Sometimes there is a question from a new user in my review queue that needs to be improved by the OP. When I view it in my review queue, someone else has already done a good job leaving a comment to the OP regarding how they can improve their question. Is it appropriate to approve the question, or is it appropriate to flag it for removal?
I'd say there's no general advice here. I often sit in the very same situation, additionally with the "Delete" option. If it's a new user's first question, and just a few hours old – I'd prefer they'd get a real chance to fix it up; their first question deleted within minutes just scares them away. Which there was a possibility to set a reminder: "Re-visit this in xx days"...
So basically, I've set myself the following set of rules:
- First question of new user:
- no comment: leave a comment, flag if needed (a flag doesn't delete, but gives the chance someone else checks it again later)
- has "fresh" comment: flag as above; "fresh" means not older than 1..2 days
- has "settled" comment: flag and, if the link is there, mark for deletion. User had his chance and didn't take it – so either he doesn't care or even not return at all. Still has the chance to improve it and get it re-opened.
- Question of experienced user: Here I tend to hit "delete" faster – "freshman's bonus" gone :)
In general: Flagging a post doesn't "destroy" it – it simply brings it to attention (either pushing it to the review queue, or additionally popping up in the moderators' console – depending on how you've flagged it). So I'd say: When in doubt, flag it – so someone else can cross-check.