At the question When you randomly shuffle a deck of cards, what is the probability that it is a unique permutation never before configured?, I had flagged the answer

The chances of a particular sequence occurring is so small that it can never happen in the life of the universe. Therefore you cannot get the cards in a particular sequence. This is the argument for the existance of God. Note to self = It's just as daft.

for low quality.

In my opinion, it is definitely not a mathematical answer meeting the standards of math.SE. So I flagged it to get it deleted. However, "not an answer" wouldn't be correct, since it is an answer (though a bad one). So the closest flag reason was "very low quality".

Now the flag was disputed, and I wonder why. Is this answer really good enough that we want to keep it?

Part of the reason I'm asking this is that I got other disputed "low quality" flags recently. I would like to get a better feeling when I should flag something for "low quality", and when I should better stay away from it.

Two additional remarks:

  • There already was a comment "This does not provide an answer...", which I upvoted. After that, it was at (5).
  • One or two weeks ago, an upvoted comment by a high rep user told me that the "not an answer" flag is only for answers which clearly don't have any relation to the question. Without that, I probably would have flagged it as "not an answer".
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I probably wouldn’t have flagged it at all: I’d have left a comment pointing out that it wasn’t really an answer and given the poster a day or so to delete it. Then I might have flagged it, as not an answer. I strongly prefer not to flag unless something is blatantly offensive, clearly spam, or clearly intended as a comment or additional question and not as an answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2013 at 5:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BrianM.Scott: There was already such a comment. After my upvote, It was at +5. $\endgroup$
    – azimut
    Aug 30, 2013 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ In which case I would have upvoted the comment or added my own, depending on the precise wording, and not flagged the answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2013 at 8:10

2 Answers 2


Disputed just means that one 10k+ user disagreed, nothing more. It does not matter how many other users or moderators agreed with your flag, if one user disputes it it will end up as disputed in the end. As you might guess I consider this mechanic to be completely useless, and I would caution you to avoid putting too much weight onto disputed flags. I personally think you can safely ignore them, declined flags are a different case as those have been acted on by a moderator (in most cases).

I would actually contradict you here and I think that "not an answer" would be a valid flag in this case. The question is asking for a specific probability, and the answer is just a rather general statement. There might be some debate about this, but I think considering this post as more of a comment and not an answer would be a valid opinion.

"very low quality" would also be a valid flag reason in my opinion, the answer does not provide any mathematical comment. It is just an unsupported assertion, it is at best a comment, and even then not a particularly valuable one.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for this answer! I didn't know that "disputed" just means that possibly only one out of many reviewers disagrees with me. $\endgroup$
    – azimut
    Aug 29, 2013 at 21:25

This is a post with very low quality.

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ (1) This post is very short. (2) This post does not justify its low quality in the body of the post. (3) This post does not add any constructive discussion to the question. (4) This post does not address many points of your question by just self-referencing. $\endgroup$
    – Shuhao Cao
    Sep 3, 2013 at 2:19
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    $\begingroup$ I was so very tempted to flag this post as "Very low quality" (it says itself that it is!) but sadly that is not allowed on meta. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2013 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ This is not an answer, but a comment. Yet, who would downvote this (I flagged it.). $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2013 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @DImension10AbhimanyuPS I believe in meta the upvote and downvote mean different things with the main site. Here a downvote is like saying "I disagree with you on this". $\endgroup$
    – Shuhao Cao
    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @ShuhaoCao: I know that, but why would someone disagree that this is low quality ? $\endgroup$ Sep 11, 2013 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ He DID explain the low quality commenting... $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2013 at 12:57

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