Many have observed that during the early days of the site, standards were still somewhat in formation, and many older posts lack the quality that would constitute a valid answer, sometimes asking follow up questions or pointing out that they don't know the answer but hey here's what I had for breakfast. A lot of these answers are even upvoted.

Here's one example.

Should these be flagged for deletion and deleted as they are stumbled upon (since that is what would happen to it if it were answered now, it would be downvoted and then deleted by the community or a mod)? If so, any particular flag, or a custom flag?

I'm not suggesting a search and destroy mission, just the enactment of proper procedure upon noticing these posts.

  • Re "I'm not suggesting a search and destroy mission": One thing I've observed at Wiktionary is that declaring everything of a certain type creatable/deletable means that someone will eventually create/delete them en masse. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that. (And what I've observed at Wiktionary may not hold true here.)
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 4:05
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    @msh210 IAE, I would be fine if there are some volunteers for a search and destroy mission, I just don't think it's a necessary component of this suggestion. (And don't know how the mods would feel about that flood of flags, but hey you don't get to fly first class for nothing) Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 4:11
  • I would prefer to see the community form consensus about individual answers rather than the mods having to make the judgement in all cases. This argues against a custom flag, which only mods will see. (Mods can certainly participate in this and if a case is clear then there's no problem with acting; I just anticipate edge cases and we're not supposed to be the arbiters of correctness.) Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 4:41
  • @MonicaCellio The issue is that there are lots of them. I don't know how practical it is to bring every one of them to meta. Perhaps the mods could bring it to meta if they have cases that they feel are less clear? Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 4:48
  • @MonicaCellio feel free to post a dissenting answer if you disagree Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 5:02
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    No, I thought we could use the review queue for this but I misunderstood. I'll think about this more. I agree there's a problem -- just not sure of the best way to attack it. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 5:03
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    Recall there is such a thing as the historical lock.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:54
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    @DoubleAA, the historical lock is for questions only; this question is about answers.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:39
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    @MonicaCellio It turns out they can be sent to the VLQ queue via NAA flag. See update to my post below. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


I think that these posts should be flagged for deletion - there is no reason that older answers should get to avoid the standards to which newer answers would be subjected.

These answers belong in the VLQ queue, but unfortunately many of them are upvoted and cannot be sent to that queue. Those which qualify as not an answer should be flagged as such and will be sent to the VLQ queue that way.

For the rest, one option is to flag them as not an answer and have them sent to the VLQ queue that way.

I suggest that they should be flagged with a custom flag, with the standard comment of

Low quality older post

If moderators feel a case has been flagged unjustly, they could ignore it, or have a top-secret mod-only cabal meeting about it, to which they would all fly in first class. If they feel it is questionable, they could have a mod-discussion or bring the specific questionable case to meta for community input.

  • I think Not an Answer flags also feed into the VLQQ. I flagged your example -- can you check if it showed up there?
    – Scimonster
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 10:12
  • @Scimonster Yep. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 13:56
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    We really have to get an Israeli moderator on board to make those free tickets more worthwhile.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 15:56
  • @Scimonster answer updated accordingly. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 19:33

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