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Certainly I should have expressed myself more accurately.

Sometimes a really pretty looking question is transferred into SO from one of the sister sites because of the question's content matter (as it should be). It gets upvotes on the sister site because it's really pretty, which then get transferred over. Then users here upvote it some more because it's pretty looking, seems to make sense at a glance, and already has votes.

But the problem is the user whose post was migrated doesn't have the technical ability to understand the answers they are given. As a result they argue about & downvote correct answers and end up marking the wrong answer as accepted.

This is made worse when the user in question is clearly rep-whoring: a quick glance at their profile reveals <5% of asked questions on SO above the zero line and no questions answered.

I've seen several instances of this EDIT use of "this" is unclear occur in the month I've been here. Migrating them back to where they came from doesn't make sense; it diminishes the quality of the network as a whole.

Are there measures in place to combat this issue, and if so what are they?


To clarify: these are the behaviors I have seen. They do not necessarily all occur on the same question.

  1. Easy-to understand "pretty" questions that clearly demonstrate significant effort in composition, easily mistaken for research effort in a scan-read.
  2. Questions which are elements of #1 which gain 10+ votes, even though, as worded, the question cannot be correctly answered.
  3. Questions which are elements of #1 that retain their rep when transferred from a sister site where the effort of composition is often necessary background on that site, but irrelevant to SO. eg. Screenshots of a control panel setting when the user is asking about the registry or a config file.
  4. Users, including those whose questions are elements of #1, perceived to be erratically voting on answers to their questions. Yes, it is most common that answers selected are not completely wrong, but that there is an answer significantly more correct. Certainly, my own answers are rarely completely right. (as Kevin Vermeer points out, this is a non-issue)
  5. Users with less than 5% of asked questions on SO above the zero line who have composed questions which are elements of #1 and or have been transferred from another site due to being off topic there.
  6. Dangerously wrong accepted answers which are produced by the following pattern: Questioner votes down early answer explaining why problem occurs, so early answerer stops responding. Questioner accepts a code snippet that does appears to solve problem by not addressing the issue: eg. Disabling a framework's csrf tokens. I could swear there's a post kicking around somewhere on the effect of downvotes during the fgitw race.

I don't have examples of any of these (I tend to scan-read the site myself), but if the majority of readers have not noticed the above, this is not a real question.

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We have been in the age of prenups for a while. But what do you mean by "pretty"? Gorgeously bold? Emphatically svelte? An image of litheness? –  random Oct 20 '11 at 16:45
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I fear you're going to have to show us the examples you have in mind to get a productive discussion, much as I suspect you are trying not to point fingers. –  AakashM Oct 20 '11 at 16:46
    
Scannable markup, relevant screenshots...mspaint –  Alexander Wenzowski Oct 20 '11 at 16:47
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@aakashM, examples would only distract from the general concepts the OP is trying to address, by distracting everyone to the specific example. –  Lance Roberts Oct 20 '11 at 16:49
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@LanceRoberts: "As a result they argue about & downvote correct answers and end up marking the wrong answer as accepted." It's hard to imagine this part though. Some questions that come up that examples would make clear: Is this a real problem or is it a thousand year flood? Is the wrong answer less technical or is it just plain wrong? What exactly are they arguing about? –  Tom Wijsman Oct 20 '11 at 16:55
    
@TomWijsman +AakashM I'd prefer to discuss specific incidents on a question-by-question basis. This is not related to one specific case, but a few occurrences I have seen over the last month. I imagine they've been taken care of, but I am not keeping a log. –  Alexander Wenzowski Oct 20 '11 at 17:17
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-1: I have no idea what you're talking about. "Pretty" questions from rep-whoring users who post answers, downvote the good answers they get and argue with others, that get upvoted, migrated, upvoted some more, and the "wrong" answer accepted? What!? –  Wesley Murch Oct 20 '11 at 17:18
    
@WesleyMurch Got my answer & now understand the site a little better. –  Alexander Wenzowski Oct 20 '11 at 17:21
    
@Alex: Still, you could give multiple example questions and include that first sentence of your comment. Most of us don't have an idea so only those that saw the actually questions and know what you are talking about can join in the discussion... –  Tom Wijsman Oct 20 '11 at 17:21
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@Alex: Normally when you want a "Discussion" you don't accept the first answer you get within 20 minutes, and shoo away other users from participating. –  Wesley Murch Oct 20 '11 at 17:22
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1 Answer

It gets upvotes on the sister site because it's really pretty ... then users here upvote it some more because it's pretty looking

If the prettiness is just on the surface, and their inlined links are irrelevant, their markdown is useless, then this is a problem with the voters. Why are they upvoting pretty questions? These questions should be upvoted for showing research effort, and being useful and clear. If it doesn't make sense and the user doesn't understand the problem, it would be surprising if they were able to craft a clear, useful, or well-researched question.

If, on the other had, you mean that the question includes some or all of

  • Headings and a good structure
  • Inlined relevant links to documentation or examples as well as related questions
  • Screenshots with the relevant part highlighted
  • Pictoral diagrams and graphs to explain concepts
  • Code samples for questions involving code
  • Correct spelling and grammar

then remember that those are all marks of clarity, which is one reason that a question could deserve an upvote.

as a result they argue about & downvote correct answers and end up marking the wrong answer as accepted.

Downvotes are a normal part of the spectrum, just slightly stronger than not granting an upvote. Hopefully, the sites have an active voting community, so one rogue vote won't affect the ranking too much. The penalty is just -2 rep points, and the cost the user half of the penalty they've issued. Don't worry about the votes.

The correct answer according to the community and the accepted answer according to the user don't have to agree. See this post in the unofficial FAQ and the "accept your own answers" blog entry.

Maybe I'm just jaded, but I'd be ecstatic that they:

  1. Created an account on SO,
  2. Participated in dialog about the problem, and
  3. Accepted an answer

Correctness in 2 and 3 aside, this is unusual and exemplary behavior.

the user in question is clearly rep-whoring: a quick glance at their profile reveals <5% of asked questions on SO above the zero line and no questions answered.

Flag one of their posts as "it needs ♦ moderator attention", give this statistic, and the mods will take action if it's a problem.

It's OK to ask lots of good questions, but asking lots of poor questions is not OK.

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Thanks @KevinVermeer –  Alexander Wenzowski Oct 20 '11 at 17:19
    
@Alex - Thanks for accepting my answer, but you don't need to do that yet. I'm by no means an authority on this, I just offered my opinion. It's usually good practice to wait 24-48 hours to allow everyone who wants to answer time to log on, find your question, think about their answer, and post it. –  Kevin Vermeer Oct 20 '11 at 18:55
    
... learning. Thanks –  Alexander Wenzowski Oct 20 '11 at 18:59
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