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I've been notified by a mod at Android Enthusiasts of my abuse of the flag system.

I'm sorry, but we're not going to keep converting [your non-answers] to comments for  
you. Earn 50 rep and you can start leaving your own comments. Continuously
circumventing the rep system by posting answers and immediately flagging
them is really not acceptable.

I was under the impression that the requesting the assistance of the stack mods was encouraged in the case of a low-rep user trying to attach a comment to a question. Assistance being required because I have been leaving an answer, then flagging it for moderator attention.

My question is, have I been abusing the same rule here, too?

An increment to a user's 'Helpful' count means they were helpful, right? Or is it that my behavior was tolerated, but never encouraged by the community?

If the constructiveness of my comment at Android Enthusiasts is an issue, it included 2 links to possible solutions.

Who can tell? You haven't provided any details that would be helpful, yet.  
There are a lot of possible solutions. What is the ROM? Where did you get  
it? Is there a forum thread somewhere for your ROM?
  • @slhck -- I want to add that my misconception was advanced by an intermittently occurring auto-correction/conversion by the Your Answer form entry process. It auto-converted more than one of my non-answers to question comments for me. But often, nothing is auto-anythinged. That's the kernel of my confusion, there. – zero2cx Sep 21 '12 at 23:19
  • I can understand where that confusion is coming from. Maybe the moderator(s) in question should have explained to you earlier. (By the way, you should've posted that comment below my answer, not your question. I just saw it by accident – @-pings are only delivered on posts where I already left a comment already) – slhck Sep 22 '12 at 6:52
  • Why didn't you ask this at meta.android.stackexchange.com? Or, if it's a question of how this is all supposed to work across all of Stack Exchange, meta.stackoverflow.com? – ale Sep 26 '12 at 13:25
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An increment to a user's 'Helpful' count means they were helpful, right? Or is it that my behavior was tolerated, but never encouraged by the community?

Generally, the former. Users typically have very good reasons to flag and we'll normally err on the side of clearing them as "helpful". But this might just be (a) moderator(s) tolerating the behavior and not declining the flags (yet).

However, note that flags are actually reserved for exception handling. Moderators are those people you call when there's nothing else you can do given your current reputation, and thus, privileges. Mostly, when there's something wrong.

In your case, if you're posting answers with the intention of them not being answers at all, but specifically targeted as comments, and then make moderators convert them for you, you are (in a way) abusing the system.

You're generating extra work that could have possibly been avoided if a) the comment would have been more profound and could have stood as an answer or b) you had taken the time to focus on getting 50 reputation to be able to comment, which really isn't that hard to do and which is something we require from every other user as well.

Granted, there's always the urge to request clarification or drop comments here and there, and a constructive comment can never hurt, but if you can't post comments yet, then just do whatever the system allows you to do instead (like posting answers, questions, voting, editing, etc.), but don't use this tiny loophole, please.

  • 3
    I'd like to reiterate that editing is a valuable and easy way to earn the required reputation. – Der Hochstapler Sep 21 '12 at 21:49
  • @OliverSalzburg -- Being a silent and diligent editor for a period is a great idea, IMO. – zero2cx Sep 21 '12 at 22:42
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If you are deliberately posting comments in the answer section, then flagging to have it converted into comments instead of spending time on clearer questions to answer that would net you the requisite reputation to leave comments on your own, then yes, that would be seen as abusive.

If your previous flags on such have been marked as helpful then that could be due to moderator oversight processing flags without a pause.

But if you're flagging other users who may have posted comments in the answers, that's a little different.

Unless those other users are your own, in which case, we've got two problems.

  • Cool. Thx. Not sure what you meant in the last sentence. Could you clarify it for me? – zero2cx Sep 21 '12 at 21:01
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    @zero2cx Hypothetically, if you had two user accounts and had used one to post answers, then used the other to flag those for conversion to comments. That would be another problem, of course. – slhck Sep 21 '12 at 21:07
  • I don't know whether random was intentionally referring to it, but “Now you have two problems” is a sort of catch phrase: see Jeffrey Friedl's Blog and What is meant by “Now you have two problems”? – Scott Sep 28 '15 at 17:56

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