A considerable portion of the flags handled by moderators include deletion flags on answers, i.e., not an answer or very low quality. (In case anybody is curious, this statistics does not allow to capture this detail.) A considerable amount of these in turns are on answers that are “just” bad, i.e., they try to answer the question, they are not link-only answers, but they considerably lack details, explanation, or similar. Some of these answers are also just short (in my opinion).
At least going by the flags raised (and I am not talking about automatic low-quality flags based on heuristics here) and my opinions on these flags, there seems to be some disagreement in the community on how these should be handled. It would therefore be great if we could come up with a general policy for such answers to either reduce the number of flags or shorten flag-handling and reviewing times.
On SE it’s usually reserved for misplaced or abusive content. While individual sites can decide to apply it to other kinds of posts (e.g., Skeptics and ELU do this), I am not aware that we made any decision of this kind.
Should a lack of quality (explanation, details, etc.) in an answer be a reason for deletion?
If yes, why is such a severe action as deletion is appropriate here and downvotes and similar do not suffice? Also, if yes, where do we draw the line?
What this is not about
There seems to be consensus that the following kinds of answers should be deleted, so this question is not about them:
- link-only answers,
- answers to another question,
- questions as answers,
- thank-yous or “I am having this problem, too” answers,
- true comments as an answers, by which I mean things that comments are actually made for, i.e., suggestions to improve another post, criticism on another post, suggested links, good jokes, etc,
- spam, rude, or gibberish answers.
Also, this is not about whether such answers should be downvoted.