6

Imagine the following situation:

User X has a question. Being a frequent user of SE, he knows that he should always to do some research before asking his question, just in case his question has already been answered.

He finds a question similar to his own. However, he cannot use any of the answers mentioned, because they do not work/are not applicable to his situation/are sub-optimal/<insert other reason here>.

User X then goes and asks his question. In the question body, he specifically mentions what he has tried, and why it doesn't work or why he can't use it.

Example:

How to prevent unicorns from eating my daisies?

I love the unicorns who hang out behind my kitchen, but they do tend to eat rather a lot of the daisies. What can I do about this?

Note: I have already tried placing some corn nearby, as mentioned here, but they still choose my daisies over the corn. Strange.

Then a low-rep user comes along and posts an answer, telling the OP to... place a bucket of corn nearby.

You should try placing a bucket of corn beside the daisies. I have heard on the internet that daisies like corn.

- UnicornL0ver99, 1 rep


Should answers be flagged as NAA if the OP has already specifically stated that they do not want to use the answer's solution? Note that I am not talking about when the OP edits their question after the answer is posted - that is a different situation altogether.

  • I have flagged a few of these before, but the flags were declined by a mod. I can't find a specific example, sorry. – angussidney Jun 26 '16 at 4:51
  • I suspect this will end up reducing to the question of whether e.g. a C# answer on a Java question, or a US answer on a German law question, or a Skyrim answer on a MInecraft question, is NAA. Diamond mods generally take the stance that if it could be an answer to anything on the site, NAA doesn't fit, but that seems silly with such blatant violations, and there needs to be (IMO) some way to delete such invalid answers that doesn't rely on randomly attracting enough 20kers to blow them away. – Nathan Tuggy Jun 26 '16 at 5:48
  • These are relevant meta.stackexchange.com/questions/167624/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/185073/… – user147520 Jun 26 '16 at 13:26
7

No, flags, in a very, very general sense, are not meant to bring stuff in front of users with moderation privileges or moderators that needs context to handle. In your specific example, you'll need the question and grasp its essence to judge the answer. Again, over simplified, that is not a good case for a flag.

Answer that can be flagged:

Where did you buy the corn?

or

Our unicorns do the same thing! Any solution?

Instead of flagging, use your down vote to signal to the OP and visitors that the answer is not useful. If you feel generous you could accompany your vote with a comment explaining what is wrong but that is by no means mandatory.

Be aware that sometimes OP's have a blind spot leading them to rule out the obvious solution.

Place the corn nearby, on a plate. They favor corn over anything else but only when not mixed or presented with other food.

See also How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag? and Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?

-1

No. The answer may not work for OP but may work for other user. If you flag an answer as NAA other users lose opportunity to try that answer. It might not work for the OP but may work for other people as OP use purple corn instead of normal yellow corn.

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