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Recently I received a feedback on flagging an answer as "No and answer" (it really didn't answer the question!), that Flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer.

If this is the case, than is it a right thing to have the option of "Not an answer" for as a flag?

The flag was raised here.

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  • Could you link the question so I can take a second look? We may differ on what an "answer" is. – corsiKa Sep 2 '16 at 14:12
  • I've added the link to the description of the question. – IAmMilinPatel Sep 3 '16 at 3:18
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So here's the crux of the issue: what is an answer?

An answer is an attempt to solve the problem posed in the question. In this example, the user wants to handle a popup. The answer provided is a roundabout way of getting past the popup, but happens to not meet the user's needs. That doesn't mean it doesn't answer the question. It means it answers the question unsatisfactorily.

We have a bad tendency to love "thinking outside the box" when it solves the problem, and at the same time look down upon those who do so when it doesn't. The correctness of an answer does not determine its existence as an answer.

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  • I'm not sure about TESTasy looking down upon the thinking out of the box for the answer. Although I'm starting to think that the point put up by TESTasy is valid, as the question here about the option's existence in the Flagging feature. I believe if something that's taking you on a completely different track than that of solving the problem at hand then it's not really an answer to the question being asked. BUT, if it still counts as an answer for some and should be allowed, then the flag for "Not and answer" becomes irrelevant because everything will be an answer (Right or Wrong). – JoelVictor Sep 8 '16 at 5:26
  • Question: "How can I fix my flux capacitor?" Answer: "Don't use a flux capacitor. Use a thingamabob instead." gets you a Not An Answer flag. Answer: "It's rarely cost effective to fix them. Buying a new unit will be faster and cheaper instead." does not. – corsiKa Sep 9 '16 at 0:03

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