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I'm almost certain I'm missing this when I'm searching meta. But, I can't quite find the answer, so I'm posting my question.

I've seen a lot of "Low Quality" tags on answers that are short. Typically, these are questions that can easily be answered in a yes/no fashion. I can't think of a recent example, so I'll make up a hypothetical test case:

Can you enable blurging in Zapcom 17?

Answer: No, it is not possible.

I've seen numerous examples of these getting Low Quality flags. And, I believe that this is not justified.

While I am the first to prefer a well-sourced, thought process in evidence answer; sometimes, the answer is just "No." There may be nothing much more to say on the subject.

Am I incorrect in disputing these flags?

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    The system uses an algorithm that scores posts and puts them in the low quality queue automatically. It isn't necessarily other users flagging them - it's just that short answers do need to be reviewed by a couple of sets of eyeballs to ensure they are good answers. – au revoir Jan 27 '14 at 14:57
  • @JasonBerkan Ah. Thanks. Are these denoted differently? Like are these the ones flagged "For content/length?" – David M Jan 27 '14 at 15:01
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    The ones denoted "length and comment" are definitely automagically flagged. I don't recall what the system says when a user has flagged a post as low quality. – au revoir Jan 27 '14 at 15:08
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One thing to note is that the system automatically flags certain posts as low quality. This checks things like spelling, grammar, and also post length - tiny posts tend to get flagged as such.

But that's the thing - a flag is just a flag. It's a sign that says "Hey, something might be up here." And that's why we have a review queue - it's both to get people to take care of the things that do need help, but also to have people who can say, "No, there isn't anything up here."

To answer your question directly - it doesn't necessarily denote low quality, but it can be a major factor. Sometimes a question can be answered in a single line, but a real good answer to that question can expand on that line to say a lot more. Things that explain the reason behind it, or give something else to help the user, or that expand on it... there tends to be a lot that is possible. Low quality would be if it, yeah, answers the question, but doesn't really do a good job of it. But as long as it answers the question, it's still an answer. You can write a better answer instead of taking action on the post, though.

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  • Thanks for the rapid response. I've just hit the 2K level recently, so I thought I was being unnecessarily blasé in approving them as OK. – David M Jan 27 '14 at 15:03
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    I agree. If someone is asking a yes/no question, there's usually an implied "why?" in there as well. If there's also an implied problem, then a good answer will include that solution. – MBraedley Jan 27 '14 at 15:15
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No.

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I would just post that, but I think it's worth a little more explanation.

The system will flag short answers as low quality, not because they necessarily are, but because it may be a sign that they are. The system wasn't designed for this community, but for answering questions about coding problems, where answers are generally expected to contain some source code and 'short answers' were often just comments.

For this community, there's enough active users flagging that I'm not sure it's really necessary for this to happen here, but I -- like you -- either skip or decline these flags when I come across them in the review queue, generally skipping if I'm not familiar enough with the game to make a judgement.

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  • Clever. I just got that . . . (sadly) – David M Jan 28 '14 at 1:33

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