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Why am I prohibited from posting answers just because I have not asked questions?

BTW in general Stack Overflow is very useful to me when I look for answers. I just want to return the favor. A number of times, I have been in a very generous mood, willing to write (and revise for clarity) an answer, only to be stymied by the policy at hand.

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migrated from Aug 23 '11 at 17:52

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

What is the error message you are getting? – Robert Harvey Aug 23 '11 at 18:05
@Chris it doesn't matter if the OP is an anonymous user for SO, only MSO. – Matt Ball Aug 23 '11 at 18:25
Ah, thanks for bringing that to my attention. Could you provide a link to the question you are trying to answer, @user553593? – Chris Frederick Aug 23 '11 at 18:32
BTW in general Stack Overflow is very useful to me when I look for answers. You should vote up those helpful answers, from your profile it appears you have done exactly nothing since signing up. Have you actually attempted to answer? – Matthew Read Aug 23 '11 at 18:53

According to /privileges/create-posts, this is simply not true — anyone can post an answer.

What is asking and answering questions?

The most basic privilege of all -- the right to ask a question, and the right to contribute an answer. This is generally available to everyone, regardless of reputation level.

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Agreed. I've answered several questions without posting any questions. – Mark S. Aug 23 '11 at 17:51
+1, I have no questions on SO but I'm able to answer. – Jared Ng Aug 23 '11 at 17:57

You can't leave comments on Stack Overflow unless you have at least 50 reputation. Anyone can post answers. Please note the privileges page (on Meta) and similarly on Stack Overflow.

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Exactly right. Comments are not answers. – Chris Frederick Aug 23 '11 at 18:13

Given the user's reputation on Stack Overflow, I suspect that what may actually be going on is that as an anonymous user, I believe you can't post an answer? Hence, if you login first, then yes you can post an answer. But if you stay anonymous, then you'll see (but only here on Meta -- Note Matt Ball's comments below about how Stack Overflow allows anonymous answers):

Must log in first...

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You can still answer as an anonymous user. Just log out of your SO account, and look at any question that hasn't been protected. – Matt Ball Aug 23 '11 at 18:15
@Matt, I took a screen shot of this question? I was in chrome where I'm not logged in? – M. Tibbits Aug 23 '11 at 18:16
Meta SO is different from regular SO. Do it on the full site, you'll see. – Matt Ball Aug 23 '11 at 18:17
hehe. I stand thus rebuked. You are correct. I'll update to reflect. – M. Tibbits Aug 23 '11 at 18:19

Everyone is flaming the question, but he may actually still be correct.

People with 15k Reputation can lock a question and prevent people (new users) from answering on it.


15000 Protect questions to prevent answers by new users

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That rarely ever happens though. Almost any new question that is asked now will not be protected. (~99.999%) – jjnguy Aug 23 '11 at 18:07
Yeah I agree. I'm just pointing out that it is still a possibility. If I could remember that Sherlock Holme's quote I would say it :D (Or was it Tuvok??) – Laykes Aug 23 '11 at 18:13

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