I just reviewed the following answer from a new user:

Thanks a lot! I was looking this solution for Redis clean up for 30 minutes, and your answer really helped me

Clearly that's not an answer.

It's seems obvious that I should flag this answer as Not an answer, but I felt a bit sorry for the guy,since it's one of the first moments for him in SO. Is there something I can do in those cases, Is it ok if I comment with an explanation?

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    Flag as not an answer and leave them a comment explaining that is is not proper to add an answer giving thanks. I typically use something similar to Please don't add "thanks" as answers. Invest some time in the site and you will gain sufficient privileges to upvote answers you like, which is the Stack Overflow way of saying thank you.
    – Taryn
    Nov 10, 2013 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


The best thing you can do for this user is to teach him how SO works and having that answer deleted is one pretty straightforward way of doing it. Comments and explanations are not required, but very welcome indeed.

So flag it and - if you feel like - add a nice comment explaining the reasons why that's an invalid answer, perhaps pointing to the help page How to Answer, which is pretty clear about it

Pay it forward

Saying “thanks” is appreciated, but it doesn’t answer the question. Instead, vote up the answers that helped you the most! If these answers were helpful to you, please consider saying thank you in a more constructive way – by contributing your own answers to questions your peers have asked here.

As noted in the comments, we also have the magic link [answer]. Typing it in a comment will result in a link to the help page mentioned above.

Finally, it's also worth noting that there's no reputation limit for seeing your own deleted answers, as discussed here, and in case the answer was deleted by someone else a link to the FAQ is also added.

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    And we have the comment's magic link [answer] => How to Answer
    – brasofilo
    Nov 10, 2013 at 20:14
  • He might not get the chance to see that comment (if the answer will be deleted first).. Nov 10, 2013 at 20:20
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    @Yosi I may be mistaken, but I think you can always see your delete answers provided that you can see the question. Nov 10, 2013 at 20:23
  • I'm not sure myself.. even if it's deleted by a moderator? Nov 10, 2013 at 20:24
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    @Yosi, check my updated answer Nov 10, 2013 at 20:26
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    This is a great answer, if I didn't have enough reputation to comment, I would post an answer to thank you :) Nov 10, 2013 at 20:29
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    @Yosi and I would mercilessly flag it! Nov 10, 2013 at 20:30

You'll still want to flag the comment as not an answer and perhaps leave a comment. Don't worry about the poster. If he sticks around for a little bit and contributes, he'll soon have enough rep to comment.

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