What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 128 Stack Exchange communities.

Is there a way to protect Stack Overflow from users that, for multiple reasons, will create a new account to post a question with laziness and expecting a 'copy-paste' solution?

Take this example: a-good-question from user####### scoring 1 reputation. The user posted a clear question: clear-and-related-question-title

If I have, for example, the following function:

void foo(constantA, constantB)
{
  ... code
    {
      //Do stuff
    }
  //Do other stuff
{

mode-details-from-OP to clarify situation.

Complementary information from the OP:

if (OP code)
{
    //Do stuff
}

In my example, the user made a clear question, added his code and the question seems OK. Somehow, I suspect this user to know the Stack Overflow mechanism and decided to post his question under another account just to avoid being down-voted.

Are there any treads about this subject and are there ways to avoid considering some questions from new users like questions from reputation freak scary users?

How can we stop this behavior, if this behavior is happening, otherwise, is there a way to distinguish a good willing 'new user' from a 'I'm afraid to look stupid and scrap my reputation' user?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Arjan, Bo Persson, Toon Krijthe, hims056, Martijn Pieters Feb 20 '13 at 13:08

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

7  
So you want to do some type of action against new users because they ask good questions? –  asawyer Feb 19 '13 at 19:22
9  
I did not know we were punishing good behaviour now... well, off to downvote everything –  jmfsg Feb 19 '13 at 19:30
    
is there a way to differ a good willing 'new user' from a 'i'm afraid to look stupid and scrap my reputation' user ? –  Milky ways patterns Feb 19 '13 at 20:09
2  
Perhaps at the IP/system level. But then again, there is nothing forbidden about having multiple accounts. (As long as these accounts are not used for vote-fraud or to circumvent bans). –  Bart Feb 19 '13 at 20:10
1  
This is my guess about what you mean, please clarify me if I'm wrong: You think that some high-reputation users are creating new accounts to ask simple questions, because they are afraid of looking stupid? And you think that this is a problem? –  Emil Vikström Feb 19 '13 at 20:11
    
@Bart - why is that? What reason would you need for multiple accounts, other than hilariously chatting back and forth with each other? –  LittleBobbyTables Feb 19 '13 at 20:13
    
@EmilVikström Thanks for clarifying for me, YES this is my thought. –  Milky ways patterns Feb 19 '13 at 20:13
    
@LittleBobbyTables that is not enough of a reason for you? But jokes aside, I have absolutely no need for multiple accounts. It has however been stated time and time again that having multiple accounts is not necessarily seen as any violation, provided that they are not used as part of fraudulent behaviour. And simply asking questions is not fraudulent. –  Bart Feb 19 '13 at 20:16
    
Damn, this question is killing my reputation, i should have asked it under a newUser account ! ;) –  Milky ways patterns Feb 19 '13 at 21:41
    
I bet at least 40% of the bad questions on the site are posted by Jon Skeet under thousands of false names. –  Wooble Feb 20 '13 at 13:03

1 Answer 1

As I understand your question (after the comment discussion), you think there are high-reputation users that are creating new accounts because they are afraid of asking simple questions with their main one.

First, I do not agree that this is a problem. We do not need to track down these users and force them to reveal themselves.

Second, smart people are not afraid of asking simple questions. In fact, asking questions is one of the est ways of learning. A potential recruiter, for example, looking into the question history of a job candidate will not back down just because some question seems easy, at least not a good recruiter. The important thing is often just the ability to learn, and asking questions is the foundation of learning (be it the actual asking, or just curiosity). If these users are hiding behind new account, which I doubt, we (as a human society, not necessarily Stack Overflow) need to make it comfortable for them to ask the questions out in the open.

share|improve this answer
    
I wonder if admins can take a look correlation between IP addresses and accounts in order to make a statistic ? –  Milky ways patterns Feb 19 '13 at 21:51
    
But why? There is no value in such statistics. –  Emil Vikström Feb 20 '13 at 5:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .