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When is an answer eligible to be flagged as “not an answer”? What to do?

This answer turned up flagged as not an answer. I'm not actually certain which way it goes - it is 'an' answer, but not quite to the question as asked. I suppose it could be considered a 'best effort' to understand the issue not being enough.

Strictly speaking, if its not an answer, the flag's right, else a downvote might work. How do people lean generally though? What's the general consensus on the issue?


3 Answers 3


If it does not answer question, how is it an answer? In my opinion, it is no different from non-answers, as in it doesn't attempt to answer the question at all. This is not the case for wrong answers, as they are at least an honest attempt at solving the question.

If the answerer is notified that the answer is placed wrongly and no attempt is taken to fix it, I would expect the answer to be removed.


If the answer does not attempt to answer the question then its not an answer.

If the answer is relevant to the question but the answer is actually wrong then a downvote and a comment should be used.

At least that's how I interpreted the rules.


I think that if the user is actually answering something, and makes a point that might solve the problem, then keep it, it is fine. Sure they might not get upvotes, but its still an answer.

To me, Not an answer is used when someone posts "Oh my god I have this problem tooooooo!"

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