I was reviewing this link-only answer, and marked it as very low quality because I think that is how link-only answers are handled.

But a moderator stepped in and declined it with the following comment:

declined - User has attempted to self-answer so any issues with quality of that answer should be addressed via commenting, editing and/or downvoting rather than flagging.

Shouldn't all link-only answers be attempting to answer? If not, they should be marked as non-answer.

Was it necessary for the moderator to step in rather than leaving this to the review queue?

In this and several similar occasions, I kind of get the feeling that I am wasting the moderator's time by flagging.

1 Answer 1


The answer to that question was:

Geopandas was used to rotate the dataset


While close to "link-only" the user provided some minimal information about the solution to their question in the sentence that preceded.

The answer was low quality and warranted a post notice (which it was given), comments, edits and/or downvotes but should not be flagged as Very Low Quality because the user appears to have made a good faith attempt to answer, albeit a poor one.

Every flag goes to the moderators, some flags may also send posts to the review queue (I am not certain of this), but once the flag notifier goes up on a moderator's dashboard, the clock starts on how long it is taking moderators to resolve that flag. Flagging should always be the tool of last resort.

  • Every flag goes to the moderators. Isn't it the case that the VLQ flags goes to the VLG, even without a moderator stepping in? Does it require the moderator to review before going to the VLQ?
    – tinlyx
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 22:53
  • 1
    I marked this as the VLQ under the assumption that it's an ambiguous case, since the poster didn't say how the problem was solved with the linked content. Just the link. That's why I feel it's appropriate to mark it as such.
    – tinlyx
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 22:54
  • 1
    The asker said in a self-answer that "Geopandas was used to rotate the dataset" and accepted that self-answer indicating that they believed it to be their solution. It is a low-quality answer but it does not qualify as Very Low Quality. Moderators should never ignore flags because the use of a flag is intended to convey that a member of their community urgently needs their attention. In the case of a low-quality answer there are multiple other ways available to the community for moderating/curating poor content.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 23:24
  • 3
    ` It is a low-quality answer but it does not qualify as Very Low Quality.` I don't see why the moderators could not let the community to vote on that.
    – tinlyx
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 23:48
  • 1
    My understanding, is that the flag only comes to us when someone in the community punts it to us by clicking flag, or when the community via the review queue has already declined to delete it. In this case I assume that it was the former. I am not an expert in all ways that flags can reach us, but I know that once they do, we must decide what to do with them.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 23:55

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