On May 20 at 18:47:13Z I raised a flag on this answer concerning a possible migration to the comments section due to a lack of authoritative evidence. It has been 2+ months and

  • there have been no attempts by the answerer to improve their post

  • my flag has still not been processed.

Of course, I flagged for moderator intervention as I originally decided that a not-an-answer flag could potentially be easily dismissed (from experience on other SE sites). After looking at Privileges: Flagging, I realised there is no specified time limit on such moderator flags, only that

You'll be required to enter a comment clearly explaining what the problem is. After that, these moderator flags go in a special high priority queue visible to all moderators. (Users with the Moderator Tools privilege cannot view these flags.) We take moderator flags quite seriously; rest assured that they are all followed up on!

Could this problem be addressed?

  • 7
    That answer currently has a score of 12. Whether you agree with that or not, it's a fact. Given the people who've voted for it as an answer, it should not be turned into a comment. (Actually, I don't even know if it technically can be at this point.) Also, since you provided the other answer, it might be considered a conflict of interest for you to be pressing the matter at this point . . . Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 9:08
  • You can see the disposition of any flags you’ve raised in your flagging history. If it has been declined or marked helpful, it’s been handled. Sometimes mods will leave a comment on the flag when they handle it.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:20
  • 3
    You could edit the answer and add that much sought after reference. It's actually encouraged in the Stack Exchange policy/guidelines.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:23
  • 1
    @ColleenV It's marked as [pending] Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:26
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA But that would just be the same as my answer (i.e. a sort-of duplicate). However, what surprises me more is the duration of the flag (hence the title) Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:28
  • No. Your answer is more complete. The two are not duplicates of each other. You could just supply a simple link, nothing more.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:31
  • It’s surprising the flag has been around so long. Moderators recently got an upgrade to our flag handling UI, maybe your flag got put into limbo accidentally.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 10:45
  • 3
    Your answer to the posted question is clearly stronger and better documented than the answer you flagged, but it has a significant problem of its own: it offers sensible advice backed by several supporting references, but it doesn't acknowledge that a number of other respected style guides reach a contrary conclusion and offer quite different (but also reasonable) advice. This is an ever-present danger in dealing with style questions. Sometimes the vast majority of style guides line up very nicely behind one approach to handling a particular style issue, but other times (as here) they do not.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 0:03
  • @SvenYargs Thanks for the detailed advice, will keep that in mind in future. Your answer is definitely more insightful than any of the other two (+1); unfortunately, it seems that the asker has abandoned the question... Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 6:53
  • 5
    The nice thing about English Language & Usage is that there needn't be a single "right answer" to which all others must give way. In fact, I think, readers benefit when posters come up with multiple valid answers that take different approaches to resolving a posted question. In any event, your answer was interesting and useful, and I'm glad that you've taken the time and effort to contribute to this site.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


The text box used for providing comments supplies these specific guidelines:

Use comments to ask for clarification or add more information. Avoid answering questions in comments.

We therefore do not normally convert answers to comments for reasons like being too short or being wrong, or for lacking documented references. Migration would not automatically make them comments requesting or providing clarification on the post to which they would be migrated.

Rather, migration would make them answers posted in comments, something that interferes with the mechanisms Stack Exchange uses for searching and for critical quality-control measures such as auditing, voting, and improvement by the community at large.

That is something we should not do.

The user has been invited to improve their answer. Meanwhile, the community should feel free to make use of existing quality control measures such as editing and voting, or if need be, even voting for deletion, always remembering that...

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • Right, the middle paragraph explains it well. But was there a reason why the flag took so long? (as I have never seen any flags on pending for >14 days so just curious) Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 7:27
  • 1
    @TheSimpliFire don't overwork the mods - they are quite busy enough already! :) Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 12:23

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