I'm a new reviewer and I would like to get some feedback.

I've flagged this answer as not an answer.

My flag was declined, with the reasoning - "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it", while:

  • This post asks multiple "sub questions", that wasn't even addressed.
  • In the only thing it did try to answer - he only provided a link.

Would appreciate your opinion.

  • 2
    This looks like one of those unfortunate cases where the new user does not have enough rep to comment so has no option but to submit their suggestion as an answer. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 20:50
  • 6
    @MartinSmith: Actually, their other option is to wait until they have 50 rep.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:03
  • 5
    When a single question contains multiple "sub-questions", I'm not sure it's unreasonable for someone to answer only one of them.
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:09
  • Sometimes multiple questions can be answered in a handful of sentences Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:11
  • @Shog9: That would be great, if one of his questions were "which tool should I use," which would be off-topic anyway.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:23
  • 2
    Just sayin', as a general rule, "doesn't completely answer complicated question" isn't a good test for "not an answer". @Robert. Agree that this particular answer doesn't seem very useful.
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:27
  • Should be pointed out that the NAA flag has been a source of confusion for some of us for a long time, hence the feature request at Either I need clarification on the 'Not an answer' flags or it needs a new description which is unhelpfully closed as a duplicate of How do I properly use the “it is not an answer” flag?...
    – jball
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:43
  • @jball: What additional clarification needs to be provided that is not already in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/185073/…?
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:53
  • @Robert, how about just having the flag actually describe how it's intended to be used? I know you think it's quibbling, I've seen your comments on it elsewhere, but the fact that this keeps coming up should cause you to reconsider whether or not it is worth a little bit of time coming up with better flag text.
    – jball
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:57
  • @jball: Have you seen these two posts?
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 22:04
  • @Robert yeah, and we obviously disagree on how things would best be done. I suppose asking that a flag text be in alignment with its usage is not only quibbling in your eyes, but some sort of failure. Not sure why. That being said, for you to ask What additional clarification needs to be provided is frankly irrationally dismissive of the viewpoints that don't agree with yours.
    – jball
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 22:41
  • @jball: Mostly, my disagreement is that these attempts at changing verbiage result in endless nitpicking over phrasing, the use of various words, and the proper use of bolding, punctuation and other grammatical pedantry. It's terribly misguided; the amount of effort expended is beyond all proportion to the amount of potential benefit, and it's unscientific: nobody really knows what the best verbiage is, only the verbiage that sounds the best to them personally.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 22:45
  • 2
    @jball: This is my preferred wording, because it states specifically what we want: Reserve your "Not an Answer" flags for things like "I have the same problem, has anyone found a solution," "I have a new question, how do you..." and "+1, would read again." For anything else that you still think should be removed, cast a custom moderator flag, and explain why. But nobody wants to do it this way; they want to conceptually "back into" an explanation with verbiage that nobody fully understands except the insiders, hoping to find some combination of magic words that works.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 22:50
  • @Robert, I'd be very happy with that as the flag text over the current. Not sure if that means you'd agree that the flag text bears changing?
    – jball
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 17:37
  • @jball: My wording is just one suggestion of many.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 18:09

3 Answers 3


"Use this tool to find your answer" (or more accurately, "use this other tool to find your answer") is not an answer to the question that was asked, although it is an answer.

I deleted it.

In the future, use a custom flag, and describe exactly what the problem is.

  • 1
    So how should this be flagged in the future? This is very similar to a previous question I had about github answers github links are basically use this tool types of answers.
    – Taryn
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 20:47
  • 5
    As you can see, not every moderator/reviewer has the same opinions! Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 20:47
  • 1
    @bluefeet: As always, with a custom flag, if you're not sure. I added some clarification to my answer.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 20:48
  • 1
    Once again a situation where Allow anyone to comment but hide low-rep users' comments until reviewed might have been useful - I can't see the deleted "answer" though so I can't judge whether that would have been ok as comment or simply added noise Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 7:18
  • The downside of custom flags is that it can take weeks until a moderator acts on it. (Do we need even more SO mods?) Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 9:44
  • 1
    This is the answer. I declined this flag for the reason that Robert points out. To go a little more in depth: The answer wasn't the issue: It addressed a question the OP had (How do I get the source code to this ASP.NET method/class?) and it provided value. The real issue is that the OP's question needed a lot of work to be a good answerable question. I can't fault the answerer for that. Anyone working with .NET will know that the way to get the source is to use a dissassembler or reflection tool like ILSpy, that's why it was an answer. Long story short, Robert's answer is spot on. Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 11:33

A partial answer to the question isn't "not an answer". If you feel that the answer is sufficiently lacking then it may be a poor quality answer; poor quality answers should be downvoted, not flagged.

As for the use of a link, the answer is not "useless" without a link. It's suggesting a product, but it also takes a bit of time to describe what the product is. it's not fantastic, but it's certainly above the level at which I'd want to see it deleted. There is information to be gained from the answer even without following the link.

The clear point here is that the post is attempting to answer the question. You may not like the answer, or feel that it's lacking or doesn't solve the problem, but it's an attempt, so NAA doesn't apply here.


I am also a new reviewer, but I would say that is an answer, although a poor one. It does not thoroughly answer the question, but it does at least offer a little bit of help.

Deleting an answer is a bold thing to do. It is saying, no thanks, your answer is not welcome here. In cases like this, it is probably best to leave the answer there, but not give it any upvotes.

An answer that must be deleted would be something like:

yeah, I don't know either, good luck lol

  • 4
    Actually, if you read the help section on answering "a little bit of help" is not classified as an answer. That is was comments are for.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 21:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .