I ran across an answer on Stack Overflow that is a link only answer. The link in the answer is dead.

Normally I would have flagged this as very low quality (VLQ), but the flag doesn't exist anymore.

Note, I've looked at these, but didn't find what I was looking for:

  1. What happened to the "very low quality" flag reason? : The answer here states that VLQ is only shown when the answer score is zero or lower. This isn't the case because the answer I'm trying to flag has a zero score
  2. Proposed improvement to flagging, for answers : This is a 5 year old question and I've used VLQ flags within the last couple of years.
  3. Unify “not an answer” and “very low quality” in a single “delete” flag : This feature request is to merge the NAA and VLQ flags. This seems to be the most likely cause for the disappearance of the VLQ flag, but it hasn't been marked feature complete yet.
  4. Merge the “Not An Answer” and “Very Low Quality” flags into one : This is the related feature request on Meta Stack Overflow. Again, it hasn't been marked as complete.

So what should I do with the dead link only answer?

  1. Downvote?
  2. Flag as NAA?
  3. Do I have to enable the VLQ flag somehow?
  4. Something else?

I'm not as active I used to be on Stack Exchange, so I'm just trying to understand what I should be doing in this case now.

Edit: Even though I didn't reference the link-only answer above, someone seems to have possibly flagged it. It is now in the low quality posts queue, here, which is what I would expect with the VLQ flag.

Someone must have done some sleuthing, and found my comment on the answer. Great job! So how did the post get to the VLQ queue?

  • Down vote is always OK in this case.
    – rene
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 15:50
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Do not hide VLQ flag option from users who already flagged and may wish to retract
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:19
  • 2
    @gnat, appreciate the link but I don't think it's a dup. Your link may explain what happened to the VLQ flag, but it doesn't address how I should resolve my problem. That is, how to get the answer into the VLQ queue.
    – chue x
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:33
  • 2
    the part about pushing it into queue is covered in Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer? "let me be clear: this sort of response is not an answer. If you see this, flag it. Moderators, if you see it flagged, delete it"
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:34
  • 1
    Thank you @gnat. For future readers, just to expand on "this sort of response is not an answer" a bit: If you strip the link from the answer, and it basically says "click here for answer" then the answer is not considered to be an answer. That is, it is appropriate to use the NAA flag.
    – chue x
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


VLQ is only available as an option for the first 7 days of a post.

In this case the answer is Not An Answer, so flag accordingly.


You should certainly downvote, as the answer is certainly not helpful.

You might comment, pointing out the link is dead. The author (or someone else) may be able to fix the link.

If you have enough reputation, you might also vote to delete it.


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