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I was reviewing the Late Answers queue today, and this thought happened upon me. For reference, this is the review. This answer should not be an answer, as it just suggests something to the post author that may or may not work. However, this user only has 3 reputation, and as such doesn't have the 50 reputation making them able to comment on that post. What should we do in cases like these? It seems that these truly are not answers, and should be comments, but the users cannot comment them. Another example is here.

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You flag such "answers" to moderators, explaining these should be comments but that the OP couldn't comment.

Moderators have tools that allow them to convert such answers to comments.

  • Is it "safer" to give a custom message instead of NAA? With the latter, I'm afraid that a moderator may assume I just want the answer deleted entirely. – Jamal Nov 16 '13 at 20:35
  • @Jamal - Yes, a custom message would be better since giving moderators as much information as possible in it would lead them to do the right thing. – Oded Nov 16 '13 at 20:36
  • Okay. I have been doing that already, especially with link-only answers, while saving NAA for the obvious non-answers that need to go. – Jamal Nov 16 '13 at 20:38
  • @Jamal - the only downside to custom messages is that an actual moderator has to see it and dismiss it (which on a site like Stack Overflow, with the flagging volume it gets can be a problem). I this case, when an OP can't comment, I would say that the human exception handlers should indeed be involved. When it is someone with enough rep - probably not. – Oded Nov 16 '13 at 20:40
  • Good to know. Yes, I would only do that if the user cannot yet comment. Or, I suppose if it looks like it can become a comment but may not appear to be a worthwhile question for the OP, I'll flag it as NAA. – Jamal Nov 16 '13 at 20:44

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