On more than one occasion, across different sites of the network, I have raised the "very low quality" flag. Apparently, a few mods (it came out while discussing after the fact) are unaware that this flag comes with this text description

This question/answer has severe formatting or content problems. This question/answer is unlikely to be salvageable through editing and might need to be removed.

I try to use it in the spirit of this post:

the flagger thinks this post is beyond saving -- no amount of editing or polishing will turn this particular turd into gold

But nevertheless, sometimes my flags get declined with the following comment (that I understand is pre-packaged in the mod reviewing tools:

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

I do not understand then: should I use this flag for "severe content problems" or not? What is a "severe content problem" that is not "an altogether wrong answer"?

To clarify:

  • spam, well, it is flagged as spam
  • gibberish is flagged as "rude/abusive"
  • comments/follow up questions are flagged as "not an answer"
  • if a post is merely technically wrong there is no correct flag type [...] The correct course of action is to downvote, not flag.

(the last is taken verbatim from Servy's comment)

What are "severe content problems" that are not covered from the above points? What remains to be flagged as "very low quality"?


2 Answers 2


The way I see it, there are three paths forward for this flag:

  1. Remove the flag entirely.
  2. Use it as a quality indicator for kicking things into the review queue, and completely hide it from moderators.
  3. Change the nature or action that the flag represents.

The VLQ flag should be used for unrecognizable gibberish.

Posts that should be flagged as VLQ don't make any sense as a question or answer: it is not salvageable through editing. Every post that is human readable (it might still need extensive editing) can't be flagged as VLQ. It can be flagged as spam, abusive / offensive, not an answer, etc, if that does apply.

Don't use the VLQ flag for questions or answers that are not well-researched, unclear, or just plain wrong. A downvote and/or close vote in the case of a question will do then.

In your particular case the moderators apparently thought the post was just technically wrong, which, as said, doesn't warrant any flag. It is also possible that the flag was declined because you used had the wrong type, for example when you had an obvious spam post flagged as VLQ.

  • 4
    Note that if a post is merely technically wrong there is no correct flag type, so it's not like they should have simply used a different reason. The correct course of action is to downvote, not flag.
    – Servy
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:42
  • I agree, that, or the wrong flag type. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:42
  • Saying, "you used the wrong flag type" implies that there's a correct flag type. There is no correct flag type for this situation.
    – Servy
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:43
  • There might be a valid flag type in some cases, a spam post flagged as VLQ will get declined I hope. @Servy Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:46
  • 3
    The example you provided counts as rude/abusive and that's the flag that should be used here. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:46
  • @JanDvorak Do you have a better example? Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:48
  • You also seem to be suggesting that borderline spam isn't vlq because it's made of words. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:49
  • Obvious spam should be flagged as spam. Of course, if you are not sure, VLQ could do. @JanDvorak Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:49
  • I don't have an example to provide. Such an example seems to be what the asker is looking for. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:50
  • 7
    As Jan says, your example is "rude/abusive": meta.stackexchange.com/a/58035/295567 Abuse of the system or community is everything that is created with the intention to harm them. This includes posts that contain no useful content at all – i.e. gibberish posts
    – user295567
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 15:50

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