The question: "Is there a way to not select whitespace after a word when double-clicking?

I flagged this answer with "the answer has nothing to do with the question".

I think that is true. The OP asked a way to not select whitespaces after a word on the general use (in Windows systems).

The user said this and I'll quote:

"but this solution for techies to resolve this issue on applications for their users."

Then, it talks about HTML (<div>). It's related to the question (it fits if a user is creating a webpage) but it doesn't answer the original question.


It was declined because that answer was attempting to answer the question, even if tangentially.

It was me that declined the flag but it looks like I fat fingered the decline selection and instead of flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer I hit the generic declined reason.

Your flag was simply "This answer has nothing to do with the question". Upon looking at the answer I could see some quite clear indication that it was indeed something to do with the question and it was attacking the problem from a different angle. Your flag was factually wrong and I declined it as such.

I felt that deleting something that was helpful to someone in the future that might be handling a similar problem was counterproductive.

If an answer is attempting in some way to answer the question then it is an answer. The fact that it is not 100% helpful to the original poster doesn't mean it might not be helpful to another user in future. We want to build a knowledgebase of solutions, that might help everyone with the same answer, not just OP.

If you feel that it is exceedingly low quality then we have a different flag for that.

Otherwise you can simply comment and downvote as necessary. Moderators should not be used to remove content you believe is wrong, the community has sufficient abilities to remove or police content that is just not completely helpful.

Moderators are intended as exception handlers and as such

If you see anything in the system that is evil, weird, or in any way exceptional and deserving of moderator attention for any reason…flag it! That’s the primary job of a moderator: to look at every flagged post, and take action if necessary.


A lot of the moderation work is mundane: deleting obvious spam, closing blatantly off-topic questions, and culling some of the worst-rated posts on the site. The ideal moderator does as little as possible, but those little actions may be powerful, visible, and highly concentrated.

None of that page mentions deciding the relative level of wrong-ness needed to delete something that is trying to be helpful in some tangential way.

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    "I felt that deleting something that was helpful to someone in the future that might be handling a similar problem was counterproductive." - but it is really useful on Superuser? If I'm looking to some tips for HTML I would probably look in Stack Overflow. – CaldeiraG Apr 21 '18 at 21:09
  • It's reasonable. I joined over a month and this was my very first answer which I saw this and it kinda look somewhat off-topic. I agree with you, thanks for the clarification and sorry for the inconvenience. – CaldeiraG Apr 21 '18 at 21:12
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    From my personal experience on other sites (e.g. Android.SE), that answer should be considered as NAA since it's outside of the site's scope. The tour itself mentions "Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users.". It's not focused on programmers, making it NAA. It's like providing a working Java code snippet for "How to prevent an accidental closing app from pressing back button on Android?" (hypothetical question for example purpose) when the user doesn't have access to the source code (development-related question is off-topic anyway on there) – Andrew T. Apr 23 '18 at 3:20
  • @AndrewT. That is possibly the "best" reason to delete it but I cannot find a definitive decision on this as a way we should be handling things. We have when is an answer eligible to be flagged as not an answer and should not an answer include off topic answers but neither have consensus on this particular type of answer, at least not that I can see before my morning coffee. Indeed Tom's answer on the 1st question states that they are just "bad" rather than deletable. Maybe we need a new meta question? – Mokubai Apr 23 '18 at 6:32
  • @AndrewT. Yeah, you're probably right. My custom-flag was kinda not appropriate for what I meant. – CaldeiraG Apr 23 '18 at 10:42
  • (1a) You say, ‘‘the community has sufficient abilities to remove or police content that is just not completely helpful.’’  (I seem to recall that Shog9♦ once made a similar comment, without explanation, but I can’t find it now.)  Can you clarify that?  Do you mean that we should just downvote and comment, and be happy?  Do you mean that ≥ 20K users are allowed to (vote to) delete wrong answers, or information that could be a right answer to a different question, even though flags from < 20K users are likely to be declined?  … (Cont’d) – Scott Apr 23 '18 at 19:03
  • (Cont’d) …  And what are we ≥ 2K users supposed to do when we see ‘‘answers’’ like that in the Low Quality Review Queue?  … … …  (1b) The phrase “moderators are human exception handlers” might be easier to understand and put into context if there were a clearer statement of what is “normal” and what constitutes an “exception”.  For example, if the rule is “Wrong answers have a place on Stack Exchange, the only things you’re supposed to do to them are downvote and comment”, then that should probably be stated explicitly. … (Cont’d) – Scott Apr 23 '18 at 19:03
  • (Cont’d) …  (2) “Maybe we need a new meta question?”  I don’t believe that it would help.  We have plenty of questions and plenty of answers.  The problem is that we have too many answers, and no consensus.  (3) You might want to have a chat with DavidPostill♦, who (in my perception) deletes a lot of answers, some of which are wrong, but some of which are correct but just don’t make a very good sales presentation (i.e., ‘‘elevator pitch’’). – Scott Apr 23 '18 at 19:03
  • @Scott all the information is there in the quote. Mods should be cleaning up the worst offenses. If an answer has a score of -20 then chances are the community wants it gone and I'd probably do that clean up, for the sake of the poster as well as the site. So yes, downvotes do matter and do have an effect. You can, very publicly show your distaste for an answer by commenting, downvoting and so on. Your votes do matter. If it truly is a train wreck of horrifying proportions then it will be made to go away. – Mokubai Apr 24 '18 at 7:06
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    Mods shouldn't be the Arbiters of Truth IMO. The community decides and mods enforce, not the other way around. If another meta question doesn't achieve consensus then we stick with the "pot luck" methods where the result of your flag depends on which mod saw it, if we get consensus (in either direction) then we can hold us all to it properly. Whichever way it goes the community effectively decided that that is how we handle it. – Mokubai Apr 24 '18 at 7:06

I don't really agree with the argument that the answer might be helpful to someone, and thus should be preserved. By that reasoning, if I ask "what's two times two?", the answer "5 × 5=25" should be allowed to stay. This is plain counter-productive and even harmful. For example, someone can read the answer in question and then ask

I came across this answer suggesting div tags to improve text selection behavior. So, how do I insert a div tag in Windows?

Having said that, you simply shouldn't expect mods to handle cases which require a judgement call. If you could formulate a hard rule that would disqualify the post from being a valid answer, flagging would be the right thing to do. For example, an answer in a language other than English should be flagged. An answer which has nothing to do with the question would qualify as well, but it would have to be really unrelated, e.g. the question is "what's two times two?" and the answer is "blue". In this case, the answer is somehow related, so it's not up to a mod to decide whether it should be deleted or not, even if I agree that this particular answer is useless.

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