I'm relatively new to reviewing; the particular situation that drives my question involved the "This is not an answer" flag.

A First Post hit my review queue earlier today; it was a textbook example of a new user posting their own corollary question in an answer space instead of posting a new question.

I commented that they should post the question as a new question so that people could actually answer it; I also flagged it as "Not an answer". Was this a decent review on my part? Should I have done one or the other, but not both?

Just trying to understand how the system is supposed to work (being an engineer and all, I'm a big fan of understanding systems...)

Here is the original question. The non-answer that I flagged was in the answer space for this question and has already been removed. I also know that the new user has properly re-asked their question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you post a link to the thread, in which you've raised a flag? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev Done. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam Head
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 21:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The purpose of flags is mostly to keep the mods busy. If you want to abuse something, raise a lot of flags elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


Flags go into their own review queue. This queue is visible to:

  • 10k+ users, who can add more flags, or suggest that there is no reason for a flag
  • Moderators, who can delete the offending post, warn the offender, or dismiss the flag
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen the flag queue (obviously greyed out for me still)... but my question is more why should I flag? A user can delete their own answer (I've done it myself when I completely misunderstood a question). So is flagging just to make sure someone else is looking over their shoulder to ensure the answer is deleted? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam Head
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 15:58

I think you may have posted the wrong link (10k users can still see deleted answers and that question doesn't have any) but what you've done in general sounds good to me because:

  • By posting a comment it gives the user a chance while they're still around to post their question and delete their answer (although that doesn't seem to happen in most cases).

  • The flag brings it to the attention of users who can handle it. The not an answer flag causes the question to end up on the low-quality queue where a combination of six 10k users, three 20k users or a single diamond moderator can decide to delete it.

Flagging a question as duplicate, off-topic, too broad etc will put it in the close vote queue where five 3k users (or a single moderator) can vote to close the question. For new questions there might not be a lot of point when it has a lot of eyeballs on it, but some older questions might no longer be answerable because of broken links / images etc.

An exception to this arrangement are the spam / offensive flags. Those don't go into a regular queue (diamond moderators can see them) but they give the post an implicit downvote and a total of six flags will delete a post. The idea being that enough fairly low rep (15+) users should be able to delete some of the really obvious crap as fast as possible.

The moderation on EE.SE both by the community and elected moderators is very good so in my opinion keep those flags coming. I saw a counter example a month or so ago on another SE site where when a diamond moderator hadn't been around for a day the front page was littered with junk and the community wasn't dealing with it properly. One example was a death threat against an entire country because of their religious beliefs being closed as "unclear what you're asking" when it clearly should have just been an offensive flag and outright deleted.


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