I came across this while reviewing in 10K+ queue, had 2 x not an answer flags on it and I was just about to flag it as it has invalid flags but then..

Up until now I would have said it's an attempt to answer the question (poor-quality) but still an attempt. It's not spam, no hate speech, not a racist comment, none of these...

Personally, I wouldn't have deleted this answer but it actually did get deleted by a mod (and not community)

AFAIK, moderators don't delete answers based on the correctness of an answer but rather based on spam, link-only to another SO answer, etc.

So why was this one deleted?

  • Excellent question. It's a poor answer alright, but it should be downvoted rather than deleted....The other answer is arguably even worse and it's still there. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:49
  • I can't see the specific post, but in general just because it isn't "Not An Answer" doesn't mean it shouldn't be deleted. If it is a very low quality attempt to answer a question it isn't "Not an Answer" but probably still should be deleted. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:50
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    You should also look at the edit history; the first draft was definitely a comment, not an answer. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


This was my mistake. The first time I read the answer, I incorrectly interpreted it that way. I've undeleted the post, and removed the comment the post was converted into. Couldn't tell you how I managed to do that, it was clearly an attempt to answer the question. Sorry everyone!

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    The first draft wasn't though; the edited version is. :-) Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:56
  • @MartijnPieters Ahh, that was probably it! Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:57
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    You may want to clear that 'not an answer' comment underneath it, it's obsolete now. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:58

I tend to view all 'answers' that start with 'try' as 'not an answer'.

If the writer knows that a particular approach will work, they should say so. If the writer is just guessing, or suggesting a debugging strategy, I think they should be commenting.

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    I couldn't tell you how many of my own answers start with try this or that as depending on the problem the OP is facing there may not always be a definite answer. Sometimes your try guess is the solution then you can edit/update your answer. I also don't think this answers my question in the original post therefore I have expressed my disagreement with -1.
    – user221081
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:19
  • If there's no definite answer, there's no answer. There's just a comment. If the comment leads to evidence of an answer, then there's an answer. That's my view. Your vote is your vote.
    – Rosinante
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:24
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    Sometimes "try X" doesn't necessarily mean that author is unsure about the correctness of an answer. For novice questions a good answer is often a suggestion of direction OP should go (e.g. "try using a dictionary instead of a list, like this:") but many possible solutions exist.
    – BartoszKP
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:37
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    I don't think I've used try, but it is not rare that I use should, because I don't have a crystal ball that allows me to know that the asker is definitively not operating in an environment that would make my answer ineffective.
    – Louis
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:57

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