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How do I tag answers correctly, which are rather a comment than an answer. The option

"is not an answer" which I choose usually has been disputed a number of times. This makes no sense for me, especially when the answert is subsequently deleted (instead of converting it into a comment). The explanation for "is not an answer" says:

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should >possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

I think it should fit this purpose as well. This kind of "answer-comments" often come from new users. Or should we add a fitting comment and nominate the answer for deletion? What do you think about it?

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I'm looking through your declined flags and I'll list a few cases and the likely reason why they were declined:

  • The most recent one is on a post that looks like a comment on first glance, it refers to another answer in the first sentence, but that actually contains something of an answer in the rest of the post.

  • One flag was cast 20 minutes after the post was already deleted. I declined that one as there is no reason to flag deleted posts as "not an answer"

  • One is an answer, a rather short one and wrong anyway, but it certainly tries to be an answer. Unless the quality is truly atrocious, moderators generally don't remove wrong answers. This is handled by voting and by community deletion.

The last example is probably the most important. Any post that tries to answer the actual question, even if it is wrong or badly written, does not fall under the "not an answer" category. This is also true for posts that refer to another answer, and look a bit like a comment due to that, but that still provide something like a real answer to the question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. For the second case my browser tab may not have been updated (this happens sometimes when my notebook looses connectivity). The question is when is an answer an answer (this is of course not dependent on the length, since sometimes the answer is very short) and when more a comment. And: I don't mind when they are disputed, I simply want to avoid unnecessary work from the mods. $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jun 20 '14 at 11:12
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You are using the Not an Answer flag correctly. Flags become "disputed" when people treat them differently in review queues. Additionally, flags may get declined outright if the moderator believes the answer isn't even worth converting to a comment.

Regardless, you are on the right track with your flags.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thats the point. Probably the definition of "this is not an answer" is not clear enough. Or we should have something "this is a comment not an answer". Often I think it is wrong to bluntly delete them without converting them into a comment... $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jun 20 '14 at 6:45

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