I flagged these two answers as not an answer:

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, or deleted altogether.

I thought these answers didn't add much on what was already said, are not documented and could have just been comments (personnal opinions, "it's obvious"...). However, my flags were declined with the reason :

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

I did not mean to indicate technical inaccuracies or a wrong answer, I simply wanted to indicate a "comment" answer.

Did I misunderstand how to use these flags?

EDIT: comments here and SS.'s one suggest to use the low quality flag but I can't see it:


  • Related: Why was my flag declined at first when it was justified later?
    – A J Mod
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 8:54
  • When you think it is a comment, use low quality flag or in the need of moderator intervention. They can convert into a comment. Use not an answer only when it is not attempting to answer at all.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 8:57
  • @SS. there isn't low quality flag. Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 9:09
  • Very low quality? I don't know but it appears all the time. Don't know why it is not there for that answer. It appears for new users answers. eg:That flag is available for this answer.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 9:15
  • @SS. I can see that... it's very strange indeed. Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 9:18

1 Answer 1


My general policy for dealing with "Not an answer" flags is outlined in this meta post, so I won't repeat all the reasons here.

It's hard for me to put myself in the shoes of someone approaching the specific answers 'cold' without thinking about this meta-post. These are right on the edge of being comments on the question in my opinion but I can't really fault anyone for erring on the side of being generous to the poster. It makes the site more friendly to new users, and allows others to express their opinion on the post my voting, editing and commenting.

If the site was absolutely flooded with poor comment like answers, I might have a different opinion. The core principal of the site is to allow the community to vote up the best content.

In response to the 'low quality' suggestion. I would shy away from that as well, as in my understanding low quality means barely understandable.

  • To me, the more friendly way to deal with low quality comment like answers is converting them into comments before they get blasted with downvotes. Downvotes are unfriendly from a new user perspective and by converting these answers, we protect them. I really think a two-line answer like "I know this because it's obvious, everyone knows" looks like a comment. Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 14:45
  • @SilverBebs - fair point - I think either could be perceived as unfriendly. People can just comment too. I think these specific examples are very much on the edge of being just comments on the question. I do regularly review flags on things that are patently answers.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 16:21
  • Don't forget new users can't comment :-/ Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 7:06
  • @SilverBebs .... but I'm talking about putting comments on their posts. Even new users can comment on their own posts.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 12:14

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