Questions tagged [not-an-answer]

Content posted as an answer that doesn't actually answer the question at hand may be flagged "Not an Answer". Note *bad* answers are not eligible for this kind flag.

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740 votes
3 answers

Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?

I think we can all agree, this sucks: If you've been around a little while, you've probably encountered hundreds of answers like this in various forums, some of them even marked as "The Answer&...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 440k
125 votes
7 answers

Can we get some consensus on what flag to use for link only answers? [duplicate]

Related: Since moderators are just asking users to flag a custom "Link only answer," can we permanently make this a flag option? (not a dupe, that's a feature request and was closed as a ...
Manishearth's user avatar
107 votes
2 answers

How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?

What is the "Not an Answer" flag and what is its purpose? When should I use this flag? When should I not use this flag? But I'm still not sure if I'm using the flag correctly... An answer is ...
67 votes
4 answers

Should I flag answers which contain only a link as "not an answer"? [duplicate]

More than often I get a lot of itch when I see an answer which contains only a link. For example this one. Check this link, it will solve your query..
user avatar
75 votes
4 answers

Why don't we treat rubbish the same as spam?

Spam gets fairly heavily punished - 100 reputation penalty, if I recall correctly, and the content itself gets hidden in the revision history. Now if we just have some rubbish: ...
Bernhard Barker's user avatar
39 votes
2 answers

When should the "Not an Answer" flag be used? [duplicate]

A few hours ago, I flagged an answer as not an answer. Additionally, I left a comment, basically saying that this answer has nothing to do with the question. My flag got declined with the following ...
Daniel Hilgarth's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers

Is it forbidden to use "Other" flag for link-only answers? [duplicate]

I flagged an answer 10K only link that looked like this: This is not my article but have a look at <external URL> which looks like it will work for you. I used the "Other" flag, with a ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 11.3k
23 votes
5 answers

Function to convert an answer to a new question [duplicate]

My apologies if this is a repeat, I searched, but I couldn't find anything quite like this. There are times when users (particularly very new users) post a question as an answer to an existing ...
Chris S's user avatar
  • 1,602
14 votes
2 answers

Was it a mistake to flag these answers? [duplicate]

My not an answer flags for the below answers were declined "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it". I am sorry I am kind of sleepy .. but you can read here to get an ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 11.3k
44 votes
3 answers

Unify “not an answer” and “very low quality” in a single “delete” flag

The “not an answer” flag on answers is meant to be used when 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,...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
32 votes
3 answers

Should the not-an-answer flag description be clarified?

Checking the moderator tools this morning I see 60 not-an-answer flags out of which only a several I could agree with. The rest were just bad answers, wrong answers or lazy answers. The way I ...
Esailija's user avatar
  • 774
40 votes
5 answers

Why are accepted answers immune from Flagging link-only answers as Not an Answer?

Let's assume you agree with the yoda's corrective action to a link-only-answer (#12) of the Faq Post What is an acceptable answer? [A link only] answer must be improved as described above, else it ...
Some Helpful Commenter's user avatar
46 votes
11 answers

Convert non-answers into new questions?

We see a lot of occasions where a new user posts an answer when in fact they should be asking a question; for example here or here. Given that: we want to make life as comfortable as possible for ...
Marc Gravell's user avatar
  • 92.8k
13 votes
2 answers

Either I need clarification on the 'Not an answer' flags or it needs a new description [duplicate]

First of all - I'm not going to bitch and moan to moderators in this topic. I'm here to ask clarification because I've had a flag declined and I really have no clue what I did 'wrong', or how to avoid ...
Niels Keurentjes's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers

Can we have an unambiguous, official ruling on what the "not an answer" flag is for? [duplicate]

What does the not an answer flag mean? My interpretation is that this flag is intended for things which clearly are not answers. In other words, "this shouldn't exist, because it does not intend ...
ire_and_curses's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers

When should you decide whether to flag a posted answer as Not an answer? [duplicate]

I've run into this situation a couple of times, where people give an "answer" that basically repeats the problem in the original question. (Not going to give examples here obviously, but it's happened....
user541686's user avatar
36 votes
1 answer

Make VLQ and NAA flags equivalent to a negative review in the LQ queue (if the flagger can access that queue)

Reason It is my understanding that casting a very low quality or not an answer flag on an answer that already has received such flag only affects the flag statistics and the number of positive ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 27.4k
7 votes
3 answers

How to educate people about non-answers?

I often run into "answers" on the Stack Exchange sites that are really comments or replies. The phrase "This is not a message board" is accurate, but maybe a little harsh. I know about flagging and ...
jprete's user avatar
  • 406
13 votes
2 answers

What's the modus operandi when encountering a not-an-answer?

I am a non-20k-er on many sites. What am I supposed to do when I encounter a not-an-answer? Flag it as not an answer? Downvote it? All of the above? I have 20k reputation on one of the sites. What ...
Oak's user avatar
  • 8,907
11 votes
4 answers

If I solve someones problem instead of answering their question, should I post a comment instead?

I posted this answer to a question where someone was trying to use regex to parse Html. The question was "How can I get my regex to work?" and my answer was "Don't use regex, use this instead". ...
Justin's user avatar
  • 8,450
8 votes
1 answer

My "not an answer" flag is gone and not showing in my history

Some time ago I flagged this as not-an-answer. For a while, link to this flagged answer has been visible in my flagging history (flag was declined in case if that matters). As far as I remember it ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 11.3k
-17 votes
5 answers

Require Second Opinion for Flagged Answers

I just did a flag on following answers answer. answer answer answer answer But from the moderator i got message like declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an ...
Lucifer's user avatar
  • 8,439
60 votes
4 answers

Add a deactivated "wrong answer" flag option

When I look at the flagging queue I see almost one flag reason only: Not an answer. (At this very moment 440 out of 470 flags!) I have the feeling it is used wrongly most of the time. Many seem to ...
juergen d's user avatar
  • 39.1k
46 votes
4 answers

How did this answer manage to garner 50 incorrect "not an answer" flags in less than an hour?

Here's the original answer: Thank you guys for all your help, it seems that the error was on the gridview1.rows(i).cells(4), it was hidden that is why there was nothing to compare to. anyways, i ...
BoltClock's a Unicorn's user avatar
33 votes
0 answers

C'mon now - someone is having a joke! Who up voted this? [closed]

While going through the review queue I spotted something extraordinary. Can someone trace where this answer has been so that we can find how it got three up votes by the time I saw it? Has it ...
slugster's user avatar
  • 20.3k
23 votes
2 answers

After an answer is deleted as "Not An Answer" give a timed message box before posting the next answer

No one reads anything Lets get this out of the way to begin with; no one ever reads anything unless they are made to. It's a sad fact, but it is a fact none the less. So as helpful and crystal clear ...
Richard Tingle's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers

Do not recommend the “not an answer” flag for conversion to a comment

The official guidance for the “not an answer” flag reads: 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, ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
19 votes
4 answers

Making sure the "Not an answer" flag is used for non-answers

Suddenly, the number of outstanding flagged answers went up. It used to be lower than that. I was reviewing them, and it occurred to me that I see invalid "not an answer" flags more often than I ...
GSerg's user avatar
  • 4,204
8 votes
1 answer

Reorganise the LQ, FP and LA queues to have one queue about improving and guiding and one about deciding deletion

TL;DR: Split the low-quality queue in two, separating posts with possible quality issues (autoflagged posts) and posts that may need to be deleted (NAA, gibberish), as having both of them together ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 27.4k
3 votes
1 answer

Is it okay to dispute the premise of a question? [duplicate]

In the limited number of questions I have asked on Stack Exchange, I have had several comments and answers that are not answering my question, but are instead saying that I should be asking something ...
Abacus's user avatar
  • 337
21 votes
0 answers

Split up the "not an answer" flag reason

I think it would make sense to split up the flag "This is not an answer" into three flag choices: This should be a comment This should be an edit This should be a new question If we had that, it ...
Mr Reenlist'er's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers

How to flag an answer that does not answer the question? [duplicate]

I have flagged this answer as "not an answer" - the description of the flag is: This was posted as an answer, but it does not answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another ...
Oded's user avatar
  • 154k
12 votes
2 answers

Declined NAA flag? [closed]

I flagged this as Not An Answer and just saw it declined, which I hadn't seen coming. For posterity, here is the answer, which is by the OP of the question: Sorry for the late answer , I've found ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers

My flags are disputed, but flagged posts are deleted [duplicate]

6 of my "not an answer" flags were disputed over the night, but the flagged answers are gone. I'll post some links. Maybe somebody with 10k+ rep can confirm that the answers are deleted: Problem ...
Nikola K.'s user avatar
  • 501
4 votes
1 answer

"Not an Answer" flag disputed [duplicate]

I'm highly curious to know why a particular answer which was flagged by me as "Not an Answer" was rejected with the status disputed? This is the answer I'm talking about. Just to be sure, I double ...
Rahul's user avatar
  • 5,920
4 votes
2 answers

Should I flag obviously wrong answers as NAA? [duplicate]

I came across some scenarios like these: Case 1: Obviously not true Q: Why does the sun rise and fall every day? A: Because the Earth self-rotates. A2: Because the sun orbits around the ...
iBug says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
-9 votes
2 answers

Is the answer “Don't do that” an acceptable response to a “how do I” question? [duplicate]

Hold up! before you click that button to report this question as a duplicate of this, consider that not only is that question 10 years old, but is also fairly non-specific, and doesn't make good use ...
tuskiomi's user avatar
  • 247
57 votes
1 answer

Proposal for making the meaning of "Not an Answer" flags clearer

SE has specific flagging reasons, not to make it possible to flag (we already have that with custom flags), but to give guidance on valid reasons to flag. The "Not an Answer" flag comes with a ...
user avatar
29 votes
2 answers

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

I flagged this single-link answer as not an answer. However I got "declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer" response from the mod. I don'...
Tomasz Nurkiewicz's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer

Should "Closing this question because I didn't get an answer" posts be flagged as "not an answer"?

While reviewing the 10k queue just now, I noticed that someone has evidently searched for and flagged self-accepted answers like Closing this question as we would probably get no further. Closing out ...
Michael Liu's user avatar
  • 1,050
16 votes
2 answers

What happens when I flag a posted answer as “not an answer”?

What happens when I flag a posted answer as not an answer? Is the answer put into a review queue? Or will it be deleted?
xshsinap's user avatar
  • 1,477
14 votes
1 answer

Since moderators are just asking users to flag a custom "Link only answer," can we permanently make this a flag option? [duplicate]

For a couple weeks, moderators have been declining not an answer flags on link-only answers: declined - Please don't flag link only answers as 'not an answer': When should you decide whether to ...
user avatar
13 votes
3 answers

Not an answer flags declined, why?

I've flagged the followings as not an answer: https://stackoverflow....
Shoe's user avatar
  • 3,950
12 votes
3 answers

Should a custom flag be used instead of the "not an answer" flag when the answer isn't a blatant non-answer?

There appears to be a bit of a dispute going on in the FAQ answer here. On one hand, a group mostly consisting of Stack Overflow moderators says that if it isn't immediately clear that an answer isn't ...
Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Should "Restarting worked for me" be a comment?

The question: What should I do, if the "Open Call Hierarchy" is broken (empty for every method in a project)? It is very useful for code navigation, do not know, how to work without it! The answer ...
MikroDel's user avatar
  • 1,157
5 votes
3 answers

Why are more flags on answers getting declined nowadays?

Recently (last month or so), many of my flags on answers are getting declined. I did reach 750 flag weight and I do know what to flag and what not to flag, but I am just giving up on flagging content ...
manojlds's user avatar
  • 333
3 votes
2 answers

Clarification for non-answers

One of my flags for "non-answer" was declined and I was wondering if I misunderstood what "non-answer" means. I saw someone post an answer that was just a block of code, with nothing in it that was ...
Samuel R's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
4 answers

How to deal with non answers? Automated ways preferred

I have started reviewing posts recently and I notice a pattern with people who can't comment because their reputation is 1. They will click answer and ask a question there something like here: ...
Marko Avlijaš's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

How do I ensure a poor answer doesn't get bounty if it's the only answer? [duplicate]

I feel like someone made a comment as an answer on a question with a bounty just so they could reap the "auto bounty" since they are the only answer on it. I've flagged the bad/useless answer (as a ...
emmdee's user avatar
  • 155
1 vote
1 answer

Why was this flag disputed?

I flagged this answer as not an answer because this one should be a comment as per Stack Overflow regulations. Even though the flag was disputed, I can not find any comments from the mod who disputed ...
Not a bug's user avatar
  • 211