First, regarding Stack Exchange policies on answer deletion vs. downvotes:
The moderators will definitely delete answers which are:
- Spam (which of course, is unrelated to Buddhism)
- Rude and abusive content - this may include rude criticism of other Buddhist schools
- Not an answer - usually meant as a comment, or a new question, or it is completely unrelated to the question (e.g. question asks about meditation and the answer literally talks about Buddha statues)
- Clearly off-topic - e.g. 100% Christian preaching or 100% Muslim preaching
- Very low quality and unsalvageable - severe formatting or content issues like completely unintelligible posts, rambling, gibberish
All non-deleted answers are expected to:
- Not meet the answer deletion criteria mentioned above (i.e. spam, rude and abusive content, not an answer, clearly off-topic, very low quality and unsalvageable)
- Be on-topic i.e. most or all of the answer is related to any mainstream school or tradition of Buddhism (including Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and sub-schools like Zen, Pure Land, Ch'an, Madhyamaka, Yogachara, Sarvastivada, Sautrantika, Kagyu, Nyingma, Dzogchen, Nichiren, Secular Buddhism etc.)
All on-topic answers which are technically wrong or inaccurate should be downvoted and not deleted. The Stack Exchange policies are quoted below.
According to this Meta SE answer for the question "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 criteria for answer deletion is:
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.
These are general guidelines; some communities in the network may
uphold more specific reasons to delete posts or not. For example, on
Puzzling.SE, answers to a puzzle without explanation are subject to
deletion, and some technical sites will delete answers which are not
only wrong but also harmful when tried.
So, this means we can add additional criteria for deletion, if we have extremely good reasons.
Also, according to this Meta SE answer for the question "Why shouldn't I delete wrong answers?":
"Wrong" as in "completely unrelated to the question"? Go ahead and
"Wrong" as in "yes, that will solve the problem, but that's a bad
idea"? Those should be downvoted. Think of it as a lesson - showing a
bad solution can be helpful as well, especially if it's an obvious
solution that others may gravitate towards and/or when accompanied by
an explanation (say, in a comment) of why it's a bad solution.
"Wrong" as in "this doesn't solve the issue, but it an obvious attempt
at providing a solution" is trickier. The appropriate action here
would depend on what the answer actually was. In most cases, I would
go with downvoting as well or, frankly, not voting at all.
What is a good answer that should be upvoted?
- Technically on-topic, correct and accurate, with elaboration
- Addresses and answers all parts of the question
- Related to the tags of the question. For e.g. if the question's tags include only
pali-canon, then the questioner limits the scope to Theravada and Pali Canon only.
- Preferably substantiated using scriptural quotes or commentaries or the opinion of experts, but this is not strictly required as the poster could answer using his or her experience and expertise. Please see this answer for the Buddhism Meta SE question "Is “opinion based” a reason for closing a question?"
- Answers to questions requesting for references (and tagged using
reference-request) should include relevant references
Flags should be used for answers meeting the criteria for deletion above, and not used for answers that should be downvoted.
Regarding the user's own websites, the policies are stated in "Does SE have a policy about linking to one's own research, sites, and blogs?".
For the specific answer in question:
The answer in question was written by Samana Johann, whose command of the English language is very poor. His native language is German. I believe he is a Theravada Buddhist monk based in South East Asia.
Oftentimes, Samana Johann's answers are good or at least meaningful, as also opined by moderator ChrisW in this comment. Usually, many of his answers go in the direction of "the other answers explain what you're asking, but you've got your priorities wrong. This is what's better to focus on ...... because ......"
However, due to his lack of fluency in English and very awkward articulation, what he meant to express in his answers is often unclear and needs to be improved significantly. I myself have edited a number of his answers to make them clearer, if I managed to understand them myself.
So, for the flag, I decided that it looks more like a technically wrong or low quality (but not very low quality) answer than completely off-topic. It looks at least 40 - 50% on-topic, but the articulation in English and grammar has to be improved tremendously. It's not completely gibberish.
In any case, we don't intend to punish users for their poor command of English. We also have other users who write very good answers, but their command of English is poor, because English is not their first language. In this case, we would like other users to improve their answers by editing, but such edits should not change the original intention of the author.
Hence, I decided to give Samana Johann the benefit of the doubt and decided that this answer is meant to be downvoted rather than deleted. Also, it should be edited for improvement, and a disclaimer should be added to state that this is the user's own website. A summary of the website should be added to the answer, although I don't understand what it's about at the moment.
In summary, I feel, "the baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater" for this answer.
Of course, I welcome the other moderators to give a second opinion on this answer.