What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

Is there any good reason to gain reputation from agreeing with somebody else who already paved the road for your opinion/solution?

Example:

I agree with AraK. Check which libraries and object files are linked with that code.
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2484501/...

These types of answers are flagged occasionally, so I'd like to get the community-perspective on this.

Obvious options:

  1. Nothing
  2. Other users encourage author to use comments for agreements
  3. Deletion
  4. ...
share|improve this question
    
I assume you mean "any good reason". :) –  Ether Mar 21 '10 at 16:57
    
Corrected, Ether. Thanks. –  Jonathan Sampson Mar 21 '10 at 17:00
    
Seems the community has spoken on this one. (Deleted as spam.) –  Gnome Mar 21 '10 at 17:59
    
This question has a lot of answers that say much the same thing as Jon did. Probably because the answers were all being worked on at the same time, but it's kind of ironic. –  Andrew Grimm May 3 '11 at 7:52

9 Answers 9

I would encourage authors to delete their own posts if they don't add any more information. However, it's perfectly reasonable to write an answer along the lines of: "I agree with X: wurfles should not be frobgated; it causes tigdotting. However, you might also want to consider the possibility of rabgetting the wurfles instead."

share|improve this answer
    
Athough this is not the case I agree with AraK. Check which libraries and object files are linked with that code. –  perbert Mar 21 '10 at 16:58
7  
-1: rabgettability of wurfles was only added in version 0.2. You of all people should know that. –  balpha Mar 21 '10 at 16:59
    
(well, +1 actually) –  balpha Mar 21 '10 at 16:59
4  
What Jon says. I think it's particularly important to acknowledge prior answers. –  nb69307 Mar 21 '10 at 17:09
    
@Jon @balpha - have you guys even gromulgated the wurfles yourselves? If you had an in depth understanding of the gromulgating process you'd understand that frobgating the wurfles doesn't make sense, and the developers only added that option in 0.2 because so many people complained, but it's terribly inefficient, and really runs against the grain of the languatata system altogether. –  Adam Davis Mar 21 '10 at 17:10
2  
Agreed - if your answer adds more information than you could easily provide in a comment (especially if you're adding example code, etc). For what it's worth, I think the answerer should link to the original answer in the name, so that if the original user changes their name, we can still figure out who it is you agree with. –  Jared Harley Mar 21 '10 at 17:47
1  
I wonder how many people will google wurfles and find this post? –  Lance Roberts Mar 21 '10 at 19:13
1  
@Lance it's number 3 already. Jon probably manually added the result to the search database, but put it a bit lower so as not to arouse suspicion. –  alex Mar 21 '10 at 19:28
    
@Alex: Google's search index runs off a mental link to Jon's brain. He has to play that game where you can't think of the game in order to keep this result off of number 1. Oh, btw, and everyone else just lost The Game. –  Jimmy Mar 22 '10 at 3:55

I agree with Jon, authors should delete their own posts when they don't add any value.

share|improve this answer
2  
LOL! This answer should be accepted. –  splattne Mar 31 '10 at 6:43

If they are in agreement to other answers but add something else to the conversation that has not yet been addressed then I think they're good. Otherwise torch them. They should be comments.

share|improve this answer
3  
The problem is you need N rep to comment but only 1 rep to answer (where N >> 1). –  ChrisF Mar 21 '10 at 17:29
    
Then they simply don't comment. If they don't have the rep to make a comment then they don't. –  Josh K Mar 21 '10 at 18:05

If the answer adds no additional value to another user's answer, then it shouldn't really exist as an answer.

The answer in question kind of "spells out" what a linker error might be caused by. The question-asker said he was a beginner, so there may be some value in what was said. I think I'd leave this one.

share|improve this answer
    
Er...no. Not sure how that happened. –  dmckee Mar 21 '10 at 19:15

In this case I'm not sure if "Check which libraries and object files are linked with that code." is adding anything new or not, so I'd be forced to leave it alone. Sometimes restating the same basic information in a different way has value to the OP.

In cases where it's clear that no new information is added ("+1 for Code Complete!") I'll often just delete the answer.

share|improve this answer

I would argue that it's best to simply leave "I agree with [X]" answers alone and simply not upvote them. We could suggest they should be comments, but not take any actions against them.

They do not fall under the "spam" moniker in my book.

share|improve this answer

I've posted a similar question before: How should I report answers which are pure noise? and it seems that flagging answers which are pure noise as Spam is the accepted way (at least, that answer in my question got most upvotes).

From now, I just flag Spam for them (it also get downvoted by community -costs no reps- and thus go to bottom automagically) along with an explanatory comment. Although, Spam is in my opinion a too specific term and whether it's appreciated by SO team/moderators is also not "officially" confirmed by any of the teammembers/moderators in my question yet.

share|improve this answer

Assuming it's actually an answer (and not just, "I agree, in general, with my friend the other side of the room"), and you don't think it adds anything, then down-vote it (and/or leave a comment to that effect).

Otherwise, leave it alone, or suggest that the author expand on it; plenty of good answers build on existing answers, and IMHO that's perfectly fine... But it's worth encouraging the authors to make such answers stand on their own if possible, just in case the answer(s) they reference are later removed for some reason.

share|improve this answer

I've used "I agree with X" (or synonims) mainly continuing wiht "but..." and providing an alternative. In rare cases, extending the answer (sometimes editing the original answer is preferred).

However, with answers such as the linked one, or worse - answers that just copy-paste existing upvoted answers (yesterday I observed two such, copy-paseting from an answer of mine without even mentioninng it), nothing special should be done by moderators. The community takes good care of such "cheaters" ;)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

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