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A couple weeks ago, I asked a question on SuperUser about Netflix in Media Center not working. Clearly, other people were experiencing this, as the question is entirely answered by 1-rep new users (except my own answer which I accepted). Unfortuantely 1-rep is not enough to upvote a question, but there's not really any way to force people to either comment, or to get 10 rep to upvote the question.

Is there some way to resolve this problem? Is this seen as a problem? I didn't see a clarification of "don't post an answer if all you're doing is saying me too".

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laughs - that's got to be thw worst abuse of a StackOverflow question I've seen. –  Noldorin Dec 31 '09 at 16:22
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Perhaps a mod should be able to convert answers like this to comments –  Nifle Dec 31 '09 at 16:33
    
those answers need to be flagged as comments and moved under the question as comments.. SU/SO/SF, etc are not forums which it seems that the people there think they are operating in –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 16:49
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@Noldorin: I've seen a worse one, but I flagged it for mod attention and Diago (or someone else) cleaned it out within an hour. –  mmyers Dec 31 '09 at 17:17
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I tend to check the site around 3 - 4 times a day depending on how busy I am. Since I am on leave until mid January, I tend to spend as little as possible time in front of my computer, so it does take longer for these flags to be handled, however they do get handled within 12 hours at most. –  Diago Dec 31 '09 at 18:27

5 Answers 5

The real problem is that, while those of us who participate know the subtle differences, the sites look and feel much like a forum to most new visitors.

So these users are used to participating in other forums where this is not only normal, but borderline expected.

Now, I don't know a way to help with this. As we've all said before, people don't read. Despite the fact that these new users have an immediate huge bar at the top that explicitly tells them to read the FAQ, I'm going to step out on a limb and assume that none of the ones in that thread have.

So what can we do? Flag for mod attention? Probably not a bad idea, but that's a lot of flags to use up, and we only have so many in a given day. (Chances are an SU mod will see this post and do the right thing, though. I hope.)

Leave comments? I've found that politely worded comments do seem to sink in a little bit for some new users; others have a hard time with them. Probably goes back to the original point -- people don't read.

By design these sites are meant to be as frictionless as possible to new users, so putting roadblocks in the way is not only against the core values, but still falls back to the original point -- it's not like they're going to read them anyway.

Probably the best way to handle this sort of thing is to flag the question itself for mod attention, calling out the "me too" answers. Hopefully the mod will e-mail the users directly and let them know why their posts were deleted, and what the differences are between the Trilogy and "normal" forums.

EDIT

I just did precisely that -- flagged the question with info about why.

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This is the sort of thing that the "protected question" feature was introduced for:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/06/new-protected-question-status/

protected by {moderator name} 3 days ago

This question is protected to prevent “thanks”, “me too!”, and spam posts from new users. To answer it, you must have more than 10 reputation.

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This problem stems from the fact that most people have used other internet forums where "me too" is, for some reason, a common response. The only value these responses usually add on the SO family of sites is that they get your question bumped back to the front of the "Active" list. I'd delete them if they were reported on SO, so you should flag them for a moderator on SU. If any of them add any useful information at all, you might consider editing it into your question.

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I have cleaned up this question and deleted the me too answers.

I actually do this for most questions with either more than a 100 views (attracted via Google) or post by 1 reputation users. Super User tends to attract more people than Server Fault and Stack Overflow due to its nature and content, and I believe the 1 reputation user issue is going to be part of the site for a long time, as most people are used to normal forums, and not a Q&A site. There is not much that can be done about drive-by posters, apart from flagging these for moderator attention and we keep them clean as much as possible.

As for e-mailing these users, most don't specify e-mail address or alternatively they don't have valid once. There is even high reputation users who don't have valid e-mails and never responds when e-mailing them, therefore unless the user has come back again, it is a painful exercise to e-mail every single one of them individually. When possible it is done if the user has made some attempt at updating his profile or even contributing further to the site.

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Thanks for cleaning it up :-). –  jtimberman Dec 31 '09 at 18:33
    
Thanks for the cleanup and the e-mail piece absolutely makes sense. –  John Rudy Dec 31 '09 at 18:51

Hmmm... I call Shenanigans... trickery... skulduggery.

Each one of those users were created shortly after you asked the question; none before. They used the system exactly once. They answered your question and only your question. Most of the answers have very similar wording. They all use the site incorrectly in the same way (me, too posts).

It's all very suspicious. I think somebody is trying to make a point.

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Interesting thought, but I'm not so sure -- I don't see the language being so similar as to warrant immediate suspicion. A mod could probably verify, but since most of these users haven't been back since, flat deletions could probably also just do the trick. –  John Rudy Dec 31 '09 at 16:50
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I think they all have the same problem and the trilogy sites come up in Google well.. –  staticx Dec 31 '09 at 16:53
    
I don't think there's anything suspicious going. I asked around with a couple friends that have the VMC Netflix plugin and they had the issue as well. I think it was common for many users when I asked. –  jtimberman Dec 31 '09 at 18:31
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It just reinforces itself. A user comes from Google to the question, sees the other "answers", assumes such answers are normal behaviour here and adds his own "me too". –  sth Dec 31 '09 at 18:32

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