As a 10k user, what are you supposed to do with automatic, Community-cast low quality flags? I'm mostly wondering about posts that, in my opinion, don't warrant further flags.

  • Should I try and give that post a spit-shine via editing? Does that dismiss the flag, or update the displayed post score?
  • Should I flag the flags themselves as invalid? I mean, technically they're correct because they exist, but I think that dismisses them, at least for me.
  • Should I simply ignore them and always leave them for diamonds to handle?

The "very low quality" flag is a constant source of confusion and ambiguity. Some previous discussion on Meta Stack Overflow (although about the manual flag, the same problems apply to the auto-flag as well):

The way the automatic flags are supposed to work is that they indicate potential, but not necessary actual, problems. In the case of the "very low quality" flag, you should see a bracketed number in the flag: the lower that number, the more likely there's a problem with the post.

When reviewing flags (or reviewing posts on /review), if you run into one of these, just double check to see if the post can be improved. The vast majority of the time, the auto-flags fall into one of three categories:

  • It's an answer, but it's very short with no explanation. It's exceedingly rare that an answer to a question that's worth answering requires no explanation. If the answer dumb simple, the question's probably not that great. If the question is good and non-trivial, an explanative answer really is needed.

    In this case, I check to see if the question is good; if it isn't, I vote to close the question and ignore the flag. If it is, I try to leave a comment asking for explanation.

  • It's an answer that provides explanation, but it's worded terribly or has other "mechanical" problems. This could include tons of misspellings, "txt" speak, run-on sentences, etc. I try to edit them back into shape and invalidate the flag once complete.

  • It's not an answer. This should be treated like any other "not an answer"-type flag: if it's spam, flag it as spam. If it's a comment or a new question, flag it as "not an answer". If it's offensive vandalism, flag it as "it is not welcome in our community."

  • 1
    the auto-flags are almost always correct, primarily because short length of answer is HIGHLY STRONGLY correlated with.. uh, really sucking. So you're kind of conflating two things here, the auto heuristic flag vs "a random user decided to randomly flag this for a random reason." – Jeff Atwood Jan 2 '12 at 11:10

One thing you can almost always do: fix the English of the post. Add punctuation, correct the casing, remove textisms, fix speelings.

The next best thing: check the post is actually an answer to the question. Is it a comment worthy of conversion? (Consider making a mod attention flag adding details: what post should we put that comment under?) Is it a question? Is it a thank you or a me too? Flag accordingly. Moderating posts of games you have no clue about is rather challenging, so the more guidance you can provide us, the better.

If you're feeling super awesome, add detail supporting the post. Add a supporting sentence or two, include a link or even a screenshot. We really can't delete bad answers so long as they're answers, but we also don't want to drown in one-liners either, now, do we? You won't get rep, but you'll get karma (and our respectah).

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