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I've asked a question, and an answer that does not address the question at all seems to be getting up voted. I don't understand why it keeps getting voted up.

  1. I voted it down and put a comment in that pointed out it didn't address the question.

  2. I've edited the question making the specific question more clear.

  3. Other answers that directly address the question (all the other ones) are ranked lower then the "bad" answer. (This tells me that others understood the question and that it wasn't me)

Shouldn't the person asking the question be able to do something about this? I mean if the top ranked answer has nothing to do with the question, what the heck is the recourse?

The problem is there's not one answer to the question. I asked for "links" and the top ranked answer has not one link. I'm not really frustrated. I just don't like that others who may use the question for its answers will find the waste of time to read at the top. (every cycle, every bit)

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migrated from Aug 29 '09 at 9:46

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Come on baaaaash, postt a link to the question. This is like listening to a soap opera on the radio. We need faces! Names! Dirt! – yar Feb 27 '09 at 12:12
So true... I had exactly the same experience with one of my questions. – Milan Gardian Mar 17 '09 at 20:37

Don't worry about it!

Accept your preferred answer and it will then appear directly beneath the question, regardless of how many votes it has.

Other readers will decide for themselves which answer they prefer, and vote accordingly.

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The problem is if you're ONLY receiving noise and none of the answers is correct - or they are just plain misleading. – Milan Gardian Mar 17 '09 at 20:38

It's a good question. Democracy is hard to accept when you realize that your constituents are not really capable of voting intelligently. But even though from time to time you may get an answer (president-of-your-country, CEO, team-leader, winning-proposal) that is absolutely terrible, the process works in general.

You have no recourse except to make snyde comments under the answer. This might result in your question getting downvoted, but for the time being, your SO points cannot be traded for wheat, so you'll be fine.

Seriously though, you're looking too deep. Many times (but not all!) SO answers are not voted on whether they answer the question but rather whether they "deserve an upvote." "Hey cool, I totally agree!" and they mark it +1. "Soooooo right" and up it goes. Etc. Chill out. In the long run, SO produces good answers to technical problems. For other problems, it produces answers that are worth less. And for SO meta-talk, it produces absolute garbage :)

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I wish I had TEN votes to give to this answer! It's perfect, Daniel! – Cerebrus Feb 27 '09 at 12:17
Thank you, Cerebrus! – yar Feb 27 '09 at 12:21
Sorry, I disagree - from what I've seen, for the REALLY DIFFICULT QUESTIONS StackOverflow produces mostly terrible answers. – Milan Gardian Mar 17 '09 at 20:42

This sounds more like a user-voice thing (indeed, I found 3 related suggestions on UV); it is a bit hard to address, to be sure. Which was the question? It is even trickier / contentious if you paced a bounty...

share|improve this answer (I think) – Learning Feb 27 '09 at 11:35
@Marc, Good point about the bounty. Good answers getting voted up is fair enough, even if they're not totally relevant, but I think a bounty should only be awarded to an answer that fully addresses the original question. – Luke Feb 27 '09 at 11:38

The accepted answer will always appear at the top of the list of answers. In this case, it's fine to allow off-topic answers as long as you only accept the one that's right for you.

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Unless you accept your own answer when it doesn't :-). – Milan Gardian Mar 17 '09 at 20:44

After a couple of days you will be able to post a bounty. If you make it clear what the criteria are for awarding the bounty you would hopefully get some answers tailored more towards what you are looking for rather than what some might consider the way you should have been doing things in the first place.

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Well, if I could post a bounty on getting bad answers downvoted/derided, that might be more emotionally satisfying... – einpoklum Mar 20 '13 at 19:59

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