I wish there was some way to directly respond to mod comments on a flag... Anyway...

I was under the impression that "not an answer" encompasses "answers" that merely link to existing ones without adding anything new. So how is it that when I flag such an "answer", the flag gets rejected and yet the post is deleted for exactly the same reason? I did not evaluate the answer for technical accuracy or anything, the flag was purely meant to indicate that it should have been a duplicate vote or a comment instead of an answer. A comment stating the same was left for the poster as well.

As it turns out the reason the poster thought the linked answer was a duplicate was technically inaccurate, but who cares? The flag was raised due to the nature of the "answer" and not to indicate that it was a wrong answer to the question, and so it's weird to see it being declined when the mod actually agreed with me!

(Yes, I know this sounds like a lengthy whine and one rejected flag has no adverse effect etc. I'm not looking for an apology or something equally ridiculous, and indeed no response is required. This can be considered just a note for mods to evaluate flags carefully. Sometimes we too lack the time to leave explanatory comments with a flag, but the default options exist and are carefully selected for a reason.)

2 Answers 2


For your record, on the post you're talking about, there were two flags:

  • "the answer is completely wrong"
  • "not an answer" (that was yours)

I declined the flags with the following reason…

it's not an answer since it just links to another post, but flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

and deleted the post, as there is no way we can dismiss flags individually (yet).

So, I actually agreed with you. The post was not an answer. But I disagreed with the other, resulting in a declined flag for you, since we cannot mark as "helpful" and leave a message at the same time. Sorry for that, but I believe we've already discussed over a declined flag of yours, and I remember talking with you about just shrugging it off because in essence it does not matter.

  • Yes, I indicated clearly above that it doesn't matter (which you might not believe since I posted this question). It wasn't a complaint and I didn't want to point fingers at or draw attention to the mod in question, so please don't feel the need to apologise. Your response has made it clear there are moderator restrictions on multiple flag handling which I was completely unaware of, so that explains perfectly the flag message. Not ideal, but understandable. (I see no technical reason for the restriction BTW other than that this isn't a feature considered worth implementing by the SE devs.)
    – Karan
    Jul 19, 2013 at 18:00
  • There is a lot of restructuring going on with the way flags work in the backend, since it's one of the oldest features that has accumulated some cruft over the years. I believe with the changes we'll soon have the ability to dismiss flags individually, which would have prevented this from happening. I'm sure you didn't take this the wrong way. You have a great flagging record and do a lot of moderating, so I hope you continue with your work – it's much appreciated.
    – slhck
    Jul 19, 2013 at 20:05
  • It's even status-planned. (CC @Karan)
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Jul 20, 2013 at 16:02
  • Thanks slhck, we all try to do our bit to help you guys out. Also that's good news @DanielBeck. I fully support this and upvoted the request. Hopefully it's implemented soon.
    – Karan
    Jul 20, 2013 at 17:27
  • It is possible to deem flags as helpful with messages now, and moderators can now dismiss flags individually.
    – gparyani
    Jul 3, 2014 at 20:29

I don't know what answer you're talking about, but, in general, "not an answer" means that the post does not answer the question (by itself).

If you've flagged a post for exactly that reason, the flag was dismissed, but the post was also deleted, then a moderator probably misclicked.

  • 3
    That, or there were two flags on the post, which we couldn't dismiss individually (and I think that's the case here).
    – slhck
    Jul 19, 2013 at 17:44
  • @Oliver: I didn't want to direct attention to the specific post/mod since I too thought that was what it might have been, and the mod who handled it would know anyway what I was referring to (if it hadn't slipped his mind).
    – Karan
    Jul 19, 2013 at 17:49
  • 1
    @slhck: That's a new one. You mean if there are two flags, one correct and the other incorrect, both get rejected?
    – Karan
    Jul 19, 2013 at 17:50
  • @Karan Yep, that sums it up.
    – slhck
    Jul 19, 2013 at 17:51
  • @slhck: Thanks for the explanation, that was indeed a mod restriction I was unaware of since it was the first time I found myself at the wrong end of it.
    – Karan
    Jul 19, 2013 at 18:07

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