There have been a couple of instances that I know of (1), (2) in which answers were deleted at least in part for misrepresenting or at the very least seriously stretching the sources they purported to cite in support.

There seems to be some confusion how to flag such answers though. Is "rude or abusive" an appropriate flag in such cases? Or is something else better? "Very low quality"?

  • Just so you're aware, 1 would probably still be deleted even if it wasn't misrepresenting any sources Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


Neither. Enter a custom reason.

If you pick anything else, the flag's reviewer will look at the merit of the answer and base their review on that only.

  • 1
    You list one important aspect. But doesn't that also mean that instead of community review queue it gets to mod-only review? Then there is the 6-rude-flags penalty. If it's not about the 2 examples, but generally: shouldn't a correcting comment be 1st line of defence? Then DV. Then flag? Going by box-text I#d say VLQ, NAA more than rude, but that may be difficult to get across w/o comment? Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 17:05
  • 1
    @LаngLаngС: I dunno. If I were a moderator and someone would flag an answer as rude, when clearly it isn't, then I doubt I'd think about looking into the references. I'd simply reject the flag -- which can eventually have consequences for whoever raised it. As for dropping a comment, yeah, maybe. Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 17:07

One option that LangLangC also suggested is to leave a comment to clarify the flag reason, then flag it to the low-quality queue. Whether you flag it NAA, LQ, or RA depends on the case.

If the reason is so complicated that it cannot be solved by other users or it has passed the normal queues already but you still think action is needed, then you can use a custom flag. Raising this flag by default means the burden of moderating is fully thrust upon the mods and goes against the idea of user-moderated site.

  • (While I believe to have offered that comment->flag option here) I still am unsure whether this is mainly about the linked pots or really more generally? In the general case: wouldn't it be a good idea to make a really general/wiki post about this? Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:11
  • 1
    @LаngLаngС my answer applies in general. A wiki post can always be made later on if needed. For now, I think it's better to post regular answer and see what others think based on voting on answers.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:15
  • @LаngLаngС: my question is about a general rule. I don't wish to rehash here the two answers that have their own meta-threads/questions. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:20
  • Not saying you should convert to wiki. Just musing if a generla guide for this site would be useful, in flowchart form? Whether votes, comments, flags, I often disagree. And regarding flags I fear that they are often abused meaning mainly not applied 'correctly', out of innocent ignorance/**confusion** (as well as perhaps 'mean' intentions). I guess a FAQ for PSE-flagging might be helpful? Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:22
  • @LаngLаngС I'm not sure what you mean by abusing flags. NAA and LQ push to the low-quality queue, so it's judged by other members of the community. The spam and RA flags require a large number of flags or moderator intervention. The mod flag goes straight to the mods so they can see quite easily if there's abuse there.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:26
  • "Abuse" is meant to convey that 'unwanted' contend (by individual users) gets flagged with stretchy/wrong reasons. Sometims in genuine error,sometimes to 'shut down'. Both cases need correction. As you said "large": that's (theoretcially) one flagger, less than a handful CVers or co-flaggers. Looks like democracy, but on a site with 10000s users it can amount to a minority cabal. Ie: the system isn't immune/ algo-peferct. Giving unclear meta-rationalisations about general flagging recommendations would feed that problem. "bad srcs"=flag is 'too broad'; but "Srcs abuse" I'd support? Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 0:35
  • @LаngLаngС but that minority cabal isn't really the case here, I think. On larger sites that is limited by the number of votes per user. On this site, it's less of a problem because we have so little traffic and so many (relatively) high-rep users who can vote to reopen and undelete. Then there's of course meta where users can complain so it can be discussed by more users. So I'm not clear what problem you have in mind here. Are you merely saying that I should expand my answer and talk about each flag more carefully?
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 1:15
  • Nah. I mean: that 1. the propaganda: SE=democracy is numerically/algo-tec flawed. (how would be 6red-flags be remided? The basic democracy/anarchy thing is undefined;or misrepresented?) 2. If this A is* general:* (as Fizz also indicated) I guess: ('mean' aside), mods & umods are too often burdened with "wrong" flags, as they are under-defined, users are 'hurt', by 'wrong' flags ( ressons=individuals interpretations). Etc. In Basic: if confusion then define guideline. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 1:25
  • @LаngLаngС I don't think I agree with the hurt part. If posts have a place then there is ample opportunity to rectify bad deletions and closures. As for the democracy part, I don't really know where you got that from. SE isn't a democracy, except for the part where mods are elected (which isn't the case on beta sites). It's a meritocracy in which users with rep have votes. If you think it is flawed and you can argue that, I do want to discuss that further but it's probably better if you write a longer post on that first, perhaps in a separate meta discussion post.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 1:33
  • Perhaps twisted metaphors: point is "community decision" ≠ democracy (Here.: at most 6 rnd people making final decisions for 1000 users or a mod; all with very complicated and/or limited appeal) , & ≠just decision. Despite this axiom being coded into model. And quite a few arguments/dismissals. I just lost a set of horns on MSE over fundamentals: so here, I'd like just to suggest the PolSE might benefit from that – generalised – "flowchart" when to flag what, under which circumstances/conditions ? Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 1:40
  • @LаngLаngС it isn't democracy. Democracy isn't the solution to everything and it probably wouldn't work here. The SE model is based around having an expert user base and an objective subject. Of course, both of those are ideals and in the case of politics we're always having some subjective stuff (compared with say math or SO). Overall though, I think we are doing pretty well, especially compared to some other sites like ELU which is flooded in LQ stuff with too few to mod it and smaller beta sites which have so little activity it's like a ghost town.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 1:52
  • The difference is between what it is and what it wants to be – or "should" Or what we want of it vs it claims to be. From SO down (you're right) to PolSE (hopefully not, now): more feedback fom below is needed, listening, analysing, describing, formlating, adopting, incorporating it (depends, oc) should be the model here. Don't care how to call it, for provo, why not*" true* PolPot-conservatism"? Thing is: down–up, transparent, accountable, feedback enabled, all in? Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 2:01
  • @LаngLаngС but why? This isn't a country with a fixed set of citizens that should be fairly represented. This is a place for sharing knowledge. Compare a user here to a student at a university, you have a couple of ways to appeal decisions and when you're getting higher up you get more responsibility, eventually over other students as well.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 2:13
  • "Why?" Because the member No > 200. Hierarchies are not inherently good. They need ideally abolishment; in the worser case feedback/opposition, in the absolute worst case: outright Bolshevik enemies… It's just not about any '"representation", but about a single, (well, or bad) argued for position.mIn either philosophy, school, or plainly opinion (just needs to be "good subjective"? Thing is right/wrong is one, technical foul another, and mean-willed fraud a third. Flag help to dif these seems to me lacking. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 2:27
  • @LаngLаngС so what exactly are you proposing and why would that be better than it is now? Please give concrete examples of things that stay on the site now when you think they shouldn't or things that should've stayed but haven't. I think there will be some of that, but not that much, certainly not to the extent that the sharing of knowledge, the purpose of this site, is jeopardized.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 2:38

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