I thought this was a clear abuse of authority (or I can't read straight).

This question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10204862/write-a-program-to-multiple-a-matrix-of-size-nm-in-java was closed as "not being a real question". The StackOverflow official text states: "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form."

If there was any violation of policy (and I think there wasn't), it was in my answering it because SO members SHOULD not give direct answers. I doubt if even that is grounds for deleting an answer or question.

But that is definitely not grounds to close the question. Just the URL tells exactly what's being sought. It is an extremely precise question. Are we a rule-based community, or caprice-based where we apply an arbitrary rule because we are pissed-off?

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    Going by this similar question, this meta question itself doesn't have much of a future. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/93057/… – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 6:13
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    The question was incomplete and ambiguous. You have to show effort in a Stack Overflow question. Is it element-wise multiplication or matrix multiplication? What types are the matrix objects? – agf Apr 19 '12 at 6:17
  • Trying to defend your -4 answer to that question? No! Don't make me gain my reputation back! – animuson Apr 19 '12 at 6:18
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    @agf, it should be pretty clear that is a matrix of strings; what else could you multiply? – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 6:30
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    Since when have strings had any place in a mathematical operation? A matrix of integers, yes. Floats, yes. Doubles, yes. For the record, it is absolutely not pretty clear, and that's probably why the question was closed and then deleted - it's a really bad question. – RivieraKid Apr 19 '12 at 7:43
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    @RivieraKid, please recalibrate sarcasm-detector – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:44

Have you read the comments below the question, if no then read them again and you will know the problem.

enter image description here

SE is not made for spoon-feeding, its only to help you not to work on your behalf without your own hard work.

So, this question is closed because question is incomplete and the user have not tried any single line of code by his ownself. And asking to write whole code by others, that's not right and these type of question are not welcome in this community.

For next time read this Faq-

What kind of questions can you ask on S0-

Stack Overflow is for professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it. We feel the best Stack Overflow questions have a bit of source code in them, but if your question generally covers …

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • software tools commonly used by programmers
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

For a complete guide on posting questions on SO see this link and this post

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    upvoted for effort :) it is an incomplete answer though because it does not refer to any stated policy or terms or FAQ. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 6:37
  • @agksmehx see the edit – Ankit Sharma Apr 19 '12 at 6:52
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    +1 This will complete it then: stackoverflow.com/faq#dontask – Jeremy Thompson Apr 19 '12 at 6:54
  • @Jason_vorhees, could you be more specific? i thought the first bullet point covered it: matrix multiplication is a specific programming problem. so does the second, it is an algorithm too. the the third also applies: "practical, answerable problem" – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:00
  • @JeremyThompson, could you be more specific too? i didn't see anything in there that applies. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:01
  • @agksmehx question is too local, you can google it, second its not showing any effort of him – Ankit Sharma Apr 19 '12 at 7:03
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    @agksmehx: How to ask and answer homework questions? - the question you highlight fails miserably at the first bullet point on the "Asking about homework" list. – Mat Apr 19 '12 at 7:10
  • @Mat +1 for the point – Ankit Sharma Apr 19 '12 at 7:11
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    @agksmehx Its not your answer (although that first line about us doing people's home work isn't really encouraged) its the question that's got it closed. I sort of agree with you that it probably shouldn't have been closed but "We feel the best SO questions have a bit of source code in them" - ie a little bit of research and effort. You no doubt have noticed all the noob questions of late and SO members are vocal about downvoting such questions. When a question gets -9 and the OP hasn't fixed there question or responded to comments I think mod's are doing the right thing to close em down. – Jeremy Thompson Apr 19 '12 at 7:14
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    It is beautifully ironic to see the request for "more specifics" in this post. – Andrew Barber Apr 19 '12 at 7:24
  • @Mat, what you pointed to is one side of a debate that clearly states that it is not official policy. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:31
  • @JeremyThompson, my point is there isn't a policy that allows closing a question because it got a -9. i definitely grok the "feeling" behind the close, and my question is whether we operate by rules or those feelings. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:34
  • @AndrewBarber, it is a polite way of saying whatever was cited does not apply. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 7:35
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    @agksmehx its your opiniun but i don't thing anything is wrong in it. If question is not fitted in faq's then mod's have to remove them. – Ankit Sharma Apr 19 '12 at 7:46
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    @agksmehx if you don't want to understand then nobody can help you – Ankit Sharma Apr 19 '12 at 7:51

For the record, I stand behind my close vote on this question. This is by no means a "clear abuse of authority", as illustrated by the fact that four others voted to close, nine people downvoted it, and three others voted to delete the question. The community clearly found something wrong here.

Several things smell about this "question". First, the title:

Write a program to multiple a matrix of size (n*m) in java?

while containing a question mark, has the tone of asking us to do the user's work for them. People respond very poorly to being commanded to do someone's job / homework for free.

The body of the question:

I just want to know how to multiply two matrix(n*m).

is just a single line, with no question in it. It's also asking for a common task whose implementation can be found elsewhere. As was pointed out in this Meta question the "not a real question" close reason is being applied to trivial / general reference questions, but a new close reason may be created for these based on some of the confusion around the "not a real question" wording.

The user also doesn't provide any context for what they're trying to do, the constraints on their problem, etc., so it could be considered to be too broad to answer exactly.

The overwhelmingly negative response this question received most likely comes from the fact that we see piles of these sort of lazy, "do my work for me" questions come in here every day. These are the kinds of questions that cause experts to get fed up and leave, and Stack Overflow is structured to prevent the kinds of collapses due to this that have occurred in almost every other programming-related mailing list or forum I've participated in. We're doing what we can to keep the signal to noise ratio high here as the site scales to an incredible amount of question and answer traffic. That sometimes means we prune questions like this to maintain the overall site quality.

If I may comment on the negative response to your answer, two things bothered people there. First, spoon feeding answers to help vampires like this is starting to get frowned upon here, because that just encourages others to come here and have others do their work for them.

The second, and most important, criticism people had was that you just copied and pasted someone else's code without checking it yourself or providing any summary of what it does. As others commented, it turned out to be broken, which is harmful to have in an answer. Far too many people copy and paste code from Stack Overflow into their projects, so having buggy code here can be a real problem.

So no, this wasn't an "abuse of authority", this was an unsalvageable question and it deserved to be closed and deleted.

  • The Meta question you cite concludes: "I believe this close reason has too much potential for abuse and misunderstanding. It is unlikely we will ever adopt this close reason network wide." I. e. the criteria you claim was officially tested and rejected. The downvotes were well-earned both by my answer and the question and I am not complaining about them. They are fair game. The abuse of authority came when you crossed the line to close the question. Citing the large downvotes as a basis toclose is also wrong. The downvotes were primarily people furious that I had answered. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 16:44
  • Regarding the answer criticism. The important thing is, answer criticism was no grounds for closing. Less importantly, you could have posted a better answer and downvoted mine and downvoted the question. Also, it wasn't broken; I responded to that claim in my answer. Running SO by applying critieria officially rejected by the community after experimentation -- is abuse; more of the community than of the question or the answer. – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 16:54
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    You keep throwing around the term "abuse of authority", but I don't think you really know what that means. As I pointed out, four other experienced site members agreed with this close vote, and three even went so far as to believe it needed to be deleted. Not a single person other than you has come out to vote to undelete or reopen this question. This was not done single-handedly by a moderator, or even opposed by a single member of the site, aside from you. Downvotes on the question are a secondary indicator of its quality, and those are separate from the votes on your answer. – Brad Larson Apr 19 '12 at 16:56
  • Well, would it be an abuse of authority to close this question? You have no criteria. And to repeat, about the criteria that you cited, the official stance was: "I believe this close reason has too much potential for abuse and misunderstanding. It is unlikely we will ever adopt this close reason network wide." – agks mehx Apr 19 '12 at 16:59
  • @agksmehx abuse of authority what does it means in your sense? – Ankit Sharma Apr 20 '12 at 7:22
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    Oh let's please not debate the definition of "abuse of authority", even if well intended. – Bart Apr 20 '12 at 8:30
  • @Jason_vorhees, we already agreed to disagree, and further I doubt if you are acting in good faith given that you participated in getting the question deleted after I reported it here. So let's agree to disagree one more time, and if somebody else raises a point I will clarify if needed. – agks mehx Apr 20 '12 at 18:48
  • @agksmehx ok.;) – Ankit Sharma Apr 20 '12 at 19:15

The short answer is: "the latter".

Stackoverflow has very clear policies about questions meet its standards. The first answer gave the official reference.

Stackoverflow also is very careful about expanding the standards about which questions are disallowed. The second answer gave a great example of such a discussion and the conclusion reached.

The original question "Write a program to multiple a matrix of size (n*m) in java?" did not violate any of the standards listed in the official reference provided in the first answer. Yet, the person cited it as the basis for closing the question.

The second answer cited a different basis for closing the question -- the discussion mentioned above about expanding the standards about which questions are disallowed. However, the discussion cited had reached the exact opposite conclusion (clearly tagged "status-declined" by moderators) that such a standard for disallowing questions was prone to abuse and hence rejected.

I. e. the standards cited as a basis for closing were no basis for closing the question (please read them yourself if you feel I missed something).

I found this very Orwellian, and based on this the answer to my above question seems to be that the community will act on feelings rather than codified standards; yet it will cite those standards to give the impression that the community does act on the basis of codified standards.

Furthermore, merely discussing this on meta was correlated with the original question to further be deleted (not just closed).

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    Yes, no point in salvaging crap. I'm not sure why you've accepted your own rant, considering that it does not answer the question you've posted here. The community overwhelmingly felt that your question did not meet the standards set out in the FAQ. – Cody Gray Apr 23 '12 at 8:51
  • As per the title of this question suggest i can only say for this selected answer as answer selected on the false grounds. – Ankit Sharma Apr 23 '12 at 16:18

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