I already read When is an answer Not An Answer? and Moderation inconsistencies. It seems that bad answers are supposed to be just voted down, and indeed a few flags I have raised on bad answers have been denied.
Now I came across this answer and I get the message "STOP! Look and Listen.", although the answer is better then some of the answers I flagged. I agree that there is room for improvement in this answer, but that might be fixed with some editing.
Something like "You can use
export MYSQL_HOME=/app/mysql, for details see link" would have been better, but essentially the same. The link is to the MySQL documentation, which is likely to stay around for a while, and Google for "MYSQL_HOME" would find the relevant info if necessary. Besides, the answer already contains the relevant info, the link is just for reference, and references are encouraged.
This answer contains useful information that answers the original question and wasn't already present in the other answer, and probably solves the problem posed in the question.
On the other hand, other answers didn't even answer the question, or were just plain wrong, but they were not deleted.
It seems that long enough nonsense is preferred to a short answer that solves the problem, that form is more important than content.
I see some problems with this:
- People are encouraged to post long answers, no matter how wrong.
- People are discouraged from posting factually correct short answers that are to the point, they need to find some useless filler or not answer at all.
- Adding a comment isn't possible for new users, and converting the answer to a comment doesn't give the the opportunity to get credit for their answer.
- People who review don't like to be told they are stupid when they accept an answer that does answer the question, and be told they are stupid when they reject an answer that doesn't answer the question