So, obviously when answers clearly don't answer the question (like actual comments or new questions, often from people who think SE is a forum) they should obviously be deleted.

However, what if answers do attempt to answer the question, but they are just very low quality?

I was just in the review queue, and saw this answer to the question "Is it possible to get breakfast or coffee before 9am in a cafe in Batumi?" nominated for deletion:

No, It's Not Possible...

Very Harder to find ? Breakfast in Batumi before 9 AM...

Now, there is no question that this is low quality. It doesn't provide any reasoning or sources. At least, if OP is a local or has a thorough knowledge of the city, then they should say that to lend credibility to the answer. Moreover, the city has 152,839 residents and is the second largest in the country, so I very much doubt that there's not a single place to get breakfast before 9:00 in a city of such size.

So, it is an answer, but very low quality, and probably wrong.

  1. So maybe VLQ answers like these should be deleted? Maybe give OP a notice that they should add elaboration or sources within a certain timespan, and then consider deletion if OP doesn't elaborate?

  2. Is very low quality a deletion reason? (Since this is technically an answer, we can't delete it as "not an answer". The reason would have to be VLQ.)

This answer also has poor grammar and English, but I think we can disregard that. We can easily clean up the language aspects with an edit. I'm sure everybody here agrees that we need to welcome input and local knowledge from users, even if they don't have a good knowledge of English.

Obviously, the downvote option is always there for VLQ answers. But when should they be deleted?

  • Well, it literally IS an answer, though almost certainly wrong.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


I'd say this is a "Flag as not an answer, then convert to comment" one.

It's not a good answer, but it does have a little value: it helps confirm that the asker (or in this case, the asker's friend) and anyone else researching this isn't going mad and that this really is something that's not easy to do.

Personally, I wouldn't downvote because it's not the new user's fault they don't yet have comment privileges and because they are adding a little value to the site (at the time it was the only response to the question), but that's a matter of personal choice.

I've flagged it as "not an answer" and hopefully the mods will turn it into a comment instead of just deleting it (I wish there was a "Flag > Convert to comment" option for this!).

Maybe change it to "I think it's not possible" instead of "it's not possible", since (I think) it is possible, just surprisingly difficult!

  • 4
    If you really want something to be turned into a comment, better flag for mod attention asking it to be converted. NAA puts it into the VLQ-review queue where it may get deleted (and stay that) altogether.
    – Jan
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 9:26

In my opinion, if after I have strained myself, I find a way how the answer was possibly an attempt at answering the question, I click Looks OK. I may just visit the link and downvote it, though.

If you feel that something is more like a comment than an answer, ideally flag it for mod attention, explaning what you want and why. Do not use NAA, that puts it into the VLQ-review queue where it may just get silently deleted (and lost … typically, mods wouldn’t go looking for VLQ-deleted posts again, would they?).

I know that German Language SE has a tendency of high-rep users to drop delete votes on answers that are simply wrong or bad, but I kind of think that’s a bad idea. Rather, as long as it is not incoherent gibberish, spam, offensive, an attempt to reply or a different question, I err on the side of not recommending deletion.


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