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This question has arisen from a discussion on the following question:

https://codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/98669/best-way-to-work-with-async

For future-proofing in case of deletion

The answer posted was flagged as a Very Low Quality answer by a member of the community, to which the question was [put on hold] and the moderator left a note on the answer.

Following this, the answer was once again flagged as VLQ, and the subsequent flag declined.

The questions, are:

  1. Should any answer that has a Moderator Notice be flagged again, or should the moderator indicate that the answer should no longer be flagged by the community?
  2. Should the "Moderator Notice" include some indication that this answer is considered a VLQ, but due to the OP indicating that the answer solved his issue, the answer is not to be deleted or otherwise canned?
  3. Should the "Moderator Notice" include the text, "Moderator Notice", to make the intentions of the mod more apparent?
  4. Should the moderator have accepted the subsequent VLQ flag(s) as "helpful", despite the answer already having been taken care of?
  5. Do the extra VLQ (et. al.) flags create excess noise to the moderators, that detract from other duties?

Feel free to answer any, all or none of the main question points. I have posted them for completeness and guidance only.

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Should any answer that has a Moderator Notice be flagged again?

That's still okay to do. It'll make the community more aware of it via the review queue, and it'll leave more of a mark on the answer (it's not so easy keeping track of post notices). Applying a post notice is quicker and the moderator may not be monitoring the post closely for any changes. If the answer never gets improved by the owner, then the community will be able to delete it from the queue. A post notice alone won't accomplish this and is mostly a way of (publicly) notifying the author.

Another argument can be made that moderators don't have to leave post notices in each case. We do so on this site to provide another "layer" of notification for improvement, though they still don't surpass good comments. Raising a flag anyway will still help get the community involved with the post.

Should the "Moderator Notice" include some indication that this answer is considered a VLQ, but due to the OP indicating that the answer solved his issue, the answer is not to be deleted or otherwise canned?

This would best be addressed in a separate feature request (although there may have already been one on Meta SE). Moderators are only given canned post notices and cannot make custom ones.

Should the "Moderator Notice" include the text, "Moderator Notice", to make the intentions of the mod more apparent?

See the above answer.

Do the extra VLQ (et. al.) flags create excess noise to the moderators, that detract from other duties?

Not always, I don't think. Of course you cannot tell exactly if someone else has already flagged the same post. Plus, as of recently, posts flagged with VLQ and NAA (Not An Answer) no longer add to the moderator queue right away.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That rule about the notices is very helpful, I was unaware that you could not create custom ones. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Der Kommissar Jul 31 '15 at 19:09
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The following is my take on what happened. It's partially an attempt to answer the questions asked and partially for completeness sake.

I was the one flagging the answer as VLQ after the moderator notice was already placed. Why? Because it was still lacking quality. It's up to the moderator to decide what to do with it, but I did what I thought I should be doing. I stand by my flag.

If I understand correctly, the moderator declined the flag because there was nothing more to do. The moderator notice was already posted. So there is some misunderstanding about whether questions should still be flagged after that.

In my opinion, it's up to the community to flag questions which deserve flagging. It's up to the moderator whether they can do anything against it. Declining the flag suggests the flag was not substantiated.

Another problem is the comment on the answer. It was useful to somebody who may or may not be the OP. The question was already of questionable quality (it's closed), the answer is of worse quality. If the question wasn't helpful, it would probably be removed in time. In chat it turned out the 'helpfulness' may prevent the answer from being deleted, which is a bad reason in my opinion. Being helpful doesn't mean the quality is automatically higher.

I'm not saying it's useful to flag such answers. I'm not saying it isn't either. That is entirely up to the moderators, not to the community. However, it should be made clear whether such flags are 'appreciated'. I do not want to flood the moderators with flags they don't want. I do not want to 'not flag' flag-able questions per abuse either, since it will decrease the quality of the site.

We have a higher quality standard than Stack Overflow. I think part of that is caused and/or reflected by how we flag. Flagging is important so we need to figure this out.

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To set on stone my opinion:

  1. No, you shouldn't. The moderator(s) have already taken notice and there's not much they can do. (In that very particular case, the answer was useful to someone)

  2. Yes, there should be. Having that information ready will help to further reduce the spammy flags. If that information was available to everybody, the moderators' jobs would be easier.

  3. That's something I found odd, and something that definetivelly should be included.

  4. That is a very sensitive point. In my opinion, they should be considered helpful within a certain timeframe. Outside that, it's just noise or someone trying to get helpful flags. The moderators are already aware of it! Nothing can be done.
    But not always things are black and white. There may come a flag after an edit was made. In such case, the question should be re-visited and all flags after the edit should be set as helpful. And from there on, all flags can default to being noise.

This is simply my opinion, and you are free to disagree with me.

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