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I don't see this to a large degree. But when I do, I believe excessive feedback from the asker decreases the overall value of the question. This activity only serves to ding those who answered with a patronizing explanation of why their answer doesn't fit their unwritten requirements or not as good as someone else's. I believe that's what the voting buttons are for, and comments provided where beneficial.

Can this behavior be modified to be more positive for all?

Exhibit A: http://superuser.com/questions/14224/how-to-explain-drm-cannot-work

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Down-vote and remove your answer. Bad user, no cookie! –  Shog9 Jul 28 '09 at 18:04
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Is this really a problem? –  jjnguy Jul 28 '09 at 18:07
    
@Shog9, you should've made that an answer. :) Interesting approach. –  spoulson Jul 28 '09 at 18:44
    
I think your problem is really with people who either (a) have an axe to grind or (b) give vague requirements, since in the absence of these two things, responding to each answer just shows respect. –  j_random_hacker Oct 6 '10 at 6:33
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4 Answers

I don't think you can do anything other than engage with them and try to find an answer that suits them. Or you could argue your own point and hope to get enough community backing to where the upvotes outweigh the OP's own opinions.

Or after a certain point of time, it is easy to assume that you'll just get bored of the back and forth and end up looking for other things to answer.

Some people just can't be pleased and they would rather try to prove themselves right than have other people answer their question (yes...it is weird).

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Ah, some people as in the good ol' "I won't answer your requests for information, but all your suggestions are wrong"? –  Phil Lello Apr 30 '11 at 0:49
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It can be annoying, but I don't know that the asker is trying to be difficult. My guess is that they're trying to be supportive, though they may off the mark. I don't think you can fix that without discouraging them from commenting, which is a more detrimental side-effect.

The only part that is truly annoying is when they state that the answer doesn't meet criteria not listed in the question. Why didn't you say that before I went to all the trouble of writing this answer? And why don't you edit your answer to include said criteria? There's nothing more annoying than putting forth effort but not seeing enough of it from the other side.

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The only thing you can do with the mystery criteria is ask them to edit it into the question once it's been revealed. –  Phil Lello Apr 30 '11 at 0:52
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As Jeff Atwood as said in the Stackoverflow podcasts, asking questions is a real art. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask a really well-crafted, perfectly clear and unambiguous question.

Then there are those users who ask questions to get support for positions they already hold.

When a user starts getting responses they do not expect, there is a tendency to think "you must misunderstand me otherwise you would agree with what I am thinking..." That's when they start back-tracking, nit-picking, or arguing out of frustration.

I don't think there is much you can do about it.

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I fail to see the problem.

How can a comment (or 10!) decrease the value of a question? And how do you measure a question's value?

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Because the 'information density' gets too low, and people give up reading, –  Phil Lello Apr 30 '11 at 0:51
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