I recently stumbled on this question and among the answers I found this one from an high rep user AND a moderator.
Although there is nothing wrong in the content of the "answer", it is clearly not an answer according to our standards, but just a comment.
It simply states:
It takes a lot of technology to make that possible. A grid-tied inverter is significantly more complex than an off-grid inverter.
Hep! That first sentence could be used as a reply to more than half the questions posted on EE.SE! And the second sentence barely dismiss the question as "too difficult to explain", without even attempting at answering the actual question, which is about how a grid-tied inverter is able to do so.
The fact that the question was answerable in a highly professional way is demonstrated by the very good answers that have been posted in that thread, so I hope there is no one arguing the "answer" I flagged was the only meaningful way to answer the OP.
Therefore I flagged the post accordingly as "not an answer" and then, to my utmost surprise I got this notice on my flag summary page (yellow emphasis mine):
I really think the mod reviewing the flag has done a mistake. How on earth could that "answer" be considered otherwise than an insightful comment?
Otherwise I could be well go hunting for random questions and posting a canned answer on the following lines:
It takes a lot of technology to make that possible. A [thingy named X cited in the question] is significantly more complex than an [thingy named Y somewhat related to X].
and see how many rep points I can reap, just for fun!
Since an answer and relative comments made me think that maybe I wasn't completely clear, I'll try to reformulate my objections:
The original question was comprehensible, on-topic and answerable in our format.
Any answer posted on any SE site must
a. attempt to answer the question
b. stand on its own feet (no link-only answers, cryptic statement with no explanations, etc.)
c. provide information to the community, regardless of whether the user asking the question understands it or not
The above conditions in point 2 are to be met by an answer, regardless of the quality of the question. A bad question doesn't make a bad answer good!
Even if the question was poor or had problems, this doesn't authorize a user to post low-quality answers. The problem I see with the answer I pointed out is exacerbated by the fact that it was posted by high-rep user which is also a moderator, who should know the rules and help enforce them.
Note: I'm not particularly upset because that answer was posted. People (mods included) can do mistakes.
On the other hand, I'm almost pissed-off by the flag rejection. Whoever handled that flag completely ignored the SE guidelines on what constitutes an answer. And this is still worse given that our site is notorious for having a harsher moderation policy.
Moreover, that answer will give other users a really bad example. They could point to that and justify any silly answer they could give with "See. A mod did it, so it's good practice!".
It has been brought to my attention by a comment by user
Ilmari Karonen (posted on the meta-answer of user
Pipe) that the title of the question was changed after the answer we are discussing about was posted.
I did notice the question was edited, but I didn't notice the editing involved its title. That's a reminder to myself to check the editing log more thoroughly! My bad!
With the question's original title that answer was more justifiable, even if not great, since the question was really more blurry.
I still stand by my opinion regarding the objections raised by other meta-answers: if originally the title were really what appears now, that answer would amount as "not attempting at an answer", IMO.
Anyway, the point is now moot since the poster deleted his answer (kudos to Dave Tweed for recognizing it turned out not be an acceptable post, even if it marginally was when it was posted).
If Ilmari Karonen reposted his comment as an answer, I'd accept that.