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I am currently contemplating an answer from March 2015 that has an impressive score of -19 + 9. I tried to flag it as "Very low quality", but that this option is not available. (I also downvoted the post and flagged it to a moderator, but the flag got declined.)

  • How old must an answer be in order for the "Very low quality" flag option to no longer be offered?

  • What is the rationale for the answer to the question above?

  • How to deal with such "zombie" answers that somehow have made it through the review process, that keep collecting downvotes and that seem to lurk below our radar forever? How can we kick them once again in the review queue in the hope of seeing them deleted?

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  • $\begingroup$ There's a post somewhere on über meta about that. I'll go search. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Oct 31 '16 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, no, it was on meta.so. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Oct 31 '16 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielFischer: 1) Do the SO rules apply verbatim to MSE? Are policies like that one global, or just site-specific? 2) How to deal, then, with massively downvoted answers? After all, why this lack of symmetry: poor questions get automatically "garbage-collected", poor answers don't? That's racist! $\endgroup$ – Alex M. Oct 31 '16 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ Not all SO rules apply verbatim to all sites. But the sites all run on the same software, though some things can be set differently on different sites. I don't know if the age threshold for VLQ flags can be tweaked per site in the current code. But unless there's reason to believe otherwise, I go with the option that the threshold is probably the same for all sites. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Oct 31 '16 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Vote to delete. Others might notice it under "tools" and add their votes. If it doesn't work you can also post to C.R.U.D.E. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 31 '16 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ I hope you did not try to flag the answer as "Very low quality" only because of its "impressive score of -19 + 9". (Furthermore, imho, such a score is first and foremost ambiguous.) $\endgroup$ – Did Oct 31 '16 at 21:42
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According to this answer by Shog9 on the Stack Overflow meta, the "very low quality" flag is available only within the first seven days of a posts lifetime.

The rationale is that serious problems, which the VLQ flag is for, are typically quickly detected and handled (by deletion or sometimes editing). If a post survives much longer, the problems probably aren't so huge that a VLQ flag is the right option.

How to deal with such "zombie" answers that somehow have made it through the review process, that keep collecting downvotes and that seem to lurk below our radar forever?

If they keep collecting downvotes, for users with at least 20k reputation, there is a "delete" link available which should be used on posts that really oughtn't to be on the site.

Note, however, that just being wrong is not grounds for deletion. If something posted as an answer doesn't address the question, go ahead and vote to delete it. Or flag it as "not an answer". If you have already flagged it as NAA, but the reviewers didn't agree, you can raise a custom moderator flag (explain that the post doesn't address the question, and hence should be deleted). But of course there is no guarantee that the moderators agree with the assessment that it doesn't address the question.

If it's just wrong, even terribly wrong, let it be covered in downvotes, but that's not reason to delete. If it's dangerously, misleadingly wrong, that can be a reason to delete.

If it's meaningless gibberish, it should have been dealt with earlier, but if it hasn't, a custom flag or a NAA flag are appropriate.

How can we kick them once again in the review queue in the hope of seeing them deleted?

If it already was in the "low quality" review queue, it doesn't enter that queue again, then you need three trusted users or a moderator to agree that it ought to be deleted.

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