17:38
  • Perhaps someone could quote the text of the question, so we poor <10K 'ers can see the context – user000001 Sep 5 '13 at 18:42
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    @user000001 The question reads: "I have used this code. But no map is displayed." – animuson Sep 5 '13 at 18:57
  • @animuson Really? Wow no surprise it is deleted then – user000001 Sep 5 '13 at 18:59

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