I flagged three answers:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/805304/what-driver-should-i-use-for-best-performance-amd/805388#805388 for being VLQ. It has been converted to a comment, but my flags has been declined.

Ubuntu 16.04 's compatability with i5 Skylake as a link-only. Same thing the answer deleted, the flag declined.

How to know the version of IBus I'm using? I flagged as VLQ, because it is link-only.

I am getting soon to be banned from flagging. What am I doing wrong here?

Update: I had another flag declined. https://askubuntu.com/questions/774031/wifi-on-ubuntu-16-04-keeps-disconnecting/809584#809584

Maybe some moderator can take a time and explain it?

  • - 3rd one has the "important missing parts from the link" in the answer so is not just "link only". 1 apt-get is enough to make it a valid answer. – Rinzwind Aug 6 '16 at 19:03
  • What about the first two? – Pilot6 Aug 6 '16 at 19:08
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    As a general aside: I think mods aren't very fond of vlq, actually want to get rid of it, so vlq flags are likely to be denied. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 6 '16 at 20:44
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    And if I vote to delete instead of flagging, does the answer get into the LQ queue? – Pilot6 Aug 6 '16 at 20:48
  • Please use NAA for link only answers. VLQ has too many problems and you are more likely to get it declined. – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 15:33
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    NAA get declined too for the same type of answers. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:35
  • In this case the easiest solution is not to flag at all. Let the poor posts be there, unless a mod does something he|she thinks is correct. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:37
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    @Seth but that would be abusing the NAA definition. A link only answer is an answer, although of terrible quality. – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 8 '16 at 19:12
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    @AndreaLazzarotto It's not perfect, no, but that was the flag chosen for link only answers by SE staff. And, as I've mentioned many times before, VLQ has other complications that make it hard to deal with (hence so many declines). (it downvotes things when approved, and gets auto approved if someone edits the post) – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 19:48
  • I feel, going just by the titles, those questions generate those kind of answers... the ones you want to flag. – Braiam Aug 17 '16 at 1:56
  • Well, only the last one wasn't so bad. – Braiam Aug 17 '16 at 1:57

Here's what the description for VLQ reads (with added emphasis):

This answer has severe formatting or content problems. This answer is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

We handle our VLQ flags keeping that as the baseline. On that basis, we may decline flags if we disagree that the post is of very low quality.

Quoting from Tim Post's answer on What kind of answer should be flagged as "Very Low Quality", but not flagged as "Not an Answer"?:

If a moderator investigates a very low quality flag and sees an answer that is readable and seemingly relevant to the question, well .. there's not much evidence of a quality issue.

If there is merit in the answer which was flagged as VLQ, i.e. the post can be edited to be better, then that invalidates the claim that the post is VLQ and the flag can be declined on that basis. While we mostly mark other categories flags as helpful if we see the intent of the flagger, we are quite conscious about marking VLQ flags as helpful because it carries an auto-downvote and the mod who handles the flag may think the post does not deserve one.

We decline VLQ flags because they are ambiguous in nature and we want to discourage people from using it. Unlike other flags which have some sort of a procedural approach, VLQ flags are subject to discretion of the handling mod and as such, you might get different results. Now you understand why we hate this type of flag.

Takeaway from this would be: if a post can be edited or commented or voted upon, let's not flag it as VLQ.

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    Remove the flag if you hate it. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:31
  • @Pilot6 If only it was that easy.. – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 15:32
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    Nothing is easy. The only thing I got is not to use this flag. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:34
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    @Pilot6 Please don't. There are almost 0 use cases for it as it was originally designed. – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 15:37
  • That IS clear. Thx. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:37
  • But the question is why tons of my VLQ flags have been approved before? ;-) What has changed? – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:48
  • @Seth What about a link-only answer? Do we flag that as VLQ or NAA? – edwinksl Aug 8 '16 at 15:48
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    @edwinksl It is safer not to flag at all. Let mods do something themselves. They need some more work I guess. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 15:49
  • @edwinksl NAA. link only should always be NAA. – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 15:49
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    @Pilot6 I almost always mark VLQ helpful if I delete the post. Everything is a little different after an election though, with new people and new opinions. We are going to have a meeting and discuss VLQ so it gets handled more predictably in the future, and probably have a meta post with some details. Seems like everyone is confused about it all of a sudden. – Seth Aug 8 '16 at 15:51
  • @Pilot6 No need to be disruptive. I understand your concern with your declined flags and I personally would have approved these flags as helpful bar one but your conduct here is less than ideal and is not something I would have expected from someone who has been here for a while now. – jokerdino Aug 8 '16 at 16:33
  • @jokerdino Can you be more specific what is wrong in my "conduct"? – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 16:37
  • @Pilot6 your reply to edwinksl just above should give you a clue about what kind I am talking about. – jokerdino Aug 8 '16 at 16:55
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    This a valid argument. If you are too hard on usage of very slightly different flags, then people will just stop doing anything. So far mods can't quite agree on what the difference is. You think that it is more important to get everyone use a correct flag. I am pointing out that it is much more important to help mods in deleting poor post, than to make it an unclear "correct" way. And after all discussion I do not see ANY reason to delete a post and at the same time decline a flag. It may be a "wrong" flag, but it is helpful. If it is done another way, mods will have more work. – Pilot6 Aug 8 '16 at 17:01
  • @Pilot6 I don't know if this makes you any less sad, but I am getting used to see my flags declined myself. It seems that the (good) intention to be friendly on AU is skewing toward accepting any kind of poor answer, sometimes. – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 8 '16 at 19:15

I used to use the VLQ flag on Ask Ubuntu, and it seemed to be working OK, but starting about 1½-2 years ago I started repeatedly getting declined/disputed reviews on my VLQ flags, so I almost never use the VLQ flag anymore except for complete nonsense.

Different Stack Exchange sites seem to have different policies about the correct usage of the VLQ flag. I still use the VLQ flag at Android Enthusiasts Q&A, and I haven't had any problems with it there. I think the VLQ flag works at Android Enthusiasts because so many people like to type strings of random letters on their phones and submit it as an answer. I use the VLQ flag at Superuser Q&A, and it works most of the time, but only because I use it only in extreme cases like answers that are just a bizarre geometric pattern of repeated text.

If an answer is a link only answer, I custom flag it as a link only answer, and that seems to be working OK. If it's a spam answer, I flag it as a spam answer, and that also seems to be working OK. If it's an answer that says to install some esoteric free Windows program that isn't spam, and even though I would personally prefer to use to VLQ flag that doesn't work, I have no choice except to downvote it and wait for it to show up in the review queue because someone else flagged it as VLQ or NAA and got away with it. Most of the time this method works too.

I have never lost the ability to flag questions, so this strategy seems to be working for me. I feel sorry for all the people who have to eat disputed/declined flags in order to make a wrong answer show up in the review queue, but I can't help them because the system doesn't work that way.

Last of all I have a recommendation - don't "overclock" the VLQ flag.

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