I can't see the difference bewteen very low quality and not an answer. The flag descriptions are:

it is not an answer

This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether.

it is very low quality

This answer has severe formatting or content problems. This answer is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

I guess that an useful comment should be flagged as not an answer. But when the answer is just nonsense, is it very low quality or not an answer?

And how do questions get to the low quality queue, since there is no low quality question flag?


2 Answers 2


I think this MSO question addresses that. To quote from the top answer:

VLQ means the flagger thinks this post is beyond saving -- no amount of editing or polishing will turn this particular turd into gold. It is a call for a pooper-scooper.


Essentially this is synonymous with flag for removal.

For what it's worth, it's quite rare that I see a post which I would consider an appropriate use of the VLQ flag. It pretty much has to be actual gibberish. (Needless to say, as a moderator I delete such posts; if I weren't a moderator, I would VLQ-flag them.)

The not-an-answer flag, on the other hand, is intended for content which is legible, perhaps understandable, and may even constitute a useful contribution of some sort, but simply does not answer the question.

Of course, it makes little difference to us (moderators) which kind of flag you use, so don't spend much time agonizing over whether you should flag something as very low quality or as not an answer. If you're not sure, pick either one.

  • $\begingroup$ To have an example, physics.stackexchange.com/questions/23294/… this was not an answer? And should I raise a custom flag for a non-mainstream answer or choose other option? $\endgroup$
    – jinawee
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ @jinawee That is precisely the sort of thing the very low quality flag is meant for. As for non-mainstream answers: just downvote those. See also here. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 21:55

Very low quality presumably present a nominal answer, it is just that it is very badly written or presented to a unresolvable extent.

Not an answer says that it is for new questions, comments and responses to other answers; that is things which don't even pretend to provide an answer to the question.

I believe the low quality queue is filled only with posts flagged by the automatic post-quality heuristics. These are usually very short or consisting mainly of a link.


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