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I raised a flag for this answer by user MindingMyBusiness which has virtually the same information as this answer by user drivec. The flagged answer is also saying "Thank you".

As far as I am aware, duplicate and "Thank you" answers should be brought to the attention of moderators via a flag.

Can someone please explain why my flag was "declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer"?

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Hi and thanks for the post.

Not an answer flags are the most misused flags here by far.

Duplicate answer indicates that the post is an answer. You should choose an other flag in this case and explain the issue.

  • wrong answer, don’t flag as NAA
  • bad answer, don’t flag as NAA
  • answer needs an edit, first make the edit (or wait for someone else to edit) then flag appropriately.

The main post here covering declined NAA flags is Why was my flag for "not an answer" declined?

TL;DR - moderators generally don't delete posts until they have several down votes or constructive comments if there's even a hint of an answer contained in the post

So I declined your flag since there wasn’t a single effort to help the op. No comment, no vote, no edit. The person was clearly trying to answer, so I chose to leave it up.


When you detect a pattern of bad answer, absolutely flag them as other, but the harm in having basically duplicate answers with different wording is actually a benefit. Search engines index all the words and when people use different terms for the same thing, that makes the pose easier to find. Deleting content can harm the site overall. That is why when we close questions we like to keep 10 or so duplicates around before we try to start merging them or deleting the least useful versions.

Same for answers, rather than flag a bad answer, spread some upvote on the better answer and possibly the question.

Putting attention into the best answer rather than worry about culling less good ones that will end up below the fold would be my “advanced flagging” advice.

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  • So in the case of the answer I flagged, it would have been better to comment noting (politely of course) that the answer given was a duplicate, and to upvote rather than say "thanks".
    – agarza
    Aug 4 at 16:12
  • I would upvote the other answer personally and just leave the first answer of the new user alone. I wouldn’t give an answer that’s not good +1 unless it had something new to contribute @agarza I’ve edited the answer to hopefully make more sense.
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 4 at 18:46
  • Sounds reasonable. Thanks for you time on this.
    – agarza
    Aug 4 at 19:25
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    My pleasure. I very much appreciate how many contributions you’re making here and raising this question on meta. +1 and sincere thank you @agarza
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 4 at 21:32

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