I flagged this answer as not an answer because it's a link-only answer:

See if it helps: (link)

My flag was declined as "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it".

According to Shog9's famous post about link-only answers, a link-only answer should be flagged as not an answer when it contains no useful information whatsoever other than the link. The only information in the answer itself that's not entirely generic is "format existing text as vertical text", but that's basically just the title of the question and is definitely not useful as an answer (and it's arguable if even that should count since it's part of the URL).

Also the link is broken and now just redirects to Microsoft Support's homepage, which is completely useless. So even if link-only answers were allowed I wouldn't see any reason to keep it. Besides there's another answer to that question with a higher score that actually answers the question, so it's not like deleting it would remove any information.

The only thing that's different between this answer and other link-only answers I've seen that have been deleted is that this one is accepted. But I've seen link-only answers with more upvotes than this get deleted. Also, since this answer contains nothing more than a broken link, it's completely useless, regardless of whether or not it's accepted.

So why was my flag declined? I can't see any reason at all to keep this answer.

  • Link-only answers are handled very inconsistently on Super User. I usually just comment them. I especially disagree that a (working) link-only answer is "not an answer". // In this case, the link is already dead, so it truly is "not an answer" now. Whoever reviewed the flag may not have checked the link.
    – Daniel B
    Dec 15, 2022 at 18:09
  • 6
    whether he checked the link or not is irrelevant, it is by definition a link only answer. Dec 16, 2022 at 14:23
  • @JoepvanSteen I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Nobody questions it being a link-only answer. Can you clarify?
    – gronostaj
    Dec 17, 2022 at 8:57
  • 5
    @gronostaj I think what he's trying to say is that the fact that it's a link-only answer is enough to delete it, the moderator shouldn't have to check the link to see that it should be deleted. Dec 17, 2022 at 9:58
  • @DonaldDuck; exactly. Dec 17, 2022 at 11:41
  • 1
    @gronostaj, so then there should be no discussion whether the answer should be deleted or not. Dec 17, 2022 at 12:02
  • @JoepvanSteen In this case, yes, but in general I disagree. A link-only answer is more useful than no answer at all. It may not be up to our standards, but it's helpful if there's no better alternative. What's more, such answer can be improved even by another user who is willing to read through the link. IMO that alone is enough to not delete it.
    – gronostaj
    Dec 18, 2022 at 11:33
  • 2
    @gronostaj, it's not about my standards, I was under impression it's against superuser standards. I have seen it mentioned several times by experienced users. Motivation: Once link disappears, which can happen at any time, answer becomes useless. Dec 18, 2022 at 21:11
  • @JoepvanSteen That's true and I've left this comment numerous times myself. But I'm using it to motivate why the answer should be improved, not deleted. I dislike link-only answers too, but I think they can be helpful sometimes.
    – gronostaj
    Dec 19, 2022 at 6:45

1 Answer 1


It looks like the answer has now actually been deleted, and converted into a comment under the question, so you would appear to have been correct in flagging it as a link-only answer. So, it would seem that this issue is now moot.

However, as to why your flag was declined, only the decliner would know that.

Nevertheless, for historical purposes, it might be worth trying to find an archived version of the page to which the link referred (using the way back machine, maybe), and posting a new answer with both the wayback link and the relevant contents of that said page.

This more up to date version of (presumably) the same page, Format existing text as vertical text, is for Visio 2021, and may not be applicable to Visio 2007.

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