I always thought editing an NAA (Not an answer) may confuse the automated low quality answer detection. Also when I'm flagging an answer as "Not an answer", why would I edit it to improve?

Recently I saw such an edit and commented to the fellow Ask Ubuntu user that, we should not edit an NAA, instead flag it. He replied, he actually did flag it.

That brought the question into my mind. Should we still be editing such posts?

Note: It is also possible that he edited it first then realized it is an NAA and then flagged. But I'm interested in opinion on events when you realized it before editing.

Note 2: The answer got deleted eventually and this is not a criticism of the action -:)


2 Answers 2


Suggesting edits to unsalvageable posts (Qs posted as As in particular) is a waste of everyone's time - of the editor's and of the the 2+ reviewers' who have to review it. That time is better spent on a post that has a chance of remaining on this site. It's like editing a spam post.

If you're a 2k user, knock yourself out - after all, it's just your own time you're wasting. I edit NAA posts myself, on occasion.

There's also a "feature" on SE where editing a post with an automatic VLQ flag gets an automatic -1 from Community. So, I'd actually encourage edits by 2k+ users in case the NAA post had such a flag on it. The downvote makes it easier to directly cast a delete vote on the post. Without it, a score-0 post has to be downvoted, then the page refreshed before the delete button shows up.

  • It wasn't suggesting edit. The editor had enough privilege
    – Anwar
    Apr 13, 2017 at 8:04
  • @Anwar oh, noted.
    – muru
    Apr 13, 2017 at 8:06
  • TIL about that "feature". One reason I've generally avoided editing when flagging is I worry edits look like endorsements... I guess I should trust the community more.
    – Zanna Mod
    Apr 14, 2017 at 8:13

It might be a case of flagging it first, then attempting to fix it, but not being sure if it's good enough. I don't know.

A NAA should probably be reserved for something that has no value as an answer. Things that can be turned into answers with an edit should be edited.

I really don't see a problem in improving a post after flagging it. Yes, it might mean the earlier flaggers get rejections, but if a little edit turns things around, perhaps they could have done it instead of just trying to delete it.

Flag stats aren't important. Good answers are.

That all said, I'm not sure there's any value in quality of language edits to something that is fundamentally not an answer.


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