The answer in question:


I flagged the following answer as "very low quality" because it was pure speculation, didn't offer any explanation or research and was poorly written in general. Was I being too unreasonable?

  • Note sure, but this question could be closed later as too localized. Nonetheless, you probably should get good answer(s) before it may get closed.
    – Firelord Mod
    Aug 10 '15 at 8:07

It just came to my mind, what would be our reaction if it is written as:

"Go to Google app which use your location to personalize it. Go to app and disable it. Hope it helps."

It is still a hypothesis because it isn't proved how Google app is related to the question, but since in my made up answer the user wrote with confidence, we wouldn't be having much reason to flag it as VLQ, other than content based issue.

Now, for the real point. In its current condition, it's not a very low quality answer for two parameters but one, which I explained below.

Reasoning for VLQ isn't very clear but the flag excerpt says:

This question has severe formatting or content problems. This question is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

  • The editing is acceptable, though not up to our site's standard for the posts, so it can be edited to make it look good.
  • There isn't much about formatting in it to talk about
  • Content problem -- that's where I found it problematic and I left a comment in that regard.

The reason I didn't mark it as a VLQ answer is because we have multitude of such answers on the main site, and while they don't reason well, they many times help the visitors to get rid of the issue, which the latter is most interested in.

The suggestion I would like to give is to use a downvote (if only you're convinced that the answer is wrong or not useful), or leave a comment explaining the issue and providing suggestion.

I see that you upvoted my comment, so you indirectly already did your part of commenting on the answer.

Note that to flag or not to flag as VLQ also creates a dilemma of whether to allow such answers on this site or be moderate/strict in controlling them. If you're a moderate/strict in approach then don't think your action as unreasonable even if your flag ends up as Declined.

As for me, I use all the approaches all the time!

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply!
    – Huey
    Aug 10 '15 at 8:11

While I can follow Firelord's argumentation, it still seems rather a comment than an answer. As a comment, it would be very acceptable: "It may be … Could you try …". Then, with the OP having tried and approved, it would be a good answer: solving the issue as proven. Or it would stay a comment when not proven.

My approach thus would have been: Flag NAA, leave a comment, convert to comment on the question.

BUT: answerer included "solve the issue as it did for me", which in fact is kind of prove (empirical) – so it seems to be a valid answer. I agree however it could use a little re-phrasing to make that clear:

In my case, this was an issue with Google Now. I was able to solve it this way:

  • Got to google app which use ur location to personalize it.
  • Go to app and disable it.

Guess you agree: put that way, you wouldn't complain :)

EDIT: Sorry for being a bit unclear. I of course didn't mean to say one should always place a comment first :) So in short:

  • If you're sure you have a valid solution (as in this case, where it has solved the same issue for you): Answer.
  • If unsure whether something "promising" really solves the issue (aka "could you try if X helps?"), make it a comment.
  • But even in the current edit, I'm not convinced how that app is related to the issue technically. It is possible that poster cannot or isn't able to provide technical details but at least we can come to know how he realized or what method did he successfully follow to troubleshoot the issue. E.g. I put a note in my answer here which tells the user how I approached the issue. // On a side note, it is possible that I'm having hard time understanding that simple answer. :)
    – Firelord Mod
    Aug 10 '15 at 8:57
  • I didn't say I'm convinced this is the one-and-only solution. It might even be a co-incidence. Nevertheless, it's a valid answer if it worked. We've got many answers which work for some but not for others, don't we? ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 10 '15 at 9:45
  • I disagree with this thinking. Using comments to prove an answer is right before posting it is not the way things should work. Keep in mind too that the ideal question is applicable to many people, and thus there may be many different solutions that work for others but not OP. I do agree that your wording of the answer is far better, but I don't think it changes the substance. Aug 10 '15 at 14:15
  • 2
    @MatthewRead I didn't mean this case here as a "general rule". When not sure (aka "could you try if X helps?"), IMHO a comment should be preferred over an answer. But in our case, the answerer had the same issue and solved it that way – so here I don't see that it should be a comment first. // Guess we both are thinking the same, just my wording wasn't "catching"?
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 10 '15 at 14:19
  • Agreed and understood, my apologies for misinterpreting. Aug 10 '15 at 14:22
  • Apologies are mine for not being clear enough, @MatthewRead – I hope my edit improves on that :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 10 '15 at 19:05

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