I flagged this particular answer as "not an answer". For reference, the question was:

How to block bluetooth device that spams me with pairing requests?

and the answer I flagged was:

Doesn’t seems to work blocking a Samsung Android 900v The Samsung has an unbelivable signal strength for one I would expect for Bluetooth.

To me, this is very much not an answer—it isn't even attempting to answer the question.

In the grand scheme of things, this is super small potatoes, but I'd like to understand for future reference: why was the flag declined? Should I have used a different flag?

  • 1
    Thank you to whoever migrated this, I'd meant to post it here! Apr 9, 2019 at 19:28
  • Thanks for asking. Glad it made it here so our moderators could see it.
    – bmike Mod
    Apr 9, 2019 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


After the votes, the comment asking for clarification and several down votes, it’s clear that answer isn’t going to reach to the community standards and has been deleted.

Thanks for allowing the moderation process to be “moderate” and not “one strike and you’re gone” quick. The rest of the reasoning / policy remains here so people know why it was voted or what potential reasons for declining a flag when an answer has no down votes happens in the future.

The normal escalation path is to use voting and comments to indicate a poor quality answer is there.

There’s no need for moderators to handle all the steps and typically I prefer not to delete an attempt to answer unless there are several down votes or a post notice or comment wouldn’t be suitable address a poor quality answer.

In this case both a comment and post notice were chosen to get the answer edited or attract down votes as needed.

Flag things that are actively harmful or require intervention when normal moderation tools cannot remedy a bad post. Even wrong answers shouldn’t typically be flagged. I’m not seeing any harm in leaving it up with the post notice to explain how this answer could be improved or at least judged by voting.

At this point, no one has cared enough to even down vote it. Now it does have some down votes, showing that the community can color that answer as not useful.

  • Thanks for the votes here and on the answer in question.
    – bmike Mod
    Apr 10, 2019 at 0:35
  • 2
    So is the threshold, I shouldn't flag non-answers if they aren't also downvoted? The post in question wasn't wrong, it basically said "I have this problem too." Apr 10, 2019 at 3:22
  • @Wowfunhappy Here’s the FAQ on declined flags. Let me edit that in above, too. apple.stackexchange.com/help/declined-flags Main thing is does it need a moderator to unilaterally handle? There are thousands of non/bad answers and unless they are getting tons of upvotes, they tend to self delete or just warn others they aren’t the answer.
    – bmike Mod
    Apr 10, 2019 at 3:29
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    @Wowfunhappy The key message here is rather "Don't flag if you can act as a moderator yourself", be it by commenting, be it by downvoting, be it by editing. I agree that the post you've flagged is borderline bad and may have been better posted as a comment, but a downvote would have brought that point across even better than a flag.
    – nohillside Mod
    Apr 10, 2019 at 6:42
  • Thanks to @Wowfunhappy again for brining this up - we did have some discussions on how / when to give an answer a choice - I don’t think anyone thought it was a good answer and now the votes down on the main page have had the intended effect to refund all reputation to voters as well as delete the answer.
    – bmike Mod
    Apr 13, 2019 at 14:57
  • Down-voters are penalised! It seems a simple decision if an "Answer" does not answer the question asked (many seem to answer something else) - why penalise someone for flagging it?
    – Milliways
    Apr 14, 2019 at 4:23
  • 2
    Down-voters are penalised by a single point, & that is refunded if the answer does eventually get deleted. It's just enough to make you careful over what you down-vote, but not enough to stop you if you feel it really deserves it.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 14, 2019 at 10:38

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