I flagged this answer as NAA because, like the commenters, I consider link-only answers to not actually be answers in the first place.

My flag was declined, and to add insult to injury, declined by a diamond ("a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it"). (Presumably the LQRQ moved too slowly on it and it leaked into the mod queue.)

Am I completely off-base, or is this just one of those unfortunate glitches that we have to live with?


2 Answers 2


At the time of the flag the answer had a comment (from me) requesting the user expand the answer, and very little time had passed. The community of users able to vote for deletion had not cast any votes to delete it, and there were no spam flags.

The non-mod community has tools to handle this too, and so far hadn't seen the need to. If the poster doesn't react to the request today or tomorrow though, it will probably be deleted as unlikely to ever be fixed, with a note left indicating that it may be restored if it's ever fixed.

The decline isn't a black mark or a judgement against the flagger. It was a flag that didn't need submitting, is all: a mod was already visibly involved and a flag asking for mod involvement was superfluous.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't that what the (marginally less confusing) "flags should be used to inform a mod of content that requires their attention" reason is for, though? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 20, 2015 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if I'm not mistaken, there is (or was) an option to mark a flag as helpful without taking any action on it, which I would certainly have understood better: "yeah, OK, we're going to wait longer". \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 20, 2015 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps. But that's why I point out that a decline isn't a black mark on or judgement of the flagger. One declined flag that maybe would have been clearer dismissed in a different way is not something that matters in the grand scheme; but I'll keep it in mind. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2015 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll take your word that it's not (intended to be) a judgement, but it is a black mark, one that the software automatically considers when determining whether someone can continue flagging. (Assuming I receive no other declines in the next week or so, it's unlikely to be directly relevant, but that's just a matter of degree.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 21, 2015 at 0:35
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, remember that not an answer has a very high bar for triggering. Bad answers should be downvoted. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2015 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It really isn't a black mark—the black mark is having lots of declined flags, not a few beside many good ones. Everyone has a handful of declined flags. (I have 49 :) Unless someone's flagging record is terrible, that handful is never going to matter. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2015 at 0:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE From mxyzplk's answer here on an unrelated issue, it seems the moderators get limited ability to interact with our flags. They can either delete the answer, edit it, or dismiss the flag. Two of those mark it as helpful (I think), one of them produces the message you received, but they don't have much control over those messages. If the flag got dismissed, the message might say one thing, but really a moderator just clicked dismiss because that was the only way to not just yet do anything. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2015 at 6:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton: Yes, but this wasn't a bad answer. It deserved no downvote; it might have deserved an upvote! If it weren't for the pesky problem of being nothing but a link and a promise of more just-links later, it would be quite useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 21, 2015 at 6:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener: That answer appears to validate what I said: there's an option (for anything but comments) to dismiss as helpful. That's more or less what I'd expect (and what I can verify I have gotten on multiple occasions elsewhere in the network, hence my expectation). And given the other decline messages I've received in the past elsewhere, I'm reasonably certain even "nah, this isn't a thing for diamonds" is an option on post flags. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 21, 2015 at 6:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE Ah right, the screenshot is for comments only. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2015 at 6:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE I will say, six mo. in, that the interface for handling flags is a little rough around the edges. When I click on things in those dialogs I'm never quite sure if I'm about to get a chance to provide individualized feedback to the user, mark as helpful/not, or if I've just done that without realizing =\ \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Oct 27, 2017 at 14:23

A bad answer is not "not an answer."

I've been declining a lot of NAA flags lately. In general I tend to err on the side of declining as helpful, but I start declining as not helpful if I want folks to get the point.

Something completely off topic, or "a related question," or a miscellaneous comment is not an answer.

A partial answer, an answer you don't feel is substantiated well, etc. is an answer. There are exceptions (non-Good Subjective answers on game-recs and other opiniony questions) but in general if an answer is probably an edit away from being a good answer, it's certainly not "not an answer."

  • \$\begingroup\$ OK. If this is general RPG mod policy that link-only answers are considered valid, non-deletable answers, I'll accept it, but as far as I know, it's not network policy. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 22, 2015 at 3:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE This doesn't imply that they're safe from deletion. It just means that "not an answer" isn't their crime. Flagging as "low quality" would be more appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ May 22, 2015 at 4:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, also, if someone's commented on a link-only answer saying "add more" we're not going to just immediately delete it. There is a time factor at work here. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    May 30, 2015 at 13:17

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