This is a wonderful summary and shows in plain data how much everyone does to moderate this site past those of us with a diamond granting a couple of the more formal moderation tools. I am humbled by the overwhelming goodwill people bring to this site to help each other and make a place to answer questions people have about Apple services and products.
They'll show up in the comment queue and all moderators will see the flag. The system doesn't hide the flag from the moderator who's comment was flagged. We discuss flags on our own comments and avoid moderating ourselves.
Thank you @shog9 for your many years of service here. You were instrumental to me learning the ropes as I joined the sites and got adjusted to what it means to serve as one of the moderators here - first by reputation and then after election.
Thank you, Shog9
Thanks specifically the kind words, encouragement, humor and humanity you brought to the concept ...
Yes, moderators can change an answer into a comment and attach it to the question (or any other answer) within the same question thread. Usually we use this exactly in the situation you mention (low rep user asking a clarification question).
It is true that some people post comments as answers, but my experience shows that those posts usually do get deleted.
If something answers a question, it should not be flagged as not an answer.
Redundant answers are still answers, and could possibly be worded more clearly than the answers they duplicate.
Wrong answers are still answers, and it not ...
Comments are ephemeral. Especially if they turn into a long exchange, we delete them. Notice the warning telling you to avoid extended discussions in comments. Either edit the answer if the answer's poster is on board, or propose a new answer.
It is a tag badge. There is a silver, gold and bronze tag badge. You get one for each tag depending on the score you earn on each. For example. a gold osx badge shows this gold badge symbol when marking as duplicate. It gives the user elevated privileges to better handle tag moderation.
Add gold tag badge privileges to a user's Privileges page
I would say - this is the perfect place to ask and make recommendations as long as you are here to answer all sorts of questions and help. When that happens, there's going to be lots of answers that have nothing to do with a specific product you may know and find useful.
The astroturfing / spamming is really for when an account only posts marketing blurb - ...
I wouldn't delete a post based on a -1 personally. Maybe if you're at -5 and you find the answer is totally not helpful / even when you misunderstand a question and make an attempt to answer, hundreds of people will likely make the same error and having that up can help the site. It also can help someone with a similar problem but they find your answer.
The Community User always is a bot. See this post on Meta SE for some more details.
Also, the profile page for that user is quite descriptive:
If you find something that isn't documented there, we can open a new question to have that addressed.
As for this edit, the user approving it has >...