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According to here (and other discussions on meta), we are trying to cut down on repetitive answers. I don't have enough reputation to cast delete votes. Today I flagged this one with the following note: "Once you remove the rant from the answer it boils down to "hire interns", which was already covered in an answer posted 8 hours prior". This flag was declined with the following reason: "flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention".

I don't understand this response. Since only high-rep users and mods can delete answers, and per my comment there was no point in editing it, what should I have done differently? Do we not really want these kinds of flags after all?

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I'm the one who declined the flag.

First of all, thanks for your efforts to help keep the site clean! Keep flagging, don't let the decline discourage you.

Since you've opened a discussion here, I'll try to give you some insight into my thinking. I always fear that the moderator responses (especially standard ones, as I chose for this flag) don't really offer a full explanation for a moderator's thinking, so thanks for bringing it up here since you had a concern.

Per the flag response "flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention" (which is one of the standard response options), the only action that a moderator can take is to delete an answer.

You're absolutely right, we do want to cut down on repetitive and unhelpful answers. I think the best action we can take is preventative, and when that doesn't work, downvotes are our second best tools.

Deletes should generally be reserved for things that are not an answer to the question (completely off topic, spam, etc.) or simple comments or questions (see, for example, my comment here — the user revised and expanded their answer after my comment, which was the best outcome for all).

The answer that you flagged:

  • Has a positive score, no down votes.
  • Is actually an answer.

It may be a bit ranty, or may draw the same conclusions as another answer, but it is in fact an answer. In this case, if you think it is a bad answer, I think your best tool is to use your downvotes (I do! :))

Unless an answer actually repeats another answer (not just draws the same conclusion), I would be against using the delete tool to deal with it (as a moderator or high-rep user).

As always, moderation of this site is a discussion and we're all learning. I welcome any feedback you have for me, and I hope this helps!

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  • Oh, those are canned? That explains some of my confusion; you didn't choose those words. :-) Thanks for the explanation; in particular, I had missed the nuanced definition of "duplicate" that you give here. – Monica Cellio Jun 12 '12 at 18:06
  • Yep :) By the way, I wasn't sure whether the flag was specifically requesting delete, which is why I choose that response. There is another, something like "A moderator reviewed your flag but found no evidence to support it." which might apply otherwise. I apologize for the response(s) sounding so impolite, maybe I will choose the custom option more often now. – Nicole Jun 12 '12 at 18:12
  • Thanks. I considered choosing "not an answer" but wanted the chance to explain that. When I did, I lost the "...so this should be deleted" conclusion. Oops. It's all part of the learning process... – Monica Cellio Jun 12 '12 at 18:16
  • @MonicaCellio some are canned ("no evidence", "doesn't require moderator attention" "technical inaccuracies") but we can also give a custom decline message. – Rarity Jun 12 '12 at 18:22
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I would like to know why you feel that I did not give a valid unique answer to the question? The question was What is standard practice for generating candidates? entry-level. I gave a good explanation about strategies to generate more entry level candidates and why I feel that these strategies work for companies in the long run and why they work.

If you downvote me because you disagree with me then I am perfectly okay with that but I don't understand how you feel I am being duplicitous compared to other answers.

Look at this answer: https://workplace.stackexchange.com/a/1808/70

This user basically wrote a synopsis of my own several hours after I had posted my answer.

  • It wouldn't hurt to visit a particular class where they teach the skills you are looking for.

  • Even visiting the "senior project" course may get you some great applicants that are about to graduate and are looking for positions.

These are exact copies of elements in my answer.

  • offer to volunteer as a guest speaker

  • or ask if you can get involved in capstone projects that the school holds

This is also clearly a duplicate.

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  • 1
    The first 4.5 paragraphs are about why college students aren't prepared for jobs and do not answer the question about how to recruit recent grads. (If the question had been about how recent grads can find jobs, that might be different.) Then the next part suggests hiring interns and training them -- a suggestion I agree with, and one that was already brought up by Jim in Texas, though I agree on reflection that you expanded on that usefully. If you remove the off-point first half I'll be happy to remove my downvote. – Monica Cellio Jun 13 '12 at 2:45
  • As for that other answer, I hadn't yet seen it when I responded to your post. Your point about visiting others seems to be intern-focused so I can see why the person suggesting that as a regular hiring approach didn't think of it as a duplicate. There are always gray areas. – Monica Cellio Jun 13 '12 at 2:48
  • @MonicaCellio I was being rude, I apologize and I removed the accusation. As for my answer, the mod decided not to delete or edit the answer, so I stand by my contribution to the question. – maple_shaft Jun 13 '12 at 11:02
  • Thanks, and I'm sorry if my comments upset you. I first flagged your post because that's private; hesitated to post this question but wanted to know if I had done something wrong that I oughtn't repeat. As for the other answer, did you flag and/or downvote it? – Monica Cellio Jun 13 '12 at 12:56
  • @MonicaCellio Don't be sorry, you are being a good user for trying to keep things clean. It looks like somebody else removed that answer because it isn't there anymore. – maple_shaft Jun 13 '12 at 14:11
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    FYI, it looks like an evil mod has deleted that total copy "answer" – Rarity Jun 13 '12 at 15:12

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