With the recent acquisition of 10K reputation I've seen people flagging NAA wrong answers... this is not what the Not an Answer flag is for, for that is the Down Vote button! In which cases NAA should be used (OMG, I can't believe I have to explain this):

  • When you should flag:

    • If the answer asks the asker about more information, is Not an Answer.
    • If the answer is replying someones comment, is Not an Answer (NAA).
    • If the answer is a "me too", "thanks", "u sux", etc... is Not an Answer.
    • If the answer has some rant, you removed the rant and still doesn't make something near an answer, is Not an Answer.
    • If it's barely anymore than a link and the question doesn't ask for links
    • If it does not attempt to answer the question, is Not an Answer.
  • When you should not flag:

    • When the answer gives exactly what the question asks for
    • If the post is a halfbaked answer that might not solve OP's question, downvote it
    • If the answer is somehow ranty you edit the rant and still is coherent, then just edit it (and vote it if it's right/wrong)
    • When the answer is plainly wrong, downvote it. (if you have read one of this two posts see the reason below)
    • When the answers is dangerous, comment that is dangerous (I normally say the same with people that jump of the gun (or right off the bat) say to remove /var/lib/dpkg/lock) and there is safer methods or edit the answer and add a note that the method could be dangerous. (if you have read one of this two posts see the reason above)

That would be the best.

The below note

About wrong and dangerous answers that should not be flagged, lets put it this way:

enter image description here

That was a flag in SO. I don't know if moderators in AU allow NAA flags on wrong answers (as I don't remember to flag any "wrong" answer as NAA), I belive that either they should be edited, voted, commented but not flagged.


  • Actually, I usually flag really link only answers to be converted to a comment.. Although I guess NAA isn't the flag for that since only mods can convert.. – Seth Nov 22 '13 at 1:07
  • I don't know if moderators in AU allow NAA flags on wrong answers - AFAIK, that doesn't exist, the slightest attempt to answer the question is an Answer, poor, dangerous or wrong as it is, still an Answer. – brasofilo Nov 22 '13 at 3:36
  • @brasofilo yeah, but my invalid flags keeps being disputed for some reason. – Braiam Nov 22 '13 at 18:35
  • 1
    @brasofilo Actually, that is not necessarily true. If there was no such thing as comments, then yeah, it would be true. However someone dumping a link saying "check this out" is not an answer. It is a comment and should be converted into one (mods can do this) so that the answer space isn't polluted and so that an unanswered question doesn't get marked as answered (an answer with a score of +1 or more marks a question as "answered" in the system, pulling it from the unanswered list). – Seth Nov 22 '13 at 18:51
  • 1
    If you look at Why are some answers deleted in the help center, one of the reasons is barely more than a link to an external site – Seth Nov 22 '13 at 18:52
  • Flagging link only comments as NAA is pretty standard practice from what I've seen across a variety of SE sites. Link only answers are only answers until the link expires and then it's just a line of text pointing to a 404. Flagging an actual attempt at answering the question that turns out to be wrong is still an attempt at answering a question though, and these should not receive NAA votes - these should receive downvotes instead. – Flyk Nov 24 '13 at 8:34
  • 1
    Limit case: Try the command foo as shown in <link> – brasofilo Nov 24 '13 at 15:49

This is a table scrapped from MSO about what to do with answer:

How can I foo the bar in X?
I'm trying to foo the bar using qux. However, I get an error message <error>. What am I doing incorrectly?

When should I post a comment and when should I post an answer?

If your response is:     then it should be: Corrective action    Flag as NaA

 1 Can you post your     comment on the     If you wrote an          Yes
   code?                  question           answer, delete it 
                                             and leave a comment 
                                             instead. If you 
                                             don't have 50 rep,
                                             please wait until 
                                             you do.

 2 Have you fooed the baz?     "                    "                Yes

 3 What version of X are       "                    "                Yes
   you using?                 

 4 I've had the same           "                    "                Yes
   problem since 
   version X.1

 5 You missed a comma,         "            Flag question as         No
   which is causing                          "Too Localized,
   the error                                 Fix my Typo."

 6 This was discussed in       "            Vote to close as         Yes
   this question and answer                  duplicate.
   [internal link]

 7 The accepted answer   comment on the     Write a better answer    No
   is incorrect or no     answer             of your own or notify 
   longer accurate.                          the answerer.
 8 You cannot do that    an answer          Link to documentation    No
   in X because it                           if possible.
   doesn't support Y.

 9 This is what you're        "                    "                 No
   doing incorrectly. 
   [Explain]. Here's how it
   should be done [code]

10 Try this: [code]           "             Improve the answer.      No
                                             Explain why you think 
                                             that's the solution.  
                                             If it's a code only 
                                             answer, use comments to explain.

11 This is the problem:       "             If it's an external      No
   [Explain]. In a                           link, it helps to 
   related answer/blog                       document the key points 
   post, I/they discuss                      here so that the crux 
   blah [link] which might                   of the post is available 
   be of interest                            even if the link goes down. 
                                             Do it yourself or leave 
                                             a comment for the OP.
12 See here:            be heavily          The answer must be       Depends
   [external link]       improved           improved as described 
                                            above, else it will be deleted. 
                                            Downvote if link is tangential to
                                            the question. Write a new answer 
                                            with details and then flag as 
                                            Not an Answer. 
                                            Also flag if the link is broken.

13 I've tried these     a new question      If you have +75 rep,     Yes
   solutions and it                          consider placing a bounty
   doesn't work on                           to seek a better answer.
   [operating system].                       If not (or if it's
   How should I modify the                   different enough), 
   solution to make it work?                 ask a new question.
14 Thanks man,          deleted              Glad it worked, but     Yes
    this worked!!1!                           seriously, just 
                                              upvote it if you have 
                                              the reputation.
15 Sir, I am having a   deleted with         Do not encourage these   Yes
   similar project       extreme              users to ask new questions - 
   this is due           prejudice            they're most likely 
   tomorrow. Can you                          going to be closed.
   please send me the code 
   for your project at [email]

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .