-1

On the "unethical restaurant research" question, a new user made a low-quality answer consisting entirely of:

No!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obviously, this is a poor answer and needs to be either improved or changed into a comment, and it received notes (and presumably flags) to this effect. One of the moderators, however, acted instead by only rapidly deleting the answer.

I think that this is a problem because it is very discouraging for a new answerer, particularly one who might be a genuine expert and simply unfamiliar with our community (this response is basically my own first response---I've just been around long enough that I knew to put my first response as a comment on another answer instead).

Can this please be moved to a comment instead?

7
  • As the moderator who deleted the comment, StrongBad's answer was exactly my thought; there were a few comments left immediately after the answer was posted suggesting improvement, which received no response. Even more so, there are numerous prompts to new users indicating that this is not the type of answer we are looking for. When a user ignores all that and leaves an answer of that type anyways, and then ignores comments suggesting improvement, there's really not much we can do.

  • I would not convert something like this to a comment, because that type of comment would likely simply get "too chatty" flags or "not constructive" flags by itself.

Answers like that are typically from users who read a popular question, post their first thought without reading any FAQ, warnings, or even necessarily the entirety of the question itself, and then never return to the forum.1 I'm basing this on the global experience of the StackOverflow moderation team, who sees answers like this very frequently. If there was any evidence that the new user was interested in joining the forum, I would definitely act differently, but in this case I simply see someone leaving a reddit- or 4chan-style comment and moving on with their life.

1 Case in point: the user in question has yet returned to the site since posting that answer.

  • 1
    I agree completely with your second point. Comments have a specific purpose. Low quality answers don't automatically qualify to be comments, and shouldn't be converted to comments in most cases. – ff524 Oct 4 '15 at 4:52
4

I initially commented on the answer mostly as a notice of why I was going to delete it - I fully intended to delete it, then got distracted by something else. (Comments left by a moderator on a post just before post deletion still appear in the user's inbox.)

I don't really understand the "too fast" thing.

Clearly the answer was not suitable in its current form - I don't think anybody disagrees with this - so it should be removed as quickly as possible. Leaving unsuitable answers up just encourages more unsuitable answers, especially on popular questions.

If a user chooses to come back and improve a deleted answer later, they can flag for a moderator to undelete. The edit will also bump the question to the top of the "active questions" list (even for deleted posts), so high-rep users who can see the answer can also flag for a moderator to undelete.

I also don't see why this post should have been a comment. I mainly use the "convert answer to comment" tool in the following scenario: User posts question with unregistered account, user registers account, user doesn't see any way to respond to answers to his/her question (since it's not owned by the registered account), user posts responses to other answer as an answer.

3

If I am following the timeline correctly, there were 6 flags raised against the question and a reviewer recommendation of not an answer before the question was deleted. One of the flags was autogenerated, but at least 6 community members asked for mod intervention. All the flags were handled by the same mod.

The mod did not delete the answer until there were two comments left to the poster, one by another mod and one by an active user. I think the comments could have been nicer and more welcoming, but I think the community was pretty clearly saying (1) we do not want this answer and (2) we do not want to be nice.

I think it is reasonable for a mod to delete a repeatly flagged low quality answer when there are two comments explaining the situation. I am not even sure if it is nicer to add a 3rd comment about why the answer is inappropriate.

  • 1
    As the moderator who deleted the comment, this was exactly my thought. Even more so, there are numerous prompts to new users indicating that this is not the type of answer we are looking for. When a user ignores all that and leaves an answer of that type anyways, and then ignores comments suggesting improvement, there's really not much we can do. – eykanal Oct 4 '15 at 3:37
  • Note that the timeline you've linked to is only visible to moderators. – ff524 Oct 4 '15 at 4:47
  • Also note that the second comment on that answer was auto-generated by the review. – ff524 Oct 4 '15 at 4:48

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