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Sometime ago I flagged to delete this answer to the question Wendy Doniger and the Bhagavad Gita.

Here's my reason for flagging:

Your answer sounds like an exposé of Ms. Doniger. You need to read the question again. It's about Doniger's comments on BG and how do you respond to her accusations re: Sri Krishna. You didn't spare a single line on the blockquote OP used in the question but instead go on to write about her student and his comments on Ramakrishna. – sv. Jul 14 at 20:15

Although it received 4 upvotes, I generally think moderators are supposed to think above and beyond the # of votes an answer receives to determine whether an answer really answers OP's question or not, but here's the mod's response:

this doesn't answer the question at all – sv. Jul 13 at 20:08

declined - flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer

Now the effect of this decline is that I completely stopped flagging answers that deviate too much from OP's question.

'flags should not be used to indicate an altogether wrong answer' -- this is very interesting, is that an SE policy to not reject wrong answers? Maybe it just means wrong answers have to be handled by voting without moderators interfering too much.

  1. What exactly is a 'wrong answer?' How do you spot one?

  2. And how are moderators officially handling 'wrong answers' on this site? Are they leaving it to voting or taking direct action on 'wrong answers' by deleting them?

  3. Should users flag wrong answers (for deletion) when they spot one or should they just comment, downvote and move on?

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    "What exactly is a 'wrong answer?'" Wrong just means factually incorrect. Moderators do not take actions on posts simply because the post is factually incorrect. Determining whether the content of a post is true or false is the purpose of voting. "Now the effect of this decline is that I completely stopped flagging answers that deviate too much from OP's question." Well, you shouldn't stop, you absolutely should flag a post if it doesn't answer the question. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 26 '16 at 20:30
  • Now as to the substance, I think the problem with that answer and the other answers to this question is ultimately due to the fact that the question is bad. It''s vague and asks "What is the response to this according to Hinduism?" which is like an invitation for people to respond to Wendy Doniger. So I've closed it as opinion-based for the time being. I think the question should be edited so that it's asking a specific factual question, like "Does Krishna encourage murderous and self-destructive behavior in the Bhagavad Gita?" – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 26 '16 at 20:37
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Let's discuss in chat. – Say No To Censorship Nov 26 '16 at 20:42
  • Check my revised answer. I think it would be helpful as I've tried to cover all the related topics. – Pandya Mar 7 '17 at 5:18
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Q. What exactly is a “wrong answer”? What is the official policy on handling wrong answers?

Wrong answer can be of two types:

  1. Completely unrelated to question.
  2. Related to question but wrong in the sense of incorrect.

If the answer is completely unrelated to the question, it should be deleted. But if the answer is just wrong, incorrect or not-useful, it should be downvoted not deleted.

Referance: Why shouldn't I delete wrong answers?


It is worth to mention that many users get confuse between not an answer and wrong answer.

What is "not an answer"?

Check the text at flag:

  • 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.

From help center :

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:

  • commentary on the question or other answers
  • asking another, different question
  • “thanks!” or “me too!” responses
  • exact duplicates of other answers
  • barely more than a link to an external site
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question

Visit How do I properly use the “Not an Answer” flag?.


Q. How are moderators officially handling 'wrong answers' on this site? Are they leaving it to voting or taking direct action on 'wrong answers' by deleting them?

As mentioned at the starting, it depends on the answer:

  • If the answer is blatantly/obviously wrong i.e completely unrelated to the question, it should be deleted.
  • If the answer is just wrong/incorrect, not-useful or partial, then it should be downvoted and/or commented but not deleted.

Q Should users flag wrong answers (for deletion) when they spot one or should they just comment, downvote and move on?

No, users should not flag wrong/incorrect answers for deletion (except it is completely unrelated and blatantly wrong answer). They should leave a comment and/or downvote.

Visit the related and useful post that guides: Add a deactivated “wrong answer” flag option


Let me quote useful information regarding this from couple of post:

What are the criteria for deletion?.

For answers, any post that is not an answer (should be a comment, doesn't answer the question, etc.) should be deleted. Answers that are wrong or that dispense poor advice should be downvoted, not deleted.

When should I delete an answer?

An answer that is not an answer should be deleted (should be a comment, doesn't answer the question etc...).

Answers that are answers but are factually wrong or are actively bad (say promote SQL Injection) should get downvoted, but not deleted.


Additional posts useful regarding the issue of upvoted/accepted a wrong answer:


Hope this will help to understand what are the "wrong answer" and "not an answer" and how they are handled.

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