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A user asked a question on StackOverflow and indicated in a comment he found the answer. Two subsequent comments asking the user to provide the answer have gone ignored.

Is this the only way to react? Is it OK to downvote such a question? Or should there be other ways?

The user will also not see his accept rate suffer, as there are no other answers.

I'm interested in the answer, and wonder how I can get the user to provide it. Of course, there's always the possibility the user just isn't returning to StackOverflow.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The question should be voted on based on the merits of the question, period.

It sucks that he would say he found an answer and not post it, but that doesn't make the question a bad question (and hence it should be down-voted).

I would try prodding him with one more comment. If he doesn't respond in a couple days, delete your comment (it's only noise at that point) and move on.

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What can you achieve from downvoting such questions? It is just the same as any other unanswered question, except that it is unlikely to have an accepted answer.

In fact you should be upvoting the question if it is in your interest to solicit answers for it.

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As there are no answers at all I'd just vote/flag to close as Too Localised. Also take into account the votes and views. If these are low as well that's more confirmation that it's question that doesn't require answering.

This is particularly true if the question is anything more than a couple of weeks old.

If there were answers provided by others then vote on those as appropriate, but leave the question open.

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How is it too localised? Obviously several users are searching for an answer to it... hardly seems too localised to me. –  Barak Sep 7 '12 at 13:48
    
@Barak - There are no other answers. I'll update the answer. –  ChrisF Sep 7 '12 at 13:50
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Isn't that an abuse of the flag? Just because the owner is not going to accept answers doesn't make it 'localized' –  prusswan Sep 7 '12 at 13:50
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@Barak the question itself isn't actually useful unless there are real answers to it already, otherwise it's best that it's reasked by someone paying attention –  Ben Brocka Sep 7 '12 at 13:50
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@Ben I like the idea. How would that work? Wouldn't the new questions get closed as a duplicate? And why would voting to close and re-asking be better than putting a bounty on the original question? –  Barak Sep 7 '12 at 13:57
    
It might get closed as a duplicate. But then there's the redirection to the original question, and any answers can be added to that. –  Andrew Leach Sep 7 '12 at 14:05
    
@Barak people might mistakenly close it as a dupe, but it'd be pretty stupid to close an on topic question as a duplicate of a closed one. Ideally these sort of "solved" questions with no answers and a disinterested asker would be deleted instead –  Ben Brocka Sep 7 '12 at 14:18

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