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This guideline of moderator tools says the following:

Before voting to delete, please check whether there are any good answers; if so, then the question should be flagged for moderator attention as a potential merge candidate. We don't like to lose great answers!

Question: what are good answers?


No. This post is NOT a duplicate of

Under what circumstances is it appropriate to delete a question that has received a good answer?

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe worth noting it then says "We don't like to lose great answers!" Thus we might need a follow up questions "What are great answers?" $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ By intent the question seems mostly like a duplicate of "Under what circumstances is it appropriate to delete a question that has received a good answer?" I don't mark it right away myself, however I invite you to explain what the purpose of this post is beyond the existing one. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ How is this question duplicate of that one? Atleast from the linked question I understand that the term "good answer" is already well defined. $\endgroup$ – Zacky Nov 3 '19 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ Instead of just saying "no it isn't" you might want to explain a bit more what you are actually looking for. I mean the question as literally written is pretty broad, too broad (arguably also opinion based). In any case it is not really relevant as we already agreed that questions with "good" answers can also be deleted sometimes. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Nyssa if this question here is meaningful at all then only in the indirect way as a question/discussion about deletion-policy for answered question. To simply discuss what we consider as "good answers" is way too broad, and obviously opinions will be mixed. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: I find your comment misleading. "we already agreed that...", who are "we" and when? $\endgroup$ – Jack Nov 3 '19 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ First even the text you quote does not at all say that questions with "good" answers must not be deleted. Second, what I actually meant was the meta-question I linked to. It seems there was quite a bit of support there that there is no reason to preserved everything that might qualify as "good." Third, it is standing practice since years. But of course feel free to flag the questions as potential merge candidate. Some might be merged, others will just be deleted, maybe still other will be left around. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @quid I was also about to comment that this question ("What are good answers?") might be subjective, however that's the consequence of the moderator guideline being that way. In any case it doesn't seem like a duplicate at all. $\endgroup$ – Zacky Nov 3 '19 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Nyssa yes, that's a very rough guideline given identically for 150+ sites. It is on the community to refine these guidelines via meta-discussions, something that was done over the years and resulted in the current practice. Of course policies are also in flux and we can discuss things a new, but for a site as large and evolved as ours to just ask what does "good answer" mean just does not make sense anymore. Maybe for a specific type of question, or with a synthesis of earlier discussions, or focusing on the aspect of 'hint' or something. The question as is, just is not useful. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ For a simple answer to the meta question, a minimal criterion regarding "good" in the context of deletion. I'd say it at least has to add something globally to the site. There is not much problem with losing redundant content thus the notion of good ought to be a relative one and not an absolute one. If we have no other answer on a subject amost every answer that makes sense is good, if we already have three very elaborate ones and twenty reasonable ones, maybe we do not need a 21 reasonable one. Maybe it's better to try to direct everybody to the more elaborate ones. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: do moderators have the power to rewrite the guideline to show the "current practice"? Does the "current practice" refer to certain poll of the whole MSE community or is it merely common opinions of a very small group of active users? If the "current practice" for "good answers" cannot be stated clearly, how could there be a clear "current practice" for determining what posts should be deleted or not. $\endgroup$ – Jack Nov 3 '19 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ It would be possible to get the page modified, but I do not see the point of modifying there. It serves its purposes of giving a rough idea of what deletion is about, it says that questions that are of no lasting value should be deleted, but some care should be exercised so as not to delete answers that are valuable to the site just because they are on poor questions (which matches by an large current practice). Everybody that wants to know more will need to consult meta anyway. It is still unclear to me what your intent is. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ If it is to argue "This answer is good. Therefore the question must not be deleted." then this won't fly for several reasons. The first one being that this is not quite what the help center says. If instead you want to know which questions you should flag, then I'd say if you have an exact duplicate target (notation matches or you made it match) then feel free to flag as long as the answer are at least not worse than those that exist on the target and there are not already a dozen. If you don't have a target, then it is unlikely mods will go searching, but there is chat that can help. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 3 '19 at 23:38

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