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I'm a little confused about the new enforcement of quality standards, described here: Enforcement of Quality Standards

I am very much for this, and think it is a great idea. That said, I make mistakes, and I admit I should not have answered this question . It was a clear case where instead of answering, I should have encouraged the user to first improve their question. This was explained in the comment to my answer, and I fully agree with the comment.

That said, can someone explain to me why the answer here: If $x,y$ are natural numbers and $\frac{1}{x} - \frac{1}{y} = \frac{1}{3}$ find $x,y$. does not fall into the same category? In both cases, the question posed is a PSQ, and should not be answered. In one case, the two answers posted were deleted and the users notified of the new enforcement of quality standards, in the other, no such action was taken. I read and re-read the enforcement post, but I don't see why the questions should be treated differently.

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    $\begingroup$ I am confused: that question has been closed, as it is a PSQ? A user has posted the appropriate comment, too. Note that the "notifications" were not issued by moderators, so we cannot say much about that. $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff May 5 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ I think the second link that you included can't be deleted because there is an accepted answer, but I'll let the mods answer this to clarify. $\endgroup$ – soupless May 5 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ @PedroTamaroff The question was closed, but the answer was not deleted. My question is about the answers, not the questions $\endgroup$ – 5xum May 5 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ I think that the second question does fall into the same category. It was treated differently because people are different and everyone will apply the policy differently. In particular, there is no obligation to post comments like those on your answer. (Also, recent questions needs to be on -3 before regular users can vote to delete them, and similarly for answers. I do not know how accepted answers affect this.) $\endgroup$ – user1729 May 5 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ @5xum I think user1729 has answered you question. :) $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff May 5 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ @PedroTamaroff I'm now confused, because I actually flagged the not-deleted answer, and the flag was rejected. So I am asking now for an official moderator policy: should answers to PSQs be deleted or not? Or is it up to the mod, and it's ok to flag them? Or should they not even be flagged? $\endgroup$ – 5xum May 5 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ @5xum Flags are not always handled by moderators. If you flagged as "low quality" it will go into the review queue where regular users will see the answer and possibly not look at the question. Flagging "needs moderator intervention" will notify a moderator. $\endgroup$ – user1729 May 5 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ @user1729 Which is why I flagged "needs mod attention"... $\endgroup$ – 5xum May 5 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @5xum OK, just wanted to clarify :-) $\endgroup$ – user1729 May 5 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ @5xum The question is open for deletion, and if deleted, will delete the inappropriate answer as well. $\endgroup$ – amWhy May 5 at 16:01
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I am asking now for an official moderator policy: should answers to PSQs be deleted or not? Or is it up to the mod, and it's ok to flag them? Or should they not even be flagged?

We of course contact user that consistently answer PSQs, but I do not think we have a policy regarding deleting answers to PSQs, and I am not entirely sure we need one: if the original post does not improve, it will be deleted, and with it the answers.

My recommendation would be that you flag the low quality post itself, and then we can look at each answer if there is any. Flagging each single answer will just create many duplicate flags for us, and slow down the whole process.

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  • $\begingroup$ What does happen fairly uniformly, however, is the comment template message appearing at the start of a low quality question. If this message gets ignored, worse if an answer comes in when it has been plastered across the screen, then the message becomes about as useful to the OP as a cockroach in a polling booth. $\endgroup$ – Teresa Lisbon May 5 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ The new enforcement policy argues that answerers of very low quality posts are just as much to blame, as the asker. So this "My recommendation would be that you flag the low quality post itself, ..." is still "old thinking". It is valid to flag answers as well. $\endgroup$ – amWhy May 5 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I agree that this seems to contradict the focus of the policy, but surely Pedro's justification -that this slows down the workload and simply flagging the question is more efficient- makes sense? $\endgroup$ – user1729 May 5 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ Absolutely it would, @user1729, for mods that will actually take a look at both the poor question, and the answerers that answered. I have no reason to believe that all mods will attend to the answerers, as well. Besides, the EoQS clearly suggests we flag answers to PSQs and VLQ questions, if, after receiving notification, answerers persist to answer such questions. $\endgroup$ – amWhy May 5 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy I see what you mean about the suggestion in the EoQS, but I think the suggestion there is that we flag the offender, not the offence, i.e. one flag per offender, even if there are multiple posts. I guess links to the other questions could be included in the flag, which may be easier for the mod handling it to see the big picture (compared to multiple individual flags). Maybe a mod can clarify? $\endgroup$ – user1729 May 5 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ @user1729 It is easy for us to have a single flag containing all the answers that potentially may break site policy, it simplifies bookkeeping and makes it easier for us to keep track of them. So my recommendation is that you flag the question and note in the message that some (or all) answers are breaking the rules. Best, $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff May 5 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ As a moderator, I am always looking after the flags, and I have already contacted a handful of users that have not followed the new policy. The comments above seem to be suggesting I have done otherwise and "defended answerers" and there's little support for that claim. As a general rule of thumb, I will not be issuing promises to users and in the future I will not be replying to comments that insinuate I have done things that I have not. Best wishes, $\endgroup$ – Pedro Tamaroff May 5 at 16:40

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