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I have asked this question on SO. If you look at Marcin Orlowski's answer, it is really bad – it does not explain anything about the problem, and it also pointed me in a completely wrong direction. I spent almost 3 days studying the documentation and the source code of RelativeLayout class in order to find the "magic" that will solve my problem. Furthermore he ignored my comments which ask for clarification.

However Marcin Orlowski, based on my research, is a respected user judging not only from his reputation but also from the quality of his answers on other questions.

Please note that I do not feel offended I just feel confused because I spent a lot of time for nothing because of his answer. How should I handle this in order to minimize those side-effects in the future?

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umm... what about downvoting him? –  Jan Dvorak Jul 22 '13 at 1:52
That's the exact purpose of downvotes. Hold your mouse over the downvote button and you'll see its tooltip: "This answer is not useful" –  Michael Berkowski Jul 22 '13 at 1:53
Help Documentation: Why is voting important? –  George Cummins Jul 22 '13 at 1:56
Not sure if it's really productive calling out a particular dude to illustrate a larger point... –  Jay Riggs Jul 22 '13 at 4:29
@doubleDown Thanks for the edit. I should join English learners stackexchange site... –  Christos Jul 22 '13 at 13:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 30 down vote accepted

Do not consider who the user is when taking action. Higher-reputation users have no more lenience with bad answers (or, really, any action) than new users.

As such, do what you normally do with a bad answer: downvote, and consider commenting.

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+1 An answer should be evaluated based on its merit alone. You shouldn't have to run a background check on the answerer. –  Old Checkmark Jul 22 '13 at 3:16
I don't want to up vote you, because you have a perfect 6666 reputation! –  Andrew Barber Jul 22 '13 at 4:55
@Andrew Ha! That's amazing and I didn't even notice! –  Emrakul Jul 22 '13 at 5:46
hehe. now that you are safely past it, here's the up vote! –  Andrew Barber Jul 22 '13 at 10:58

There are two things that you should do here :

  • First, downvote.
  • Second, if the answer is as inaccurate as you say it is, leave a comment explaining what is wrong with the answer. This will help other users in the future when they look at the answer and may stop them from going down the path you went down.

Who the user is, does not figure in anywhere when evaluating a answer.

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I agree completely with the other two answers here, except in one regard. If a highly regarded user, or even just someone I've seen giving good answers, makes an answer that seems entirely incorrect to me, I take a bit of extra time to evaluate the answer and make absolutely sure that I'm not being dense and/or missing the point. Beyond that, though, the user doesn't get any special treatment.

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So, you would spent less time verifying a lower-rep user's answer? –  Old Checkmark Jul 22 '13 at 3:15
Yes. I would spend 100% of the time I consider necessary to decide if an answer is appropriate or not for a lower rep user. I'd spend 150% for someone with very high rep or otherwise known to me to be very good at <whatever>. –  Joe Jul 22 '13 at 3:17
Makes sense. If someone has a high reputation, it's more likely that they know what they're talking about and have been deemed knowledgeable by your peers (although granted, it's far from foolproof). Which makes it more likely that you are just missing something. I always try to assume I'm the incompetent one until I can prove otherwise. –  Cody Gray Jul 22 '13 at 4:12
Good point - Reading an answer second time if it causes problems is my usual way, and reading it third time if it's author is high-rep might be a good idea. After all, if reputation is rough measurement of community's trust, it can affect my own trust a bit. Just don't let it to stop you from downvoting if you feel downvote is well deserved in the end. –  Mołot Jul 22 '13 at 7:52

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