Suppose we have a complex question like:

Do Nation X and Nation Y both have freckled parliamentarians?

  1. User Mr.Foo answers:

    As a resident of Nation X, I know of seven freckled parliamentarians, namely: ....etc.

  2. User Mr.Bar answers:

    As a resident of Nation Y, I know of four freckled parliamentarians, namely: ....etc.

Should a moderator delete one or both of these answers, on the grounds that they each fail to answer the question of both nations?

  • 3
    Partial answers often indicate a question that is too broad. Ideally, your example question should be closed, edited to only be about a single nation and re-opened. Problem solved. – yannis Mod Aug 18 '18 at 20:08
  • 2
    @yannis, Please post that as an answer. – agc Aug 18 '18 at 20:12
  • A moderating example from a deleted post. Unfortunately it's only viewable by users with 2000 points. – agc Aug 20 '18 at 19:33
  • It is clear that the question is focused on violence by left-wing protestors. The answer only discusses violence by right-wing protestors. That is not a partial answer, that is a non-answer, and it was correctly deleted. – yannis Mod Aug 21 '18 at 23:55
  • @yannis, Please generalize your comment as to what distinguishes such special cases, and post it as an answer. – agc Aug 22 '18 at 3:53
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    It's not a special case. Your example is not a partial answer. It doesn't answer the question at all. – yannis Mod Aug 22 '18 at 12:19
  • @yannis, Re "doesn't answer the question at all": yes, but only if we interpret "the" question to mean exclusively one side of it, so that an answer addressing the other side is redefined as invalid. Which is something like your own advice, but neglecting to first edit the Q. to specify only a single aspect. – agc Sep 19 '18 at 1:52

No. Partial answers can stand. They are useful.

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