Sorry if this is a dupe, but I didn't see it all in one place:

Since hitting 10K rep, I've been actively reviewing flags, and my disputed flag count jumped from 0 to 15 in a few days. It occurs to me that this site may have a different culture from the other sites on SE I've been active on. I know that some of the invalid flags flags generate an automatic disputed flag tag, but I want to make certain that I'm on the same page as everyone here.

Can we review the definition of Not An Answer, Very Low Quality, and SPAM flags?

My understanding:

Not An Answer: This answer does not make any attempt to actually answer the question. It should not be a statement of the answer's quality, per se. For example, a wrong answer should not be tagged with this flag. But, rather an answer that is just completely off the topic of the OP's question.

For Example: Q: Which form to the verb to be is correct in this sentence? I __ a good man.

A: Verbs often take different forms in English. I usually use a different verb in each sentence. --- Not An Answer

A: I is a good man is the correct form. --- Should be down voted or commented upon. NOT FLAGGED.

Very Low Quality: This answer contains enough quality issues that it is completely invalid. The answerer's grammar, punctuation, and spelling have made the answer unintelligible. (It is highly unlikely to be of benefit after editing.) Or it is just a link with no explanation of the link or its meaning.

Using the same example above:

A: i ujuly uses a word at a place ant i duznt no wich wun. --- Very Low Quality
A: I use am here. --- Not VERY LOW QUALITY, just a bit succinct. Should be handled in comments and votes.

SPAM: Basically any post that is not even a remote attempt to answer or further the purposes of the site. This can include actual spammy links to websites, services, etc. But, it can also be things like "I like toast."

I know some disagree with the last one, but it is spam, just not advertising spam. Matt points out below these can also be flagged as offensive. That seems reasonable, too.

  • I have 72 disputed flags since hitting 10K. :) Disputed flags don't count, so no need to worry about them, I guess. I agree with all of your assessments. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 2:15
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    I tend to mark things that you call "spam", that are not advertising, as "offensive", i.e. "This answer contains content that a reasonable person would deem inappropriate for respectful discourse". It's disrespectful to us. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 12:00
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    @Matt that's a fair assessment, too.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 12:27
  • What @medica said. I don't even know what "disputed" means in respect of my flags, but apparently my total 211 moderator attention flags includes 132 deemed helpful, 7 declined, and 69 disputed. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 17:12
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    @DavidM maybe your question really should be "What does 'disputed flag' mean?"
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 22:32
  • @Mitch that is a part of it, but I wanted to make certain that I was in line with everyone else on my flag definitions, too.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 23:19
  • I don't understand your distinction between "not an answer" and "very low quality". Is it just the quality of the grammar that moves the answer from the former to the latter? Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 3:17
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    @congusbongus That is one way to look at it. Not an answer means the person made an answer that doesn't really attempt to answer the question. It is a comment, question, or so severely off-topic that it is not an answer. (Sometimes these have value elsewhere on the site.) Low quality just can't be salvaged. It's not an answer, it's half gibberish, and no reasonable speaker of English would glean that the person was trying to answer the question ...
    – David M
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 3:20
  • @DavidM Makes sense for ELU I guess. I was thinking about Chinese.SE where there's a huge overlap by non-native English answerers unfamiliar with the SE format, such that I don't think the same standard could be applied there. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 3:25
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    @congusbongus Yes, there has to be a different culture in every SE. That's why I asked my question here.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 3:30


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