I recently flagged this answer (since deleted) to https://stackoverflow.com/q/22181012/1281433 as not an answer, since it appeared to be the question's poster attempting to add some context to the post, and to describe some attempts at a workaroud. I added a comment as well:

This isn't an answer to your question. This should be posted as an edit to the question, or as a new question entirely.

This seemed like an appropriate NAA flag, since

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

If this were posted by someone other than the OP, I could see that it might be an attempt to answer the question, but since the OP knows that it doesn't answer the question, it seems more like "It should possibly be an edit" on the question that describes existing attempts.

The flag was declined. I'm not too concerned about that, since it's just one out of many, although the new "some of your recent flags have been declined; please review them first" is a little scary. What I'm asking about here is the decline reason text:

flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

flag with decline reason: "flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer"

This doesn't seem to recognize the context that it was the OP adding more information about the problem (and so should be an edit). I wasn't claiming that it was technically inaccurate or altogether wrong, but just that it would make more sense as an edit to the question or a new question entirely (since it's about a different approach).

All that said, I'm not so concerned about the declined flag; it's just one of many. What I'm curious about is whether the decline reason was manually entered, suggesting a miscommunication of intent, in which case I should write better comments in the future, or whether the decline reason is "canned text", in which case this was simply the closest, most appropriate text, even if it's not an exact fit.

Note that if it had been a user other than the owner of the post, this would seem like a genuine, if not quite complete, answer, but since it was the owner of the post, it seems that it's not

2 Answers 2


That's a form comment, not something a mod actually typed out. It seems pretty clear that they didn't realize that it was the OP trying to add clarifying details to the question. In cases like this where it's not immediately obvious why the post is NAA you should use a custom flag. Say something along the lines of "this is the OP trying to add additional information; it should be an edit to the question" so that the mod understands why you think that the post is NAA.

  • I have access to the non-mod flag review, and just noticed that comments don't seem to be shown unless I expand the answer. Is this the same for mods? I thought that the comment "this doesn't answer your question…" would make the intent clear, but I was assuming that the mod would see the comments. Maybe that's not the case? Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:27
  • But the bit about the form comment was what I wanted to know; I'll accept in seven minutes. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:27
  • @JoshuaTaylor They do not see the comments unless they specifically go to the post.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:27
  • That's seems like more work than just expanding it without leaving the queue. Mods have it rough. :( Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:29

I declined that flag. I don't think that answer was intended to be an update/edit to the question - he appears to be describing the change he had to make to get his query working:

I have noticed that I have to put all PREFIXes. In my query the related ones:

I'll allow I might be entirely wrong here - the author's English is a bit weird and I'm not familiar with SPARQL. But when I read the answer, it looked like an attempt at an answer, so I left it alone. That's generally how "Not an answer" flags are processed: if the answer appears to address the question, the flag will be declined; incorrect answers should be down-voted.

  • No major harm done; it's just one flag out of many. The main question is about missing jar files and a NoClassDefFoundError (NoClassDefFoundError: org/slf4j/LoggerFactory trying to use Jena?). Two comments on the question ("Include all the jars!" "Oh, OK, that works!") resolved that. I think the answer that the OP posted was to demonstrate "the query here works on a public endpoint, so it's not a syntax error in the query". It was an attempt to rule out possible problems, and thus something that belonged in the question rather than as an answer. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:36
  • Yeah, the question will be deleted anyway, since it's closed as a typo problem. So whether or not the answer is deleted now is immaterial
    – Shog9
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 16:38

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