I came across this answer to “Adobe PDF for Ubuntu 64 bit 15.10” recently. The question is about installing Adobe Reader on recent Ubuntu releases. The answer explains the whole story with the different versions and flavours of Adobe Flash Player. Obviously that misses the point entirely and I flagged it as "not an answer". My flag was declined.

I know that we generally keep answer posts that attempt to provide an answer (unless they violate other rules like being link-only) and I agree with that. Though in this case I'd argue that, while the post tries to answer some question, it clearly doesn't try to answer or otherwise address the question that was asked.

  • Did I take the wrong measure to deal with this issue by flagging as NAA? What should I have done instead?

  • Or should we keep all answer posts that make an attempt to answer any question even if they go completely off track?

    As an extreme case, someone going around and taking random answers from questions and posting them under random other questions wouldn't formally violate the rules (ignoring the fact about answer duplication which may or may not be problematic on its own depending on the circumstances).

  • 1
    My NAA flag for the same answer was accepted.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 6:18
  • «My flag was declined.» Welcome to the club. :) Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


Yes, that post should have been deleted and has been deleted now. No matter what we claim, mods are humans too and sometimes, we overlook posts (just like that answerer) and mistakenly act on flags. The post has been rightfully deleted and sorry about that declined flag of yours.

Please do continue to flag such out-of-place answers in the future and we'll handle them.

  • 1
    Thanks; I appreciate the honesty. :)
    – edwinksl
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 14:58
  • 1
    Do mods see/read the comments below a flagged post in their review queue? If so, it would be useful if flaggers explained their flag in a comment, especially in non-obvious cases like this one. It also helps the author of the answer to understand why their post gets deleted.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    @ByteCommander This specific case is pretty obvious though; the title even says Adobe PDF.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:24
  • @edwinksl No, a link-only answer or an answer that is just a different question is obvious because it optically looks different and you can tell it's wrong here at the first glance. Here you have a valid answer which just addresses a different problem. If you don't read both question and answer carefully enough, you can easily miss it.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 21:27
  • @ByteCommander, mods can see comments left on the post if we expand. But by default, all comments and vote score on the post are hidden in the queue and require additional actions.
    – jokerdino Mod
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 10:28

My basic action: downvote + comment. Downvote signifies answer is not useful, and answer that misses point of the question entirely or to some extend is not useful to that specific question.

If answerer fixes it to address the issue properly , remove downvote and comment. Deciding whether or not the edit does the job, is up to OP though.


I agree with the flag on that one. It's almost like someone (or something) saw "adobe" as a keyword and posted a flash answer to a pdf question.

  • 1
    Nice user name considering the 2nd sentence of the accepter answer (at least in its current state). ;-D Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 17:13

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