I understand that many users of TeX.SE are scrimpy with their downvotes, but please don't upvote non-answers (e.g. comments erroneously posted as an answer) above a score of -1.

As you can (not) see in the picture below, a post with a score > -1 is missing the delete button. This makes voting to delete such posts unnecessarily complicate.

enter image description here

In particular, please don't upvote them above a score of 0, then even the unanimous delete votes of 6 users won't be able to delete such answers.

  • 1
    There are quite a few questions that deal with whether to flag an "answer" that should clearly be a comment, but the OP lacks sufficient rep. This one has useful discussion on the matter: tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/816 (I do flag such "answers".) Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 17:02
  • @barbarabeeton I flag them too, so they get into the queue, but it would need one reviewer less if I could directly vote to delete. Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 19:02
  • 4
    But if the non-answer really would be a useful comment with info not covered elsewhere, I don't want to vote to delete since I don't know if it will vanish before a mod can take care of it. Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 20:23
  • @barbarabeeton Mods are able to see deleted posts Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 20:34
  • 2
    Why removing the reference to the alleged nonanswer? Your opinion is as good as any other's, so I'd like to be able to judge by myself about the particular matter.
    – egreg
    Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 14:50
  • 1
    @egreg If you'd like to judge yourself tex.stackexchange.com/a/676270/36296 It seems pretty clear that it is a comment to the answer tex.stackexchange.com/a/67499/36296 and not an answer to the original question Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 14:57
  • (I didn't include the author name in the screenshot because it does not matter who posted the non-answer. Users do that for all kinds of reasons, they might be new, don't know how the site works, don't have enough rep ... that's ok. The problem is that the mechanism to keep the site organised stops working because of hindering votes) Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 15:06
  • 2
    @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz That post makes a correct statement, so the context is needed, but now I can agree that it's a nonanswer. I've seen several cases where answers were flagged as nonanswers, but weren't (maybe not well written, but that's a case of downvote, rather than flagging). Flag and go on.
    – egreg
    Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


The case presented is indeed a good example. But not of what you're trying to convey, sorry.

The reported answer states a correct fact and it's important to see the question. Once we see it, it becomes apparent that the answer is completely off, so the upvote was definitely out of place. However, this is not always the case. I have flagged posts as “not an answer”, but the flag ended up to be disputed.

Depending on the situation, a member of the community might find that an answer with only downvotes is not deserving it and upvote; I've done this a few times. Context is important, reading both the question and the answer is even more important. Whether a post is “not an answer” is subjective and your opinion is as good as anyone else's. You're not the ultimate judge, community and the moderators are.

If you deem a post to be “not an answer”, flag it, perhaps with a downvote, and move on. You can return to it and vote for deletion if it's still with only negative votes.

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