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How can I constructively dispute a declined flag, if I think that my flag was really legitimate and should not have been declined? I am interested to know what can be done generally in this case, but I would like to resolve the issues that concretely instigated some of my recent flags which were declined and therefore lead to my meta question, too:

  • This "answer" does not even try to answer the question asked, but tries in a very confrontational manner to start a nonconstructive discussion. The OP of this answer states in a very subjective manner his general negative opinion about the physics subject of the question instead of answering the question. It is not an answer and should at most have been a comment, but I think such nonconstuctive off topic comments should not be allowed here either.
  • Here the same user tries to advertise his own personal non mainstream theory which says general relativity is wrong etc, without being really interested in an answer the knowledgable people here could give him. So this question is first of all off topic, since physics SE deals only with mainstream physics and NOT with personal fringe theories of users, and it is not a real question,
  • ... ,as can be see from the fact that the OP only accepted his own wrong answer which advertises his personal theory further and denies and dismisses all of the physics arguments people have given him in the other answers taking advantage of mainstream physics. Having such a bad and wrong accepted (!) answer on a question that is off topic and not a real question does make Physics SE looking not good.
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In general, pinging one of the mods in chat if they're around may make more sense before going off to meta :) But it's OK to ask directly on meta as well.


I declined those flags, mostly because I thought that you were just calling the posts wrong. "The answer is wrong" is not something to delete an answer by.

Regarding point 1: That was a mistake on my part--there were three flags from you on the same user, I went back and declined the wrong flag (which now explains why there was one flag extra on the same post that I thought that I had dealt with). Sorry about that, the answer has been deleted now.

Regarding that question/answer, however:

The question is entirely within its limits. It's perfectly OK to post a well-phrased thought experiment on Phys.SE and ask why it is wrong. This doesn't go against our guidelines on mainstream physics.

The answer ... eh, it's debatable. There isn't always a clear distinction between "non-mainstream physics pushing" and "wrong answer". In this case, it's not as much a "fringe theory" as it is just an "answer with wrong assumptions". To me, the OP has asked this in good faith, so I let it be.

I haven't had time to read all the comments and the other answers his rebuttal addresses, though. Also, I'm not well-versed with GTR, though I'm able to understand the question and answers well enough. So hopefully another mod will have a look at this as well.

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    $\begingroup$ In that last case, the answer consists in large part of a response to the other answers, which is not answering the question. So I could see a case for deleting it, or at least removing most of the content, as not an answer. (Maybe we should discuss it on chat.) $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 30 '13 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Manishearth, I will remind the ping in chat advice in case it happens again, that I think something is really wrong but my flag has been declined. And yes, concerning the question-answer thing I think the accepted answer is the worse thing, since thought experiments are important and allowed here rightly so. I will wait and see what other moderators say for a while. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Mar 30 '13 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky: Yep, that is a valid reason, and we can probably convert the answer to an edit (there even is an option in the mod menu for that). Any objection? $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Mar 31 '13 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth Unless I'm reading it wrong, it's not a valid edit, it's a response to the other answers. But it's too long to be a comment, so the only thing left to do is delete it. The only issue is whether there is enough in it to constitute an actual answer - on this latest reading I don't think there is, but it'd be nice to get another opinion. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 31 '13 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky: "response to the other answers" actually does work as an edit, especially on a question with as many answers as this (There should be comments as well, but a global edit basically says "avoid these arguments; they don't work because of X".) IMO there is a lot of info there to constitute an answer/edit; but I don't mind much if it is deleted :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Mar 31 '13 at 5:25
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    $\begingroup$ Not as far as I know. It was my understanding that responses to answers should not be edited into the question (in fact, I edit that sort of thing out of questions from time to time). Sure, a question can be edited to include extra information as prompted by the answers, but it shouldn't actually be a response to the answers. I still maintain that that answer should not be appended to the question. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 31 '13 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky: Ah. I looked at it as more of a "beware of such arguments" header. Delete the answer then :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Mar 31 '13 at 6:50

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