Recently I've noticed a lot of users posting answers that, well, aren't answers. Examples here, here, here, and here. All of these have already been commented on that they're not appropriate.

Two issues:

  • Should moderators be deleting this garbage after some period of time?
  • How can we convey how the system is supposed to be used to our many new users?

Answers like this should be deleted (mercilessly). Report them to the moderators using the "requires moderator attention" flag option.

The moderators should add a comment explaining why that answer is not appropriate - if there isn't such a comment already - then wait a bit before deleting them, to give time to the users to read that comment and possibly copy-paste their answer into a comment or a new question. I suggest moderators wait about a day.

Do not downvote those answers. You're just wasting your reputation (at least until the next recalc) as they will be deleted anyway.

  • Yes, always when in doubt, flag for mod attention.
    – juan
    Sep 6 '10 at 14:40
  • Seconded on don't waste a downvote.
    – C. Ross
    Sep 6 '10 at 16:35

1) I was planning on deleting them eventually (thanks for compiling them here). If you disagree, let me know.
I didn't do it yet as to give them time to see the suggestion to make a comment instead of an answer, so they get a chance to learn. Whether or not they do it I think they should be deleted.

2) There's the option of protecting the question so that users need a little bit of rep before posting, I don't think it's needed yet on those questions (as the non-answers are only 1 per question as of now). I can protect them if it starts to get out of hand (specially this one that has a lot of views).

  • Thanks, please delete as planned.
    – C. Ross
    Sep 6 '10 at 16:37

I'm not sure what the prices would be, but I think the whole StackExchange community would benefit by a three-minute "StackExchange in plain english" video.

  • 1
    Ask it as a question on English.SE :P
    – Ivo Flipse
    Sep 6 '10 at 14:41

You already did all you could: leaving a friendly comment that his answer actually should have been a comment, hopefully they will learn quick enough!

After that flag it for mod attention, so they can delete it. AFAIK if the same person visits that question again, they'll see their deleted answer and your comment. However, it will no longer be visible on their profile, which is a little weird for new users, but I never heard complaints!

@Juan: Yes, you should delete those as they're just noise

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