I'm admittedly a bit confused on when "Not An Answer" (NAA) flags should be applied, so I hope you'll bear with me on another question related to question scoping.
Let me suggest, for the purposes of this question, that we broadly define the term "scope," so that it includes every way that a questioner expresses the characteristics of desirable answers to his question. Here are some examples of "scoping mechanisms":
- Key concept. This is the point of the question. It could be a word/phrase (what does X mean?), a biblical passage (how is X interpreted?), a concept (who believes X?), and a number of other things. But without it, there is no question.
- Perspective. The perspective from which answers should come. It could be a tradition/denomination (Roman Catholicism, Methodism, Mormonism), or a cross-denominational view (young-earth creationism, pacifism, non-trinitarianism). The above linked Meta post deals exclusively with this point.
- Type. Examples of this include overview and biblical basis.
- Time. Not only words like earliest or first in "what was the earliest instance of X?" but also limiters like "20th century" or "early church" or "Reformation period."
- Geography. Relevant in terminology questions, like "What does word X mean in the United States?," and also for specifying regional movements or beliefs, like "When did X begin in Latin America?"
- Sources. This can include specifying an individual person, as "What do person Y's writings say about X?," or a category, like scholastics or reputable theologians or published bible commentaries. Similar to Perspective, but here we limit to which types of sources from a particular view are relevant to the question.
I'm sure I'm missing some other possibilities; feel free to suggest more. If you feel that I have inaccurately grouped anything, let me know and I'll split things up.
Now let's start applying this to my question regarding NAA flags. I know that, at least in practice, there are many factors besides scope that might go into the decision to flag an answer as NAA, and, by extension, to accept or decline such flags. I'll ask about the legitimacy and relative importance of those factors in another question. Here, however,
I want to know which of the above scoping mechanisms ought to be considered when flagging as NAA or evaluating NAA flags. If more than one should be considered, are any of them more important than others?
That is, if I believe that an answer violates one of the above scoping mechanisms in a question, should I be more inclined to flag the answer as NAA, or not?
Note that I'm assuming that the scoping mechanisms have been clearly and validly included in the question, regardless of what your definition of "clear" and "valid" is.1