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I posted an answer to this question, which appears first page in a google search for "c# jquery selectors."

C# html/css selector

In full disclosure I posted the same answer to two similar questions.

The question is a "list-type" answer and the answers are a reference of several tools available. I recently released a jQuery port written in C# that is an exact fit for the question and answered it with information about this open-source project.

The question was quickly closed on several grounds:

  • Duplicate question
  • Self promotion
  • List-type questions not OK any more

I am struggling to understand how the community benefits from closing old questions with high google rankings when good answers become available.

First, duplicate question. This may in fact be a question that has been asked in different ways many times, but the particular one I answered is the one that appears first in a google search. Closing the most relevant one (at least by Google's assessment) seems counterproductive.

"self promotion." Sure, this is my project. Is the intent of this rule that experienced programmers should not be allowed to answer questions, just because they are involved in a project that is, actually, the best answer they know of? Again, this seems foolish. While I could see addressing people who abuse SO on a case by case basis, this project is non-commercial, free, and I have a long history on Stack Overflow. Is the "self promotion" directive really intended to be so pure that you aren't allowed to talk about stuff that you are involved with? If so, why? Wouldn't this just exclude the best, most active members of the community from sharing their knowledge on the projects they know most about?

"list-type question" This one I'm a little fuzzy on. I'm not sure what a better place would be to ask "how do I do X", but ignoring current policy, let's go back to the fact that this is a 2.5 year old question which appears first in google searches.

The only thing that will happen as a result of closing this question, is that someone searching for "jquery c# css selectors" will not be able to find (as easily, anyway) a "c# jquery port" which is exactly what they were looking for.

Why does closing questions like this, exactly at the time when the answers are updated with current information, benefit the community? Won't that just cause people to ask it again, instead of finding the answer they were looking for?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

When users post the same answer to several questions, it is a red flag for either:

  1. The question is duplicated, or
  2. The question is not constructive (i.e. a list question).

Stack Overflow really doesn't work well as a "List for all things," and we specifically discourage asking the same question twice.

The SE software has the ability to detect users who post the same answer to several different questions, which is why this happened. It's our way of catching spammers.

I've decided to reopen the original question, since it does seem to stand on its own merit, despite the "me too" answers that it seems to be attracting.

We don't consider Google rankings when making moderator decisions.

share|improve this answer
    
Generally speaking is there reason why "me too" is considered negative, to the extent that the "me-too"'s are distinct, and in the case of older questions, information that previously didn't exist? I always thought that adding new answers to old questions was encouraged so that one question could be a dynamic, current resource. To not do so would seem to say that we actually want questions to become stale and outdated. –  jamietre Jun 19 '12 at 20:17
    
Hence, the reopening. To make a valid argument for staleness, you would have to demonstrate that the existing answers are somehow unsatisfactory. –  Robert Harvey Jun 19 '12 at 20:17
    
I appreciate that - I'm asking about the overall approach or policy in a broader sense. Your answer seems to cast "me too" in a negative light whereas I think in an ideal world we would want them. Maybe the reality doesn't reflect my ideal world very often.. –  jamietre Jun 19 '12 at 20:19
3  
Stack Overflow is a repository for programming knowledge, not a billboard. We're always trying to condense and distill the content. –  Robert Harvey Jun 19 '12 at 20:20

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