While reviewing posts, I've seen quite a few instances of a new user posting an answer to a question claiming that the question is from a current exam/competition. The new user also usually calls out the person who posted the question for cheating and requests/demands that no one answer the question (the latest instance of this, and the motivation for this post, is this user and their answers).

I usually recommend the user's claim be deleted because it "does not answer the question." Is there some other accepted protocol for handling these situations as a reviewer? I've found this meta post on the topic, but the post is old I don't know if there has been any official policy put in place since.

  • $\begingroup$ My approach to such posts. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Apr 22, 2015 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ Such accusations are (in my admittedly limited experience) often accurate. The problem is that the accuser is a new user (or at least a new account) without the privilege to comment. Or, someone who did not take the time to figure out how the site works, and thus didn't realize that posting the accusation as an answer is a no-no. The needs of site hygiene are clear: such a post is NAA, and will be deleted. You can comment under such a post explaining what's wrong. You can also flag it for moderator attention, because we can move such NAAs to comments, where they belong. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2015 at 6:16
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    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with "does not answer the question"? A little less worrying about what obscure protocol might be the most accepted and a little more worrying about what might look nonsensical and idiotic to an outsider (e.g., closing an on-topic question for being off-topic). $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2015 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe The problem with "NAA" is that if the question is really a contest problem, then it should be locked until the contest is over; but when you flag NAA, the answer goes to the review queue, where it will probably be deleted without ever being seen by a moderator (the only ones able to lock the question). But given your second sentence, this was probably a way for you to bring up your irrelevant agenda in the discussion, so I'm not sure if you were really interested in the answer to your first sentence... $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2015 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ If this happens often enough, it might warrant a mention in the text you show new users: "If you are registering/answering specifically to state that this question is in violation of our Contest Problem Policy (link), please do the following instead of mis-using the answer mechanism as a solution to this problem" $\endgroup$
    – msouth
    Apr 27, 2015 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


I believe that such "answers" should not simply be flagged as "not an answer" because they are trying to bring a potentially bad situation our attention (in essence, they are much closer to being flags than simple comments). If users/reviewers can find information that would back-up claims made in such answers, flagging the question for specific moderator attention giving this information would be the best possible scenario. Otherwise flagging the answer for specific moderator attention saying something to the effect of "answer claims that...." would be appropriate. If claims are borne out, the moderators may be able to lock the question in light of our Contest Problem Policy, or possibly direct the appropriate persons to Stack Exchange's Copyright policy.

In this particular instance I have not been able to find any specific evidence to support the claim made in that "answer", but am trying to reach out to gain it, if possible.

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    $\begingroup$ I suggest also making a comment under the question to direct people’s attention to the claim. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2015 at 19:29

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