I've asked a question with a bounty as below:

Hot swapping physical disks passed through to a qemu VM

The bounty has now expired and there is one answer, which I regard as basically an attempt to bikeshed a question sufficiently complex that I considered it required a bounty.

The answer posted is incorrect for two reasons

1) Factually. It claims that qemu does not support hot swapping virtio devices. As indicated in the question, there is a way to hot swap virtio devices in qemu, but I lack a way to automate that.

2) It does not answer the question. It suggests a possible method for accomplishing what the question asks without providing any detail as to how to achieve the goal desired or even any indication that that method would be possible in practice. The answer is purely hypothetical.

I do not care about getting my bounty rep back. I raised the bounty because the answer was important to me. However, I have flagged the question as "not an answer" but this has been incorrectly rejected. I do not wish this bounty to go to a post that is (a) incorrect (b) does not answer the question. Raising here so the not an answer flag can be reconsidered.


3 Answers 3


As Mark's answer says, the bounty won't be awarded because you haven't awarded it, you haven't selected the answer as being correct, and the answer isn't at +2.

As for the not an answer flags, I dismissed one, another moderator did the other one. Although I can understand why it was flagged, when a moderator is handling the flag, choosing "Decline" makes more sense than "Helpful but no action is needed."

Although it's not spelled out as clearly as it could be (and although it's a long-term subject of discussion across many/most SE sites), the bar for Not An Answer flags is really high. An answer has to almost be gibberish before you can count on moderators agreeing with an NAA flag.

As I said, there has been a lot of discussion about this over the years, but in general: - an incorrect answer is an answer - a partial answer is an answer

The correct thing to do with a bad answer is to downvote and/or comment. (And, if you're the person who asked the question, you obviously shouldn't mark the answer as correct.)


The types of posts that NAA is for are things like commentary on the question or another answer, "I'm having this problem too", asking another unrelated question, random waffle, and complete gibberish. The vast majority of valid NAA flags are for posts by people treating SF as a forum, rather than a QA site. The flag name is "Not An Answer", not "Wrong Answer", "Unhelpful Answer", or "Answer I Don't Like", for a very good reason -- mods aren't here to adjudicate answer quality (that's for commenting and voting), we're here to keep the trash bins empty, or at least not overflowing all over the carpet.

  • I interpreted the answer as a frame challenge, attempting to say that the question should have been different rather than answering the question as it was. I do tend to consider frame challenges to be NAA worthy, but I understand that the bar is different on different sites.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 8:48
  • 2
    If every "ye canna change the laws of physics" answer on SF was flagged NAA, we'd be clearing flags until doomsday. A lot of people ask for a lot of impossible things here. At any rate, I think you might not be in the majority when considering frame challenges NAA on SE in general (cf. meta.stackexchange.com/a/263672/138870).
    – womble Mod
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 10:41

You don't have to award a bounty, and I don't believe that currently the answer meets the criteria for the bounty being awarded automatically.

From What is a bounty? How can I start one? in Server Fault Help:

If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount (or the full amount, if the answer is also accepted). If two or more eligible answers have the same score (their scores are tied), the oldest answer is chosen. If there's no answer meeting those criteria, no bounty is awarded to anyone.

I also flagged this as not an answer, and my flag was rejected too.

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