My very low quality flag was declined by a moderator on this answer.

Why? It is just a link and the OP won't make any effort to improve it.

IMO this is about as low as the quality comes, is it not?

"declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it"

Really? No evidence was found that a link only answer is low quality? Flagging is a real crap shoot round here lately, we really need some clear guide lines on this, you just don't know if your perfectly good flag will be accepted or declined.

  • 2
    Pretty sure we are supposed to raise NAA flags for LOAs.
    – edwinksl
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 9:09
  • @edwinksl No because it IS an answer but this comment proves the point in my edit.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 9:11
  • 1
    @MarkKirby no, it isn't an answer. It's giving you directions about where an answer can be found, but it isn't itself an answer. Have a look at the flagging rules explained here: How do I flag correctly?
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


Well, no. As explained here, link-only answers should be flagged as "not an answer" (NaA) and not as "low quality" (LQ). The description of the LQ flag is:

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

A link-only answer is very easily improved. All it needs is for someone to copy the relevant information from the link into the answer. Therefore, it isn't something that is "unlikely to be salvageable through editing".

More to the point, as explained in the same meta post I linked to above:

If the answer contains no valuable information and, instead, only has a link pointing to where an answer can be found, then it is not actually an answer so you should flag as NaA.

Finally, what makes you think "the OP won't make any effort to improve it"? It was only posted yesterday and some strange people don't actually spend every waking moment on AU, you know ;). There's still time for the OP to improve it and there's still time for you, or anyone else, to include the relevant information from the link.

Note that I didn't handle this flag myself. I would, however, have handled it in the same way. Choosing the right flag is important since flags have different results (adding posts to a review queue, or casting an automatic downvote for example). So even if a post should actually be flagged (as is the case here), a mod is likely to decline the flag if the wrong one was used.

  • 1
    It's also worth noting that the text before the link "you can change this message by editing /etc/issue and /etc/issue.net" effectively makes it non link only.
    – Seth
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 15:03

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