I have been flagging a lot of answers lately that were actually no answers, but comments or new questions - today one of those flags was declined, because "it shouldn't be used to flag wrong answers", in a case where I had clearly flagged a follow-up question. The flag description of "not an answer" seems to be indicating that this is the proper use of that flag.

Apparently, I am confused about how to use the "not an answer" flag. How is it supposed to be used?

Edit: The flagged answer can be found here: How to import my wallet?

The decline was explained with "declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer"

  • If sounds like you've been using this feature successfully up until this one case. So can you add a link to the post in question so we can discuss the specifics of whether it should have been declined (and why), rather than guessing about generalizations? Dec 6 '13 at 17:24

"Not an answer" was created to address the issue of folks leaving commentary, or even additional questions as answers. It also applies when someone just typed an answer to another question in the wrong box in the wrong tab (that happens more than you'd think). You can also use it when something is completely out of left field and just bizarre in the context of the question, e.g:

Q: How do I calculate how many [something] my [something] did?

And then you see this ...

A: I like turtles.

You should not use the flag to indicate that an answer is inaccurate or just plain wrong, that's what votes and comments are for. If it attempts to answer the question, even if it's obvious that the question was misunderstood, it's still an answer.

If you think that it wouldn't be immediately obvious to the moderators that the answer you're flagging should probably be removed (generally, the usual course for valid flags of this type), use 'other' and elaborate a bit - make sure the moderators notice what you did.


I believe the answer to this is that what you flagged as "not an answer" can actually be seen as a somewhat convoluted and indirect answer phrased as a question of the rhetoric let-me-make-you-think-and-answer-it-yourself kind. I've tried to explain by adding a comment to it. Anyways, a certain number of people interpreting this grammatical question as a logical answer will naturally disagree with your flag.

  • 1
    Interesting point. But, after re-reading it again, I'd like to point out that the question doesn't state having 0 coins in the Mac wallet, so to me it still looks like it is a follow-up question or perhaps a comment on the other answer (following Stephen Gornicks remark). Hence, "not an answer" would still be appropriate.
    – Murch Mod
    Dec 8 '13 at 22:15
  • I agree that this is one possible interpretation. Someone looking deeply at the logic to the point of not caring about the lack of literal inclusion may come to a different interpretation, based on overwriting the new wallet file indeed being close to, for a rational actor, assuming that it must have 0 coins. I suppose there is always room for interpretation, and hence for people to disagree if this particular "answer" deserves being called an answer or not.
    – pyramids
    Dec 8 '13 at 22:24
  • 1
    Well, I would conclude that my understanding of the "not an answer" flag apparently was appropriate, and the matter resolves to diverging interpretations of the flagged answer's intention. To me, my question is resolved.
    – Murch Mod
    Dec 8 '13 at 22:40

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