I saw this warning:

Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

In what cases are answers that don't include explanation removed?

enter image description here

  • 2
    The answer contains a block quote with a link. I'm guessing that this prompted the warning, because the quote itself is not explained - generally a policy of Stack Exchange.
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 10, 2015 at 16:45
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    @HDE226868 So in what cases such answers are removed here? (most SE websites are fine with unexplained quotes.) Dec 10, 2015 at 17:35
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    Most, really? At least on SO it's not recommended. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8231/… that's a part of the FAQ and while it mostly deals with "link only" answers, answers that just contain all link and a quote from it have the same problem of not act providing context
    – YviDe
    Dec 10, 2015 at 17:39
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    And from the help center: "Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own". If there are no "own words" that clearly isn't the case stackoverflow.com/help/referencing
    – YviDe
    Dec 10, 2015 at 17:47
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    @YviDe yes link-only is not ok, but quote is. My question asks about quote-only answers. Dec 10, 2015 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


The Stackexchange help center has this to say about using sources in answers:

Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own.

Emphasis mine.

If there are no words other than the quote, that clearly isn't the case.

Also, it isn't very far from a link-only answer, which are not recommended (the linked discussion on Meta.SE being part of the FAQ).

Here's another meta discussion on the issue: Is copying documentation bad?. I agree with the answer by Air:

That said, if your answer consists of nothing more than a direct quote, take a moment before you hit "Submit" to consider:

  • Does this quote clearly contain all the information needed to solve the problem?

  • Can I add some clarifying details, perhaps an example, that would make this answer much more useful than just a quote?

Personally, I am not a mod, but I think the linked answer doesn't sufficiently address the posed question. That it's just a quote was one problem, but not the only. I use a lot of quotes in my answers, but answers need to be personalized to the question and quotes only answers usually can't fulfill that. Answers that don't answer the question may be deleted

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    So in what cases are quote-only answers deleted? Dec 10, 2015 at 21:00
  • @FranckDernoncourt I don't understand the question, or at least not when it's directed at me. An answer if it has a score of less than 0 and has three votes for deletion or if a mod deletes it. What kind of answer are you expecting?
    – YviDe
    Dec 10, 2015 at 21:02
  • I'm looking for an answer to "In what cases are answers that don't include explanation removed by moderators?". Dec 10, 2015 at 22:56
  • @FranckDernoncourt so, it's just a question for the moderators?
    – YviDe
    Dec 11, 2015 at 8:03
  • Moderation policy is (at least should be) public knowledge. So anyone aware of it could answer. Dec 11, 2015 at 14:22

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