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 ...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
33 votes
0 answers

Change "Your Answer" to "Your Answer to this Question"

Many new users use the "Answer" section to answer another answer. It seems they (reasonably) assume the Stack Exchange sites work the way many forums and Facebook work: a chronological sequence of ...
Bohemian's user avatar
  • 9,648
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
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
31 votes
2 answers

Enable the community to handle "not an answer" flags without diamond intervention [duplicate]

New users posting thanks, comments or new questions as answers on existing questions is very common. It is also something that should be easily handled by the community itself, without requiring ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers

Expand LQ review comment for "me too" non-answers with advice about "follow post" feature

The "follow post" feature is convenient for users having the same problem as asked about in the question. Currently, the system generates the following comment for those who post non-answers ...
gnat's user avatar
  • 11.3k
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
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
26 votes
3 answers

Did I go wrong flagging this sarcastic answer? If so, where? [closed]

I came across this answer the other day, which immediately seemed strange due to the use of the term "mix mash", so I read on. Upon reading the whole thing, it seemed like the answer qualified as "...
Andrew Barber'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
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
23 votes
2 answers

As long as answer contains some code?

The OP on the question is having problems with jQuery & opacity in IE 9. jQuery, Internet Explorer 9 gets wrong opacity The answer here is a chunk of code that merely tells IE visitors to switch ...
Sparky's user avatar
  • 1,759
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
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
20 votes
6 answers

Why was this 'not-an-answer' flag declined? [duplicate]

I flagged this answer as Not An Answer (NAA), because while this does point the OP in the direction of the correct answer, the answer as written should be a comment. In the event the answer gets ...
Taryn's user avatar
  • 51.4k
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
19 votes
2 answers

Your answer is in another castle Part 2: can we stop the confusion about NAA flags and posts that tackle a different question from the one posted?

DISCLAIMER: This is not yet another post trying to discuss what NAA posts are and / or answers to different questions are NAA. What this post is trying to do is to find a way to stop people for having ...
SPArcheon's user avatar
  • 19.7k
19 votes
2 answers

What constitutes an answer on Meta?

We have plenty of guidance about what constitutes an answer on a main site. However, Meta is very different from main sites (as we all know), and I don't know of any "Not an Answer" guidance ...
jpmc26's user avatar
  • 1
18 votes
6 answers

Should I not flag a rhetorical question posted as an answer?

I flagged this answer as not an answer. Now, I know that I was wrong because the flag was declined by a moderator. I thought that the answer was a rhetorical question (I believe it is but I could be ...
user avatar
18 votes
4 answers

Flag on nonsense rejected, and I don't know why [duplicate]

Take a look at this answer: It doesn't seem like any kind of attempt to answer the question, and it's hard to guess at how it came into being at all. The ...
Mark Amery's user avatar
  • 10.9k
18 votes
1 answer

A "Works for me answer" flagged as Not an answer was declined, is that a valid declination?

I just got my flag declined on this answer. This answer is nothing more than a request for clarification combined with a "Works for me, though!" and should not be considered a valid answer. Was this ...
Jeroen Vannevel's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers

Are "answers" strictly for answers? [duplicate]

Consider this recent question I attempted to help on. The root cause of the problem is unclear, but the code was messy and may have contributed to the issue. So as a step in resolving the OP's issue,...
jedwards's user avatar
  • 288
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
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
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
15 votes
2 answers

Does a not-an-answer 'answer' benefit from the same comment repeated five times?

Consider the following trail (question Unrecognized rule error, but you'll need 10K rep to see what I'm talking about since the non-answer is deleted): Does the offender learn from the repetition, or ...
Jonathan Leffler's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers

Why was a flag on this "I have this problem too" answer declined?

This answer is, in my view, an "I have this problem too" post, but my flag as "Not an answer" was declined. The text of the answer is: I also have this problem with Samsung galaxy Tab 2 (with ...
David Robinson's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers

Should have notice boxes if the answer contains "Thank you", "I have a same problem?" or "Can you help me"

I flag extensively each day, and most of the post*(answers)* starts with "I've the same problem" or "Can you help me". So what if we throw a notice box before the user submits an answer which says "...
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 2,810
14 votes
2 answers

What difference does it make when selecting the reason to flag an answer?

What difference does it make when selecting the reason to flag an answer? For example the description for "not an answer" and "very low quality" are so similar what's the point of having both? Does ...
Celeritas's user avatar
  • 2,359
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
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
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
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
13 votes
2 answers

Use the phrase "One more question" to detect non-answers

I just spent all my flags on answers containing the phrase "one more question". This phrase, especially when the post also contains "thanks", "thank you" or similar appears to be a good heuristic for ...
hammar's user avatar
  • 10.7k
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

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