Moderators take liberty to delete answers which they deem "it is not an answer" to a question. There are times when the moderators also do the same. If this is flagged it goes back to the moderator for moderation. Hence how do you report or flag such instances where moderators do not adhere to what they try to enforce?
Flag, upvote/downvote, comment on, or edit the post as you would a post by any other user.
Moderators are instructed not to handle flags on their own posts, so your flag will be reviewed by one of the other moderators. This is one of the main reasons we insist that each new public beta site start with three moderators. Therefore you can simply flag the post for moderator attention and be confident that it will be handled by a third party.
Downvotes, comments, and edits are all perfectly acceptable on posts by site moderators as with any other post. Moderators' role is not to be the best answerers or the users who are always right; it is simply to help handle exceptions and resolve disputes. Their posts should not be judged as true or correct based on the diamond next to their name - they should be judged by their content, like all other posts.
How to flag
If you think it needs to be flagged, then flag it by clicking on the
When to flag
If you think that an answer is a low quality answer, then you should down-vote it instead of flagging it.
If I look at the answer which I think you're complaining about I think it would be wrong to claim that this is "not an answer".
Perhaps it's not the answer you hoped for, and perhaps it doesn't help you; but that's not a reason to flag it.
"Flagging" is rarely necessary, except for posts from new users who haven't learned how to use the site. The "it is not an answer" flag is usually used for:
- Questions (someone posts a new question or a follow-on question as an answer, which should be posted as a new question, or posted as a comment, or perhaps edited into the existing question)
- Comments (if someone only posts "this question can't be answered" or "I don't understand this question", then that should be posted as a comment instead of as an answer)
- Indecipherable (either completely unintelligible, or obviously completely unrelated to to the question)
Usually downvote instead of flagging
In general if any experienced user post an answer which you simply don't think is helpful, then you should downvote it.
- The downvote is for "This answer is not useful"
- The flag is for "This is not an answer"
Instead of flagging, perhaps you should simply downvote more?
- I see you have made 300 upvotes and 5 downvotes (and 10 flags).
- In contrast I've done 700 upvotes and 70 downvotes (and 20 flags), a lot more downvotes than you: the downvotes are where I'm thinking, "this is an answer but not a good answer, I disagree with this answer". Of course, when you downvote you should also ideally post a comment to explain the way in which you think that answer needs to be improved.
Theoretically you can delete any answer (irrespective of author) in the same way, i.e. as follows.
Please see Why and how are some answers deleted? in the Help Center.
There is, also, a faq topic on meta.stackexchange titled How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?.
The answer to that says,
Users with reputation >= 20k (more precisely, the “trusted user” privilege; 4k on beta sites) are not subject to the 48-hour waiting period for deleting closed questions with a score of -3 or lower. They may also delete answers of score -1 or lower. It takes three votes to delete an answer.
Six users with reputation >= 2k (more precisely, the “Edit Questions And Answers” privilege; 1k on beta sites) can cause automatic deletion of a post if they choose "recommend deletion" from within the low quality review queue.
The privilege levels are lower on a beta site, so with 4000+ reputation you are already a "trusted user". So you can vote to delete answers which have a score of -1 or lower (i.e. answers which have more downvotes than upvotes) and/or vote to delete answers which are listed in the 'low quality review' queue.