This is the stated reason my answer was deleted:

This does not provide an answer to the question

(or is it this one, or is it both?)

provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker

I feel very confident I answered the question the OP asked and it did NOT require clarification by the OP.

Rules of peer reviewing on WB

Rule 1: Please read the post you are reviewing. Sometimes people judge a question only by its title. The OP might have written an unfortunate title, but the question might be on-topic, not too broad, answerable, etc. Go beyond a glimpse, and really read the whole post.

OP’S QUESTION - What would the most effective means of space combat be in the near future?

My question- How do you most effectively defeat a team of seven to twenty men while you're in space?

My answer, in the context of someone writing a book, did NOT require clarification from the asker. The asker did NOT ask me or anyone else to write the book for them. My Answer DIRECTLY answered their question and their question was NOT augmented by or qualified with a REQUEST ON DETAILS.

Mrkvička explains (and thank you) “it was just that other users on this site thought your answer was not of enough quality to for answer, but should rather have been a comment”

How to deal with users who cannot comment due to lack of rep?

vote to delete if you have the necessary reputation, and clearly tell the user what they can expect. Leave a comment on their answer explaining that it is highly likely to be deleted, and encourage them to find other questions to which they are able to post solid answers that others can vote up. If the answer can be fixed with editing, encourage them to edit it. Teach them the ropes! I would also suggest to avoid downvoting unless the post is truly horrible; particularly to someone who doesn't know how our system works, a first experience being a downvote on something they wrote when genuinely trying to be helpful can be devastating.”

There are multiple things in the above that indicate a lack of knowledge, understanding or sensitivity on the reviewers part of this issue.

So is this a case of quantity is mandated by the few?


Context of OP’s question

I'm writing a book, and in the book...

They have access to whatever weaponry you can think of...

My question- How do you most effectively defeat a team of seven to twenty men while you're in space?

My Answer:

"They have access to whatever weaponry you can think of"

Ok, I am going to create a target and forget canister of nanobots. The nanobots can be different types.

Vs the Marines, they simply cover the suit and go rigid. I could also add corrosive, penetrating etc.

Vs the Ship, cover the propulsion system, penetrate, corrode, dismantle exterior assets.


From the world-building perspective - if you had such unstoppable and versatile nanobots, you could probably single-handily take down any Big Bad Guy. Spending it on 10-20 random troops seem like a waste of resources. Also, it doesn't seem that the troops would investigate a random target with the "forgotten" nanobots. Accordint to the OP, they are just "released into the vaccum of space and start fighting". – Roux

My Reply:

Wow, I can comment :) I do not think they are unstoppable, I am painting a scenario were a single object can be overcome by the many. In some ways this is akin to the Last Star Trek movie. They were not Godly, they simply had a great tactical advantage. If I am out of line by breaking the single combatants scenario, I apologize but my take on the OP's world, that is how I would arm my ships and troops, augmented by traditional weapons and armor

Burki's reply:

This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review– Burki “

IS Burki’s reply the satisfaction of

Rule 5: If you are going to vote to close and there's no comment about it on the question, take your time to write one, or refrain from voting to close. When 5 voters agree that a question has serious problem, that question is put on-hold. Apart from closing blatantly wrong questions, one of the aim is to improve the overall quality of the questions. But that can only be done if the voters express their views. So if you are reviewing a question, make sure that there is a comment on the question that reflect your idea. If there aren't, do write one yourself.

Was this rule followed?

Rule 6: Make sure you are up to date with the discussion. This is related to the rules 2 and 5. When the first votes to close appear and correctly commented on, it is likely that the OP will ask some details, or edit their question. So maybe that too broad vote isn't valid for the current version of the post. In any case, make sure that appart from the post, you have gone through all the comments to see what is the current standings. Follow up on that rule, if the OP, e.g., provide a set of constraints for a broad question, make sure those are edited in the question. Either by the OP, or yourself.


Brythan reviewed this 2 days ago: Looks OK

Burki reviewed this 2 days ago: Recommend Deletion

Frostfyre reviewed this 2 days ago: Looks OK

PatJ reviewed this 2 days ago: Recommend Deletion

Mrkvička reviewed this Feb 28 at 15:29: Recommend Deletion


@EnigmaMaitreya The message from Burki is an auto-generated message for any answer that is tagged as "low quality, should have been a comment" (and was, thus, not manually written by Burki). That is, you did not actually break any particular rule, it was just that other users on this site thought your answer was not of enough quality to for answer, but should rather have been a comment and Burki happened to be the user that got your answer in their review queue. If you have any questions about how to properly use the site, then post them in meta. – Mrkvička

  • $\begingroup$ I think it would have been more helpful to post links than to copy/paste the text. Also, what is your actual question? You think you were not adequately informed about your answer's deletion? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited your question to include some links and to use blockquote formatting (which I think makes it more readable). Feel free to roll back if you disagree with these edits. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ I thank you for the formatting and apologize for my lack of experimenting on how to do that. I think I have gotten it pretty good on Code Review and will now focus more on the other forums. Do you still feel there is not a question to answered? To be more clear, I do not believe the expressed reason for closing my answer followed the "rules". I can see no expressed opinions as to why they voted the way the did, just that they did and let it fall under a cover of "did not answer" etc as I expressed in my post. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, after rereading it I think you have a good enough question here. If I have time I'll see about answering it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, I've also had frustration at contradictory or seemingly not applicable close reasons. It was explained that there are only a vew to choose from and they might not fit the WB site particularly well. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


I checked the moderator timeline for your answer, and pieced together a sequence of events, including what happened with the reviews:

  • A user flagged your answer as Low Quality.
  • Due to the flag, the answer was sent to the review queues, specifically, the Low Quality Posts queue.
  • Five people reviewed the answer.
    • Three users selected Recommend Deletion. Two chose to leave no canned comment (although one later commented on your answer). One did choose a canned comment (it's often not clear that the comments are automatic)
    • Two users selected Looks Okay, removing the answer from the queue. It would have taken six people to Recommend Deletion for your answer to actually be deleted, as per some of these changes.
  • You, confused and probably a little annoyed (justifiably), brought the issue to meta, which was definitely the right thing to do.

Basically, your answer was considered for deletion, but enough people though it was fine, so it stayed as it was.

Here are some of my thoughts on the matter. First, the question wasn't great (not your fault, of course), because it placed few constraints on possible answers. I think it should have been closed as Too Broad, not Primarily Opinion-Based, but that's irrelevant; it was closed nonetheless. "How do you do X" questions often have these sorts of problems.

I think your answer is valid. Maybe you could have gone into a bit more detail, but

  1. Nanobots would work. I'd want to run away (float away?) if I saw a cloud of those buggers coming.
  2. Quite a few other answers didn't go into much detail - which is a problem on Worldbuilding sometimes. I'm not saying that that excuses other answers that aren't that detailed, but frankly, you're new here, and it's unreasonable to expect you to know what an ideal answer looks like. Generally, nobody gets it right all of the time.
  3. Edits are definitely possible. Just expand a bit on the nanobots' strategy.

For the record, one answer was deleted by the community via the same process your answer went through. It was deleted because it was just a link to another post. While that's not the only reason an answer may be deleted, it's worth noting that that's the kind of thing we shouldn't strive for.

Anyway, welcome to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange, and thanks for bringing this to meta. I hope you stay with the site. One more tip: You can always comment on your own posts, no matter how little reputation you have.

Meta musings: I don't like the phrase "provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker". If that was the gold standard, we'd be deleting dozens and dozens and dozens of answers each day. Very rarely does the author not post a follow-up comment on an answer to their question. I know what the gist of the phrase is - in other words, give as many details as possible so the answer is complete - but it could probably be re-worded.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your explanation and I understand the process a lot better. I will ask this question, I answered briefly with "big ideas" because it was stated the OP was writing a book. I felt my answer needed to be constrained to not ... pervert the writers work. Said differently I felt the writer should take the "big ideas" and write the book their way, implementing the answer as their ... story dictated. Again thanks to both of you for clarifying this for me. Is that a faulty consideration on my part, perhaps I should explicitly state why my vagary in the answer? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya I'd say that it can't really hurt. You don't have to, and honestly, your answer's fine if you don't. I think that some people just felt it was too vague. You could also just present the details as an example; many askers on Worldbuilding take parts of answers, not all of them, so you don't have to worry about the OP using your exact plan. Just emphasize that it's a possible set of details, not a mandatory one. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 19:18

As one of the persons voting to delete it, I feel like I would want to explain why I chose that option so that you may write excellent answers in the future.

The question was of quite low quality, it open up for any kind of answer and should have been closed earlier than it was. That is, as HDE pointed out, not your fault in any way. However, I did find your answer to be quite confusing. I'll break it down to explain it better. Please be aware that none of what I write is intended as a personal attack or insult, I only wish to help you improve.

Ok, I am going to create a target and forget canister of nanobots.

I am not really sure what you meant here. In retrospect, I guess you meant "forge a canister", but I'm still not sure. I would like to have some more info of what you'd do with the canister - would you toss it, launch it, is it a spray canister, does it contain explosives to further the damage and spread the nanobots? Do you have any thoughts on how to ensure that the nanobots won't eat through the canister and attack ones own ship?

Vs the Marines, they simply cover the suit and go rigid. I could also add corrosive, penetrating etc.

Vs the Ship, cover the propulsion system, penetrate, corrode, dismantle exterior assets.

Okay so this part I did understood, but I would want to know a bit more how you are thinking. I would love to read some more information about how it would work. Are you thinking that it would be the same canister of nanobots for any target and that it can adapt or will each one be highly specialized? Would the ship likely require more nanobots to be disabled or are they building new at such pace that it's enough with a few to kill a ship? Would they be able to physically hack the electronics and mess with the ships computers? How would you deal with a marine covered in nanobots that manages to make it to the hull of your own ship, wouldn't that spread the nanobots on to you?

Simply put: I would want you to flesh out the answer with some more details. Would you happen to have any references to literature (sci-fi in this case as we don't have nanobots in real life) that describes what you have in mind that you can refer to? I love to read and love to get recommendations on good stuff with brilliant ideas, so references is always a huge bonus if you have them.

In the end, I could have voted "looks ok" and then left a comment and asked you to clarify more about your answer; however, my experience of doing so for new users is that less than five persons actually did so. The rest just ignored their answer and let it accumulate dust. I voted to delete as the answer was short, confusing and because I thought you'd likely be like most others - the answer would stay unchanged and low quality. In this case I seems to have made a mistake - the fact that you actually came here to meta and asked about the case after my comment is a sign that you do take the site seriously.

Welcome to worldbuilding, I hope you will enjoy your stay!

  • $\begingroup$ My answer was in the context of a "Creative Process" writing and I deliberately chose to be vague and cryptic to force the OP to either deliberately ask for more detail, thus inviting me into his story OR and preferably forgot me, forgot my answer and ran with his imagination. Let me chose a more conventional combat term. A Fire and Forget weapon. A target is acquired (human, machine etc) then the weapon is, fired , forgotten by the weapons system (human or machine etc.) it contains the means to insure it delivers the payload to the target. There is more depth available. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ I apologize for a second message but I felt it is important to you. Here is a link "newatlas.com/…". This version is going to get all the publicity. Use your imagination on another use, they do exist, not at the complexity level that I proposed in the answer ... but that is just a matter of time. Also look up Micro Drones. Another link for you "engadget.com/2017/01/10/…". There is a saying in the US Military/Defense "If you hear about it it is obsolete" $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 23:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya - the above comments are exactly what you should elaborate on, in your answer to the OP's question. Simply select 'edit,' and fill in as much information as you can. (I did not vote either way on your answer, since I am seeing it for the first time here in Meta). $\endgroup$
    – Mikey
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya These clarifications you made in your comment is exactly what I was missing in your answer; if these were part of your answer, then I would never had voted delete (and your answer would likely never had gotten tagged as low quality in the first place). What you wrote here shifted it from a low quality answer to a good answer! You have to consider that even if the question is bad, you are answering in a public area. That is, you are not only answering the OP, you are answering anyone who has the same question or who gets interested after reading it. (1/2) $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya That is, you cannot choose to be intentionally vague (even if the question is bad or unclear) as someone might be looking for answers to the same/similar question later. They might find your vague answer and think that it's perhaps what they need but do not understand all of it. If you, at that point, is too busy with life or have gotten bored with this network, then you will not be around to clarify and the answer is lost. Vague answers are bad answers and if you cannot (or do not want to) write a clear answer, then it's better to skip and move to the next question. (2/2) $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ I can only repeat, it was a ethics call based on the OP wanting ideas for a book they were writing. Punish me all you want for others not knowing, in this day and age, what a Fire and Forget Weapon system is. If it comes to me being forced to compromise my ethics vs getting a down vote then down vote me till hell freezes over. This is the 2nd time you have indicated I should leave the network / could care less about the network. I am not at all sure what your motivation is. The OP did not request details. I answered his question, you all took actions. Who is not accepting the consequences? ... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ I got a straight up and down answer on what the process was from HDE who actually took the time to look at everything. I understand better now what happened and most importantly, the VAGUE references to reviews etc and deletions and all the other negatives were nothing once EXPLAINED. I find it ironic there is all this VAGUE talk and the reasons, the explanations, the Oh screw them I will not explain my reasons for VtC, Down Voting are the epitome of being vague, disconnected, could care less, if you do not do as I say I will punish you for that. I think I have now and then made myself clear. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya There are only two things made clear for me: 1) there seem to be a difference in language interpretation that causes a large portion of this argument, 2) I'm more confused than before. I can only repeat: I am not writing any part of my answer or comments because I wish you harm; on the contrary, I do so because I care (otherwise I wouldn't have pointed you to meta in the first place; had I not cared, then I would simply ignore you). I can assure you that no one is out to get you, out to punish you nor have I or (as far as I know) anybody else told you to leave SE. (1/3) $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya The sole reason why I wrote my answer and comments was to explain why I chose to vote to delete in order to make you feel less insulted, not more, and to help prevent that the event is repeated. Yes, HDE have given a good overview of the event but have no clue why I chose to act as I did. Again, it was not to spite, mock or punish you that I thought the answer should be deleted. I get the feeling that you still think that I did something terribly wrong when I chose 'vote to delete' on your answer, so I will attempt one last time to explain why I made that choice: (2/3) $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya I am well aware of what a fire-and-forget weapon is; however, you didn't write that. You wrote "target and forget", which made me read your answer as "I am going to create a target [something missing here] and forget canister of nanobots." Now, when I know you wanted to say fire-and-forget, I can read your sentence and see what you mean but I couldn't at the time I reviewed it (and I read it several times). To me, your answer contained a completely incomprehensible start sentence, which made the whole answer nonsensical and fully legal for me to vote to delete it. (3/3) $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička For clarity " Now, when I know you wanted to say fire-and-forget". Categorically incorrect. I never wanted to say "Fire and Forget". That is in fact archaic. Current US AIR FORCE AND NAVY weapons systems, have the pilot/Weapons Control officer, selecting the targets individually or as a class AKA "MANAGEMENT" the on board computer system OR the weapons themselves accept that as a GO KILL. I said exactly what I meant. I was required to revert to a obsolete term. In Natural Language "You guys, here are targets, render it/them immobile and incommunicado". That is Target and Forget. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička choosing to do a rather simple target and forget google, it translates that to Fire and Forget. Fire and forget is a total misrepresentation of Swarm Technology Weapons systems, which of course is what Nano-anything is going to be. One should be able to find enough online papers on "how" Swarm Weapons will work to become comfortable with the switch from 1:1 engagement which is "technically" what the "Fire and Forget" was. It also should raise moral and ethical questions for discussions on if AI (limited or otherwise) should be developed, Movie: "Screamers" (Based on Second Variety) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya that is a moot point; it won't change anything. I feel like I have given it my best to explain my position; if you wish to continue to feel like you had no part in the miscommunication, then please do so. Do, however, keep in mind that a vast majority of the people online does not have English as first language nor share the same cultural background as you, so it's highly likely that they will interpret your sentences differently (even if you share interests and education). If you wish to be understood, then it is up to you to make your message clear and not purposefully vague. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 7:08

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