We have some strange low-quality flags most days, so I think perhaps a discussion on the best practice would be in order.

The Very Low Quality flag is intended to be used for posts that are beyond saving. Essentially, a VLQ flag says "This user is shitting all over the place and the post should be deleted immediately!" It is an offensive-lite flag, the "spam"-flag also incurs a reputation penalty and ban, when it is triggered on multiple posts of a user.

For a more comprehensive description please refer to Usage guide for very low quality flag.

If an answer is just not useful, i.e. talking about the right subject, giving good information, but just not really helping with the question it should be downvoted instead. – Don't worry about losing reputation for downvotes: When a post gets deleted due to accumulating downvotes your rep gets restored.

If an answer misses the topic completely, contains a new question, is a "thank you-statement", or a "have the same problem-comment", it should be flagged as not an answer.

What do you think, did I get that about right? Are some things handled differently on this SE?

1 Answer 1


It can be a bit of a subjective call.

If the answer is:

  • Wrong - down vote it, consider leaving a comment
  • Completely out of left field - as in someone posted the answer on the wrong question, flag as 'other', otherwise the mods might see what looks like a perfectly good answer and wonder what you're trying to flag
  • kdjhaskdjhaskhd, I am psychic and can fix your problems, best gucci bags - spam
  • An indecipherable blob of something that would take at least a Herculean effort to salvage - very low quality
  • I too have this problem, your answer didn't work - Not an answer
  • Thanks! - Not an answer
  • I too had this problem - read very carefully, see below

Sometimes the difference in 'have' and 'had' can throw you off, so when considering NAA, make sure they're not actually answering the question perhaps while trying to ask another - favor editing if that's the case and let them know they can ask a new question in comments.

For the most part, if someone is at least trying to answer and appears to have at least read the question, voting and editing are the best tools.

  • So, what would you do, if someone is talking about the right topic, just not actually addressing the question? For example this answer: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/4036/… or this bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/21275/…, i.e. not wrong but just not useful? --- So far I have been downvoting those and explaining that they are not addressing the question.
    – Murch Mod
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:28
  • If it doesn't answer the question, but seems more tangentially related to it - then it should be flagged NAA. Mods can (at their discretion) turn potentially useful bits into comments, but that should be somewhat of a rarity.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 8:16

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