Today I noticed that this answer to a question is in the form of a questions. Now professors/teachers use this technique all the time to encourage the student to think a little more instead of spoon feeding the answer. But is this appropriate for the FAQ format of Stack Exchange?
It does address directly the question that the OP asked.
I do see, however, that it went nowhere; the OP states in a comment below the answer that he already understands the problem, even though he asks in his question why the error is occurring. This is the most common outcome that I see from rhetorical questions posted as answers.
For that reason, it's probably better as a comment. As the OP points out, the answer is restating the problem, not offering a solution.
Why would someone do such a thing?!?
I do this quite a bit, but usually in the form of a comment. After all, the Answers section of a post is supposed to include answers, not questions (rhetorical or not).
When I see a question that is clearly, obviously, patently homework, and the person asking is just asking for someone to do their homework, I have been known to answer with a Sotocratically leading question aiming at what they need to know. There's a fine line here; I leave a comment unless I feel confident that the leading question leads very clearly indeed to the necessary thing.
What should be done:
- Flag with a custom explanation, and explain why you feel the answer is actively harmful and merits removal
While a debate
is was in place in this question that the "not an answer" flag should be used, the official stance is this flag is intended for things like "I have the same problem...", "Thanks, this is a great", and not just any definition that you see as "not an answer" or "did not attempt to answer the question".
Although it should be noted that, depending on severity of the answer's quality, often downvote and a comment might be the right course of action. This provides the answerer chance to come and correct their answer once they're aware of it.
In fact in this particular instance the answerer did just that, and avoided losing a [possibly] decent answer!
The following was/is my opinion, and not actually what should be done (I've left it as it's the basis of the large discussion following this answer):
It's not an answer, it's a question.
It's a question, and therefore "not an answer", given the fact the 1st sentence "does not answer or attempt to answer the question", and the 2nd sentence starts with "What happens if" and ends in a question mark.
Flag it as "not an answer" and (imo) downvote it so it goes beneath other possibly better answers (or at least actual answers) until it's removed. Downvote also signals to the answerer to improve this and possibly their future answers.