Question inspired by this answer I left. Dave Liepmann left a comment explaining his choice of a -1 vote. My initial answer was, "my answer is my answer and I won't change it".

Then I gave it another look after sleeping on it, and I decided to go back to it, because I trusted Dave to give fairly constructive feedback. I started asking questions about said feedback, and then realized that feedback is 'meta' - and so maybe it shouldn't have been a comment at all, but instead a flag on the answer?

What do you think?

  • 2
    I don't understand. Flagging an answer is for getting moderator attention so they remove it. Unless you wanted to remove your own post, there is no reason to flag. Jun 1, 2012 at 14:25
  • Ah. I think my understanding of what a 'comment' is was, then, a little too narrow. Thank you.
    – Anon
    Jun 1, 2012 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


As a general rule:

  • Downvoting is for when the answer is perceived to be "low quality", people may choose to leave a comment explaining their downvote or not.
  • Commenting is for clarifying or requesting changes where you don't feel that you can edit.
  • Editing is for when you think an answer can be improved (without destroying the substance of the answer) and you think you know how to do it.
  • Flagging is for when you want one of the moderators to take a look at it, e.g., because it is something that lowers the overall quality of discourse (just a link), is a violation of the rules in some way (e.g., spamming, personally attacking other users, etc), or is entirely unrelated.

So what we have here is Dave Liepmann saying that it "doesn't address the question" because the field is larger and more complex than something that can be easily summarized. Your post was clearly attempting to remain on-topic and address the core of the issue, so it isn't the sort of situation that moderators are likely to step in on.

In this particular case, if you were talking about gardening tips in a question about conflict resolution that would be flag-worthy, but saying "-1, this is more complex than you make it out to be" is more of something that makes for a good comment rather than a flag (because it isn't moderator-actionable).

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