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I have seen this question:

What to do when an answer is just a (very good) request for information?

and this one

How to handle Comments as Answers

But I am now reviewing posts and I few times I have seen people asking for more information as an answer.

Where the poster has sufficient reputation to comment I flag the question for deletion. However in a few of these cases I believe that the poster is genuinely trying to help and that the only reason they are not posting the request as a comment is that they don't yet have sufficient reputation.

What should I do in these circumstances?

Should I flag the post for deletion or leave it alone on the basis that the requested information may help lead to an answer?

Should I flag the post for deletion but also add a comment to the question requesting the information? I have done this in the past where I have known what to do with the requested information once its supplied but if the question is about some part of Linux that I have little experience with or some program I don't use I am reluctant to do that because I will then get notified when there is a response and not the person who requested the information and may be able to make use of the response.

Should I skip the review instead of approving it or rejecting it? This is what I have chosen each time this has happened so far.

Finally: Is there an argument that that the reputation required to comment should be reduced?

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Moderators can convert answers to comments. Simply flag saying "This should be a comment" should be sufficient for a moderator to know to convert to a comment. That being said not all comments need to actually be comments. If it's just a passing statement like "Install Gentoo" or some other non-constructive comment as an answer flag for deletion/removal. If it's actually someone trying to get a response from the poster in a constructive fashion, feel free to comment on their answer that they should put this as a comment then flag it if you really thing it should be a comment and not just left as an answer that the author might come back and edit later.

Reducing comment threshold has been brought up several times on meta. The final answer on that, which isn't going to change anytime soon, is: "If you don't have enough reputation to comment. Don't comment. If it's something worth saying someone else will say it. Instead go get more reputation by participating in the site activities you can do. If you come back 50 rep later and the comment is still warranted. Do it then."

  • Where did you quote "If you don't have enough reputation to comment. Don't comment. If it's something worth saying someone else will say it. Instead go get more reputation by participating in the site activities you can do. If you come back 50 rep later and the comment is still warranted. Do it then." from? – geezanansa May 18 '13 at 19:15
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    It's a paraphrasing of what has been agreed upon. If you want references search in meta (I'll try to find a few) – Marco Ceppi May 18 '13 at 19:20
  • I often flag them as Not an Answer. Should I start flagging them as Other and mention that the post should be a comment instead of an answer? What is the preferred way to flag? – Aditya May 19 '13 at 9:10
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    @Aditya not an answer is fine, but it slows my workflow down as I have to try to figure out why it's not an answer. Flagging with Other and just saying "Should be a comment" helps provide those chugging through the moderator queue with some context – Marco Ceppi May 19 '13 at 12:10
  • @MarcoCeppi: Alright.. from now onwards, would flag those comment-as-an-answer posts with the Other option :) – Aditya May 19 '13 at 16:38
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I think the rule of thumb for flagging would be whether or not it answers the given question. So, even if the new users are trying to help, they are really doing it the wrong way -- perhaps not intentionally but maybe because they don't fully understand the Stack Exchange way of doing things.

Preferably, you should flag the non-answer for deletion as well as add a comment on the new user's behalf. If you are not comfortable with adding a comment yourself, that's fine too but don't forget to flag the answer! Mods have tools to convert an answer to a comment so we can do it at our discretion.

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