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Sometimes I see a post I feel it should not stay. I am unsure what to do in this case.

What can I do to salvage the post? When should such a poor post be flagged for deletion?

2

Whenever we see poor content we can do the following:

  • Leave a comment to ask for improvement.
  • Edit the post to remove poor content or add missing details.
  • Downvote to let other users see that this post is not helpful.

Only after we had unsuccessfully taken these steps we may need to flag the post for moderator attention. Please keep in mind that not all of these flags will be deemed valid, especially when the post was not entirely bad, or in case the moderator reviewing still sees some chance to salvage it.

There are reasons however when such a flag is always very welcome (quoted from Meta Stackoverflow):

  • Answers that are nothing more than "Thanks" or "I have the same problem." If they don't offer any new information whatsoever, I'll delete them and dismiss the flag as valid every time. (Also, the older the better. If it's a brand new user and the "answer" is only an hour old I'll usually leave them a comment. If it's a month old I just delete it.)
  • Questions that are an exact duplicate. Include a link to the original. I'm even more likely to dismiss the flag as valid if the question was a duplicate by the same user.
  • Questions posted as answers.
  • Comments posted as answers.
  • Posts by users who do nothing but spam.

Please note that the spam flag needs special treatment because of possibly severe consequences to the poster. Please only flag as spam, or offensive for cases defined here:

In the following cases the removal of a post by flagging may be better than attempts to edit or by commenting:

  • Obvious trolling. By reacting to the post in any way other than deletion we may only just feed it. This will make the situation worse.
  • Nonsense posts (which by definition are not spam or offensive).
  • Dangerously wrong or misleading content. Other low quality posts should be downvoted rather than flagged for deletion.

Whenever we are not sure which of the custom flag reasons to take we can always use a custom flag reason where we can give a reason in our own words.

  • Takkat, pray tell, why then did you delete (convert to comment) my post instead of the three steps outlined in your answer? The OP had even accepted my post as the answer. It contained the solution that the OP was after. Then you deleted it because it also contained a question for clarification. Shouldn't I have been given the chance to edit my post before you deleted it? – teylyn Apr 14 '14 at 22:25
  • @teylyn: at the time I was reading your answer it was not yet accepted. This must have occured the very second before I converted it to a comment (which it was). A the time I read the question it was already edited in a way which made your answer plain wrong, leaving only the many questions you asked. These however should have been asked in a comment, not an answer. As said, edit your deleted answer to flag it for undeletion, or add another answer (e.g. on how to type upper case ß in unicode) but please do not ask for clarification in answers. – Takkat Apr 15 '14 at 6:11
  • Still, just converting it to a comment without giving me the opportunity to right the wrongs does not seem to align with your guidelines. The OP never mentioned Upper case ß. That was fabricated by others. The OP actually confirms that my post was the correct solution for the OP's question. Upper case ß is such a rare thing, as can be seen by the other comments and discussions, that changing the question text and title to exclusively deal with upper case ß is plain wrong. – teylyn Apr 15 '14 at 7:11
  • I just tried to flag the post for undeletion, but I get a pop up that says that a moderator has deleted the post and it cannot be undeleted. So far for correcting what you messed up in the first place. – teylyn Apr 15 '14 at 7:16
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    @teylyn: flag, don't vote. I will not however undelete your now edited answer in the present state. Meta discussions are meant for Meta. Answers are not the rigth place for this. Also please do not hijack posts for discussing this. You should open a new Meta discussion on that topic. Thank you. – Takkat Apr 15 '14 at 7:41
  • @teylyn as mentioned in the comments of the original question, you can reach Takkat at about any time of day in the German Language Chat. If you wish to further discuss this matter other than as meta-question, please head over there. You can also create a dedicated room for you and Takkat. – Vogel612 Apr 15 '14 at 8:00
  • @Takkat, OK, understood. Post revised, flag raised. No bad feelings. There's a first time for everything. Please allow for learning curve. – teylyn Apr 15 '14 at 10:11
  • @Vogel612, thanks for taking the trouble to steer me on the right path. I see that some aspects of the SE framework still elude me after all these years. No excuse for that, so I have to upskill. Thanks. – teylyn Apr 15 '14 at 10:13

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