Remember, the answer you provide today is not just for the OP. It is for everyone else who happens to land on it via some search engine link or other method in the future.
Adding an explanation like you did here improves the answer considerably and makes it more useful to the OP and anyone else who might subsequently find it. It explains what caused the ...
One simple answer is to simply write a better question, taking into account how people actually read content on the web.
Use the inverted pyramid style for composing your question.
Use keywords and headings correctly.
Make sure that you any excess cruft from your question, or at least give all the details up front.
Use formatting correctly. A bulletted ...
I prefer that a relatively well worded but completely wrong answer remain but be downvoted so that future readers know that it is a Bad Thing. The more comments on the answer that explain why it's bad, the better.
I only flag answers that are:
Obviously shilling for a product.
Asking a question of the poster.
The text says to include the essential parts of the answer. If the author of the answer does that and only that, it would fall under the fair use doctrine - see the U.S. Copyright Office's information on Fair Use. But if the author, as you say, copies and pastes a large portion of copyrighted text, presenting it as their own, that would be both legally and ...
As the moderator concerned, not that it really matters, but at the time I was not yet elected.
Second I made that edit when that answer popped up in First Posts review queue where one only sees such an answer in isolation. As a matter of routine I improved the formatting some and removed what appeared a typical first time user trying to sign an answer ...
It appears that a moderator missed the fact that this post was a copy of another answer, with "Thanks" appended.
I won't speak for him, but I will say that in response to some flags I deleted the non-answer several days ago.
I think that both links (if applicable), and the relevant information from the link should be provided in the answer.
The goal of SE is to be the source of knowledge. If an answer is simply a link, there's no guarantee that it will still be available in 6 months, a year, whatever. If the answer is clearly plagiarized with no credit given to the source, ...
You yourself can't.
But moderators can. You should be able to flag your own question for moderator attention:
in need of moderator intervention
A problem not listed above that requires action by a moderator. Be specific and detailed!
Please be aware that questions older than 30 days can't be migrated and we'll not always honour such requests ...
Just for completeness, I declined both of these flags because:
In both cases, the answers could easily be improved by editing them, and this is not something you need a moderator for. Also they stand well enough on their own, that even if the links went dead they would still be useful. Iain has covered these points pretty well, so I won't belabor them.
If you see a post that has been edited, if you click on the "Edited [Date]" link you will see a list of post revisions. I'll use your question here as an example.
If you click on the link as shown in the red box:
You can see (in red) what was taken out and (in green) what was added.
For more info, have a look at this FaQ entry, "How Does Editing Work?"
First off: Flagging link only answers is the correct thing to do.
You may also edit the answer if you're so inclined.
Second opinions can differ but in this specific Q & A I would most likely have declined the flag too, because :
The answer is 5 years old
Not every old Q & A is worth judging to current standards.
The answer is Accepted by the ...
First off, these are really old question and answers, which makes inertia important (It is not useful to pick through everything in our history for stuff that no longer fits with our current viewpoints).
Regardless, the first answer does have another answer than the links it posts:
The questions you're asking are answered in the hier(7) man page.
Since others have told you about the edit history, I will speak about editing in general.
I wouldn't worry too much about this, (most) people don't edit posts to stick a finger at you but to make the site more readable for everyone. This is important because StackExchange is not meant as a short-lived forum, but we try to create a body of information that ...
Both of those answers are valid and will remain valid even if the links go dead, all someone has to do is go looking based on the information provided.
They are absolutely answers and should not have been flagged NAA.
There are lost of things you could have done with out flagging ...
You could have gone looking and found an online version of the hier(7) ...
This is called "The Fastest Gun In The West" and was discussed on meta.stackoverflow about 2 years ago I think.
Answers used to default by sorting by votes > age. Now they sort by votes > random.
This means that in the beginning, when there are 0 votes, no one answer floats to the top, because the top answer tends to get an un-even (and often un-deserved) ...
While there is some merit to the idea on a really fast moving site like SO, here on SF we're slow enough that for most questions the long tail pays better than the immediate post. There are questions here where there will be three answers on it within two minutes of posting, which is the exact case you're talking about here.
However, in my experience these ...
It is covered here:
Provide context for links
A link to a potential solution is always welcome, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there . Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is ...
Answers without any actual 'answer' but only links are not considered Answers here. They should be flagged for a moderator to cleanup. More than anything this relates to Spam, as you could write up an answer, put it on your blog (with advertising that you get paid for) and link to it.
Are you referring to this flag reason?
very low quality
This question has severe formatting or content problems. This question is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.
It is IMHO self explanatory, provided people are reading the text when they flag -- the operative term is "not salvageable through editing". These ...
One of those did show up as a low quality review. I voted Looks OK, because the question asked where an explanation can be found and the proper answer to that question is a link. And I don't know any better answer to that question, than the first of the two links provided.
I think this already exists. If your posts has been edited then you will see a notification to that effect.
If you click on the date of the edit then you will be taken to the /revisions page for the post in question in this case https://serverfault.com/posts/347886/revisions which shows additions in green and removals in red.
This is a human problem. Getting people to read your question fully is no different to writing an effective resume. First you need to attract the reader's attention. Then you need to write in a manner that will encourage the reader to continue reading.
Zoredache's answer is a good but at the same time illustrates the point. It's long and tiresome to read, ...
I like WesleyDavid's formula for flagging; personally I am far more likely to downvote bad answers (and/or comment as to why they are bad) than to suggest they be completely removed.
I suspect this apparent predilection for flagging comes from a few different (and sometimes overlapping) motivations:
Flagging sort of passes the problem on to someone else.
I don't think I've ever flagged a question or answer as low quality but I am more than willing to spend a few rep points where warranted. If I feel a low quality question should be eliminated I vote accordingly. Too bad we can't do the same for low quality answers.
I personally believe a question flagged as low quality should be viewed in the same light as ...
It's been proposed any number of times to allow moderators to accept an answer on behalf of a user. This has also been shot down the same number of times.
The rationale is that accepting an answer is meant to indicate which answer was most useful to the person asking the question, while community consensus as to the "best" answer is expressed through votes.