I flagged this answer as not an answer because it doesn't address the question asked. My flag was disputed. A lengthy discussion in the comments has ensued, but the answer is clearly off-topic and should be converted into a comment.

My main concern is that the answer has collected a few upvotes (and my downvote), which puts it near the threshold for a question to be automatically considered answered by the system, even though it is very much not answered. (The other answer might be the solution, but I don't know yet.) I'd hate to see the system gamed, and I don't understand why my original flag would have been disputed in the first place.

What is the proper action to take in this case? Should I re-flag the answer with my rationale? Is this meta post the proper way?

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  • The question clearly addresses the "proximity sensor" -- though this doesn't solve the OPs problem. So the answer refers to what the OP asked -- though he obviously didn't ask what he probably intends to get. So technically speaking, it's a valid answer IMHO. Granted, it first confused me as well. The second half of this answer then clearly takes the right direction. – Izzy Aug 13 '12 at 9:40
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    Well, this question is now moot, as the answer in question has been deleted by the owner. – ale Aug 13 '12 at 13:57
  • ...although I suppose the generic question it raises would be good to keep. – ale Aug 13 '12 at 15:51

It seems to me that the answer you refer to is trying to answer the question behind your question. It is, at least, an attempt to answer some aspect of your question. By and large, Moderators are going to be conservative about deleting answers; they'll only do so if it is an obvious non-answer.

Frankly, I think your question is off-topic. Certainly it's not an Android-specific issue.

All that considered, it's the community that decides. You've received an answer and you've commented that you don't think it is and your rationale. That's good. The community seems to not agree. Re-flagging in hopes of getting a Moderator to issue a different decision is a little disingenuous. (There's an obvious parallel to a child not getting the answer she wants from one parent and going to ask the other parent the same question.)

That you've raised the issue here on Meta is fine, as any discussion that can help improve the site is welcome.

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  • Agreed. In most cases whether answers are on "on topic" isn't even considered; that criterion is for questions. – Matthew Read Aug 27 '12 at 18:32

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