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I recently flagged this as "not an answer". It's a link-only answer without an actual link. Full text:

For anyone still stuck, codeacademy.com has an excellent practical tutorial on prototypes in its js lessons called 'Introduction to Objects II' (sadly I can't provide a link as you have to register and login to see it, but it is easy to find).

And yet, I noticed that my flag was marked as "disputed" by a moderator. Did the moderator make a mistake in this case, or is there a gray area here that I'm missing?

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    The commenter on that answer smells like a sock puppet.
    – Antony
    Jan 17, 2014 at 6:40
  • Whatever happened on that post, if it was an attempt to answer the question, then it is technically an answer, although we don't like link only answers, and this one doesn't even have a clickable link.
    – Antony
    Jan 17, 2014 at 6:44
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    "disputed flag is a flag that was issued on a post that then received an "invalid flag" flag from a user with access to moderator tools... Disputed flags are considered neither helpful nor declined, regardless of the action taken in response to them." (What is a disputed flag?) You were just unlucky to be dealt with by some lame 10Ker who couldn't recognize that this "answer" should have been a comment at most
    – gnat
    Jan 17, 2014 at 7:00
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    Note: this answer has now been deleted. Jan 17, 2014 at 7:59

1 Answer 1

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As mentioned by gnat, disputed means a 10k+ user added an invalid flag against your NAA flag.

In my opinion, the answer is an attempted answer, just a very poor one. I might have personally flagged that as "Very low quality", or simply down-voted and left a comment.

As a result, I can sympathise with a 10k user who decided to mark that as invalid. However, many 10k users would have just added a VLQ flag onto the post and moved on. I guess you got unlucky.

To avoid this in future, save NAA flags for things that really aren't answers, such as:

  • Comments from the OP (or another user) thanking an existing answer. (common)
  • New questions from users posted as an answer. (very common)
  • Nonsense posts that aren't quite spam, but have no meaningful content (less common).
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  • What about answers that are barely more than a link? I still tend to mark those as Not A (valid) Answer. Jan 17, 2014 at 9:47
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    @JonathonReinhart This seems to be a contentious issue with many (well respected) people suggesting NAA is appropriate. But IMO, I would class that as very low quality or I'd simply down-vote and add a comment. I try not to use NAA for anything that even remotely looks like an answer. Jan 17, 2014 at 9:49
  • Duly noted. I definitely try to add a comment that asks for more info or suggests making it a comment instead, unless I'm feeling lazy. I guess I'll use VLQ instead for these. Jan 17, 2014 at 9:51
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    @JonathonReinhart It's an area of community moderation in which I'm trying to improve my own behaviour. I used to routinely flag (often even with NAA) on a link-only answer. Now I'm trying hard to engage a little more by adding comments requesting expansion. The difficulty is trying to check back on such answers for improvment. Jan 17, 2014 at 9:53

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