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I was recently reviewing a first post and found a submitted answer which (as far as I can tell) does usefully contribute to a question and its accepted answer, phrased similarly to, "the accepted answer is correct but for this detail..." This post didn't constitute an answer to the original question, which obviously answers should do. However, the original poster also does not currently have enough reputation to even post a comment. Is there any action that should be taken in this case?

If my memory serves, I was once in this situation myself as a new contributor, and I noted in my answer that I knew I wasn't submitting a "real answer" but I still had something to say that I wished I could say as a comment, and that seemed to be received well/neutrally by the community (nobody told me to stop). That was handled well, I think. But if a user doesn't post such a disclaimer, should I follow up with them to inform them about how stuff works on StackExchanges?

Note that I'm not the person lacking the reputation to comment - I'm moderating first answers, and here I'm asking for guidance on how to make sure the person lacking the rep to post the comment understands what responses are answers and what responses are comments.

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    Thanks for the link, I do think it's relevant, but doesn't directly answer my question. It's geared towards new contributors and not towards moderators - I updated my question to clarify that I'm asking as a moderator and not as a new answerer. – sinback Apr 12 at 20:09
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    “That was handled well, I think. But if a user doesn't post such a disclaimer, should I follow up with them to inform them about how stuff works on StackExchanges?” - I typically downvote any answer which contains that disclaimer since the answer typically isn’t an actual answer. Commentary submitted as an answer should be flagged for deletion and/or flagged for moderator attention. – Ramhound Apr 13 at 2:06
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Is there any action that should be taken in this case?

You do have the reputation to comment, so what you can do is

  1. add the comment (with attribution to the new user) under the accepted answer,
  2. flag the new answer as Not An Answer
  3. leave a comment like this one from the AutoReviewComments userscript:

This is really a comment, not an answer. With a bit more rep, you will be able to post comments. For the moment I've added the comment for you, and I'm flagging this post for deletion.

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The area reserved for answers should not be used for making comments and such posts should be deleted irrespective of whether they contain a disclaimer.

I think comments posted as answers should always be flagged for moderator attention if you do not have an option to vote for their deletion.

Moderators have the option of converting the “answer” to a comment as part of that deletion. As a moderator I sometimes use that option but in many more cases I do not think the content warrants it.

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