Lately, I've noticed that a lot of people have been answering (for lack of a better term) stupidly. Since I am such a lucky person, I can't find an example right now, but I'll give you an idea of what I'm seeing:

  • sarcasm
  • troll
  • trying to be funny

Even if, technically, they answer the question, should they still be flagged? Or should I just let it go?

  • Is it me? Oh, please, let it be me! And a better term would be "casually", imho...
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:45
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox: You don't have to ask. We all know your goal in life :-)
    – Dynamic
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


There are three standard reasons for declining a flag:

  • flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

  • a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

  • flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

Ignoring the second for now, the first is used in cases where someone has flagged rather than down-voting or editing the post to correct the inaccuracies.

The third would clearly cover your second case - trolling - so flag away.

The other two - sarcasm and jokes - are (to me) less clear cut. However, if they answer the question then you shouldn't flag (see point 1 above). If they don't answer the question then flag away.

To take your example from the comments:

Q. What do I do when X happens?

The first answer:

A. Nothing.

This could be a valid answer - however it's not a useful answer as it doesn't explain anything. It's just a statement.

In this case you should really just comment and/or down-vote. However, if the poster shows no sign of coming back and making it an answer then flag it.

The second answer:

Take them out for a beer and see what happens.

This is clearly not and answer and should be flagged. If I saw a flag on that I would delete the answer.

  • For example, if I asked "What do I do when X happens?" and an answerer said "Nothing." or "Take them out for a beer and see what happens.". Do I flag that?
    – Dynamic
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:48
  • @Jae - See update.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:50
  • What update? You mean "tolling" to "trolling" because that really didn't help...
    – Dynamic
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:51
  • @Jae - Give me time :) I was going to comment but realised that an update would be better. I should have updated and then commented. Anyway, that update wasn't me :)
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:54
  • @Jae Come on, both examples are hypothetical, we don't get so poor answers. But if those are actually concrete examples, flag, flag, flag...
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:55
  • 2
    @ChrisF Well, I'd flag the first example as not an answer and I'd expect to see it converted to a comment.
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:57
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox - Hmm. Second thoughts.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jan 20, 2012 at 11:58
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox I'd expect to see it converted to a comment if you want to be sure, it's safer to use flag "Other" and explicitly suggest conversion to comments. not an answer flag may be slippery in cases like that
    – gnat
    Jan 20, 2012 at 12:07
  • @gnat Oh, yes, I know, my impressive flag weight took a few hits with such flags... and yes I know flag weight is no more, hence impressive as you can't verify what it was :)...
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 12:10
  • @ZaphodBeeblebrox :) I've been lucky to make a "memorial photo" of my most recent top weight at this screen shot
    – gnat
    Jan 20, 2012 at 12:17
  • @gnat Consider me impressed... Mine was 687, but no screenshot to prove it :)
    – yannis
    Jan 20, 2012 at 12:19
  • take them out for a beer can be a great answer though depending on the question, in the correct situation it is extremely useful.
    – Ryathal
    Jan 20, 2012 at 13:54

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