Let's prefix this with this: I'm quite new to all of this. I've been on mSO for almost a year now, and I know the normal ropes, but this site is a brand new category for SE. We have some work to do.

How should we flag answers? We have quite a few one-liner answers comprised of a link to some software and maybe a vague description of it.

If I understand correctly, that's not what we want.

We need substantial answers, answers that tell me exactly why I should choose this one program over another. Answers that show it will do what I need it to. These one-line answers, however, are almost spam.

That's not what I'm seeing here.

Here's an example of what I see quite often:

Software XYZ does what you want and much more. Go check it out!

Should we be flagging these one-liner answers? As what? Should we downvote them? How can we nip this in the bud?

  • 1
    Great question! I think we need an additional flag reason like low quality.
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:41
  • 1
    @juergend I don't know about that, as it seems VLQ would suffice. Many of these are upvoted, though, which might be a problem. Maybe we simply say they're not answers and NAA them?
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:42
  • 1
    Pleae not! We already have that confusion over at SO. Not an answer are those Thank you answers that don't try to answer anything. Make it clean - if no flag reason fits - create one that fits.
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:45
  • I certainly agree that a custom flag just for this site would be nice, but the idea of SE making that change just for us seems a little far-fetched.
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:47
  • You are right. I did not see the VLQ flag reason. This one should be enough.
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:26

3 Answers 3


As I wrote in the guidance we laid out prior to launch:

Answers that do not even come close to meeting the constraints described in the question should be flagged as not an answer, and will be removed quickly.


Answers that contain little more than a link will be deleted without question, comment or other ceremony.

It's a little early to start heavily moderating the site, because meta is extremely active right now, and folks have been revising their posts based on discussions that have been going on here, all within the first 24 hours of the site existing. It's actually quite a marvel.

But, those are the guidelines - and they will be heavily enforced. Make no mistake, the only way to sell the idea of this site going into public beta is exemplary quality, and we're going to be quite stern about it.

We don't want to just open up a place where people can ask questions that are frowned upon elsewhere. The goal is to show that they can, in fact, work. Quality is key to that.

  • 1
    So to clarify: I shouldn't go around flagging all the one-liner answers, at least not yet?
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:39
  • 1
    @Undo I'd say flag opportunistically as you work to build the kind of content that we want. We'll look at the post at the time you flagged it when it comes to validating them - no worries there. If it was crap when you flagged, but gold now, you'll still get a validated flag. I'm not going to start cracking down too hard just yet, since there's a lot of editing going on still.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:42
  • Awesome, will do.
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:44

I think we should downvote such answers as they are "not useful" as soon as more than one answer is there.

Imagine 5 of such answers under a question; Without any further information you have no chance of comparing them except to "check them out".


If the answer doesn't fit the constraints of OP, then is NAA, if the answer lack information that allows people to evaluate accurately OP claims then is VLQ. If the answer is wrong or misleading telling the asker that some software do things they don't do then DV.

I think that should be clear enough rules that can be enforced.

  • And where is that VLQ flag reason on the main site?
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:21
  • 2
    @juergend It only shows up on posts where score <=0
    – user46
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:24
  • Well this here is a good example of bad answer up-voted, so can't be flagged as VLQ
    – danijelc
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 21:53
  • @danijelc just start downvoting.
    – Braiam
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 22:09
  • What I don’t get is why is up voted, got it flagged too.
    – danijelc
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 22:11

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