I keep seeing answers like this pop up in the Review queue:


There is another source for VoIP. You should have a look at https://code.google.com/p/idoubs/

Seems like a clear case of Not an Answer, and it's been flagged as such. The problem is that the question sucks even more:

I am developing application which required SIP (VOIP) calling in iOS.Please suggest me about SIP server and how to implement it in iOS.

It's a terrible question, and the terribleness of the answer is a direct result of that. In context, it's hard to call this a non-answer; it does address the question, and is as close to an answer as this was ever going to get. Obviously the question needs to be closed, but what should be done with the answers it spawned? Is the Not an Answer flag valid or not?

  • Flag it as SPAM? – juergen d Feb 27 '14 at 19:00
  • @juergend - In this case maybe, but I'm thinking more generally. – Justin Morgan Feb 27 '14 at 19:01
  • 4
    brb, making an SEDE query for "please suggest me". – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:02
  • 2
    Just downvote the answer. Crap questions don't justify crap answers. – Bart Feb 27 '14 at 19:05
  • @Bart yeah. All the 24,000 answers. Got 24K rep to spare? – gnat Feb 27 '14 at 20:00
  • I never realized I was the only user on SO @gnat. I'll get right to it. – Bart Feb 27 '14 at 20:02
  • you're not alone @Bart - there are over 300 guys who think like you. Think 300 Spartans, go for it. 24,000 / 300 = 60, worth a try (I do that at Programmers) – gnat Feb 27 '14 at 20:05
  • I'll forgive you that little error @gnat ;) – Bart Feb 28 '14 at 8:52
  • all right 80 @Bart - go for it, that's about as much answer DVs I put in a week – gnat Feb 28 '14 at 8:53

That is an answer, regardless of the question quality.

Not an Answer flags are for things like

  1. I have a new question?
  2. @someuser, this is something that...
  3. I like pepper.
  4. (&^%$^%$^()(&(&&&& (cat on keyboard).
  5. Herp derp, herp derp.

Flags can not be dismissed individually, and this one had multiple flags on it (some of them correct). I would simply take the action you would normally take on such an answer (i.e. deletion, whatever).

Note: Don't confuse the action of flagging with the action of moderating. While a "Not an Answer" flag is not the appropriate flag to use here, a moderator may still take action against the post. Moderators don't refrain from doing their job just because a flag doesn't meet the "letter of the law;" if a post needs to be removed for whatever reason, the moderator will remove it.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Nr 4 looks surprisingly similar to my code. – Bart Feb 27 '14 at 19:06
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    Downvote all you like. It's still an answer, just not a very good one. – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:07
  • yeah. Now, repeat this 24,000 times – gnat Feb 27 '14 at 19:07
  • I didn't say don't flag it. I just said that it was an answer. Use a custom flag, and explain the problem. – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:08
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    @bart: solution: stop using Perl – John Dvorak Feb 27 '14 at 19:09
  • How is this supposed to be interpreted when one mod says it's an answer and another deletes it? I have always treated these flags (link-only) as 'Not an answer' so they can be turned into a comment (which is rarely done). – Jeroen Vannevel Feb 27 '14 at 19:30
  • @JeroenVannevel: I'll add a clarification. – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:31
  • @RobertHarvey: so are you saying these things shouldn't be flagged at all? How should these be flagged when it pops up in the flag queue? – Jeroen Vannevel Feb 27 '14 at 19:37
  • @JanDvorak - Eeeeexcellent...let the language flamewar begin. – Justin Morgan Feb 27 '14 at 19:38
  • Use a custom flag, and explain the problem. Be specific; link-only answers are problematic because they have no context and they suffer from link rot, so if the link really does answer the question, ask for convert to comment instead of deletion. – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:38
  • Honestly it feels like a lot of this depends on moderator to moderator and how well it will get received. The flag queue is riddled with these link-only answers, I can't help but feel that an extra flag option might be way more appropriate here. I'll draw up a suggestion and see where that leads. – Jeroen Vannevel Feb 27 '14 at 19:42
  • @JeroenVannevel: read this first, and this. – user102937 Feb 27 '14 at 19:43

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