Some accounts seem to be gaming the system anonymously, and I've seen anecdotal evidence of point and account selling. What are the mechanisms that prevent this? Is it possible that some people are buying accounts? Is it really that valuable?
I'll admit, I'm paying less attention to responses with anonymous numbered type names.
But if they sell their account to an incompetent with a computer science degree who asks my boss for a job one day, will that just mean that he'll consider my points as noise?
I'm putting myself out there by giving my name on my questions and answers, and I'd hate to know that people are buying what should be un-buyable. I know that there are mechanisms to prevent ring-voting, but is there a mechanism by which Stack Overflow can detect growth that is non-organic, or perhaps account selling?
And on the other hand, as the libertarian contrarian in me thinks, perhaps a market for points or accounts is good for Stack Overflow if it causes more, higher quality answers and responses. But against this idea might be that organic point scoring yields much higher quality answers than envelope-pushing point scoring.
You get more points up front for a quick and right answer, as opposed to a very high-quality answer that took more than 20 minutes to compose, and later those "great" answers seem to take a very long time to rise over the ones with the fast points, and most anonymous-type accounts with high scores don't seem to be writing the "great" answers.
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here. I've always considered Stack Overflow to be a great resource, and I'm glad I can finally start contributing back.