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As a community, do we have any insight into where we'd like to draw the distinction between an answer that is too short, factually incorrect, or not presented with enough supporting data that should be downvoted vs. one that should be removed?

As a mod, I know I can make the decision, and I understand there's a substantial body of SE discussion on the topic, but I'm asking the community here what there thoughts are.

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My view is that we should minimise the amount of material that mods like you and I are unilaterally deleting for the following reasons:

  • The SE network is founded on democratic principles. Through voting, the community can bury a bad answer or close a bad question. That seems preferable to a unilateral call from a moderator—especially given the relatively subjective nature of some of our subject matter.

  • As FooBar notes, we should be wary of scaring away our much needed users by immediately deleting their first post. Much better to try to engage them and encourage them to edit or improve their post and to become long-term participants in the community.

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    $\begingroup$ There's even a flag response implying that Moderators should not be doing this: â—‰ Declined: Flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 14:33
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I think the easiest in terms of execution is never delete, unless "not an answer", that is, it tries not to answer the question - it is a comment etc.

Besides being the easiest to execute, I believe downvoting them will not drive those users (posters of NaN) away as much as deleting the question straight away would. An argument to consider, given that we had some elevated but fragile increased growth over the past week.

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