I recently asked a question about why I couldn't see error messages logged from K9 using aLogcat on Jelly bean.

The only answer instead answered a different question (i.e. "How do I fix these errors with K9?") so after waiting a while for an update, I flagged it as not an answer.

My flag was rejected with the reason: declined - "Not an answer" flags are for posts that are not even attempts to answer.

A moderator then commented: Perhaps you should have asked that, we generally prefer questions that don't presuppose a solution.

These are not necessarily related, but overall this all seems to be rather poor form to me. I've certainly never seen this sort of reaction on any other stack exchange site I've used regularly. When I ask a question I want an answer to that question, not the question that someone thought I should have asked.

I don't blame the answerer for trying, in good faith, to answer the question he may have thought I was asking, but to clarify the question, still not get an answer and then be told by a moderator that I shouldn't have asked that question in the first place is a double blow.

So, should a moderator decline a "not an answer" flag just because they think that you asked the wrong question, even if the answer did not in fact answer your question?

If so, then why has Android Enthusiasts decided to disregard what is considered stack exchange best practice, as detailed in Flags Too Often Marked [declined]?


3 Answers 3


"Not an Answer" is for things that are obviously not an answer.

  • "Me too" answers
  • Bare links
  • Comments on the question or other answers
  • Gibberish
  • Asking a new question

If the post looks like it's an attempt to answer the question, a Moderator will should leave it.

The way to handle incorrect or misguided answer is to do any or all of the following:

  • downvote it
  • leave a comment explaining why it's wrong or answering the wrong question
  • updating your question to be more clear
  • You beat me to it, and with more detail! :P Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 14:37
  • Unfortunately, as I said, leaving a comment and updating the question didn't help, and marking it as not useful wasn't an option, which left flagging as my only remaining option. The problem is, while there is an incorrect answer, it looks like the question is answered, discouraging further answers.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 8:28

"Not an answer" flags are for answers that do not make any attempt to be an answer or solve the problem at hand. The answer was such an attempt. My comments don't change that and were not part of the decline message. I also didn't close or alter your question; I just offered an opinion.


The flag was not declined because the Mod thought that you asked the wrong question. This are two different points.

A flag is always a last resort option. The answer is good as it stands and should not be deleted. IMHO there was no reason for you to flag the answer. The fact that the mod expressed concerns about your question has nothing to do with the flag being rejected.

About the second point: In principle your question is good as it is. You wanted to know why there are no k9 log in the Android log. But I think that this is not a good question for Q/A sites. I think the better way would be

  1. make sure that are really no k9 logs by using grep k9 on the adblog output
  2. search the k9 forum for similar problems and if you couldn't find one, post the question there
  3. if the problem is reproducible, open a bug report on k9's issue tracker.

Android Enthusiasts is no substitution for the infrastructure provided by Android apps. (At least as long as the app provides such infrastructure.)

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