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Am I allowed to answer a question from someone sitting right next to me?

If my friend posts a question and links me to it because he thinks I might be able to help, and then I chat/call him about it and come up with a solution.. is it okay for me to post the solution and get ^ for it?

On one hand it seems legitimate if it's an honest question/answer..

Alternatively, I could see a point where it's too much. Like if I were tutoring a student and they posted all their questions which I answered offline and always got ^ for.

Is there a line/limit to answering friends posts?

marked as duplicate by ChrisF, kiamlaluno, Lorem Ipsum, Cody Gray, Adam Lear May 8 '12 at 4:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    Dupe? meta.stackexchange.com/q/129925/166155 – Double AA May 7 '12 at 22:38
  • AAAA: Sure, I was more wondering if there is a line/limit to how much – Thilo Savage May 7 '12 at 22:41
  • @Thilo Savage: I honestly think there is not much to be gained for the community by further explaining how exactly the anti-fraud mechanism works... – ChristopheD May 7 '12 at 22:52
  • It's nice provided you're answering useful questions. Anything in our group that would take longer than an IM to ask/answer we usually suggesting asking on SO. More than half the time a better answer comes from the community! Crowd source difficult problems, especially with newer technologies. – user7116 May 8 '12 at 2:46
  • As the answers indicate, this is perfectly fine. The golden rule should be whether the question and/or your answer is likely to be useful to someone else in the future. Remember, the goal is not just to answer questions for the asker, but to build up a repository of great programming questions and answers. If you're contributing to that, you deserve all the rep you get for your answers! – Cody Gray May 8 '12 at 3:17

You can even answer your own question, if you want to.

SE's Q&A sites are about providing useful answers to useful question. It's not a game (so don't worry about any unfair advantage) and it's not about the rep.

Is there a line/limit to answering friends posts?

No, but there's vote fraud protection. If you vote on too many posts of the same person, the votes might get reversed and you might be suspended.

  • I see.. so legitimately I could already know the answer to a question, post it, answer it, upvote myself, and as long as it's a good Q and A that might help people, I'm safe? – Thilo Savage May 7 '12 at 22:39
  • Even if you already know the answer, yes. However, you cannot upvote your own answers. But if question and answer are good, others will. – Dennis May 7 '12 at 22:40
  • Ah, right.. 'Accept' I mean.. not 'Upvote' – Thilo Savage May 7 '12 at 22:42
  • 2
    Yes, you can accept your own answer. It won't generate the usual 2 rep though. – Dennis May 7 '12 at 22:43

Go for it.

We want good questions and great answers, doesn't matter much were either comes from. Keep in mind that by answering your friend's question, you are also helping everyone else that might stumble upon the same problem.


I don't see why not. You're ultimatly helping the community, and with the vote-scam system in-place I don't think it will be an issue.


It's perfectly fine, just vote fairly to stay out of trouble.

Also, you can share questions on Google+, FaceBook or Twitter to your friends using the buttons near the voting arrows of the question.


Nope--not bad at all. Given that you can answer your own question, this is perfectly fine. I can see concerns about it being considered gaming the system--when you answer your own question it is upfront, but not when you answer a friends' question.

We need good questions+answers. Multiple times, a question is unclear and talking with the OP is one way to easily get what s/he means. In this case, answer the question, and clarify it if necessary.

Note that excessive "seeding" (cooking up questions) is sometimes frowned upon, and collaborating with a friend in this could be considered vote fraud.\

Basically, don't do this all the time. A few questions, that's OK. Not almost all of them. The tuition student thingy is one example where it can get too much.

Note that nobody's going to tell you (and I don't know) how the vote fraud mechanism works.

A relevant example of me doing this:

I once introduced a friend of mine to Physics.SE, and she posted quite a few things (of which I upvoted almost all--but that's because they came by me, in the course of exploring the recent activity--not because I targeted her in specific).

Anyway, there was one question she had. I myself had had this doubt a year ago (same reason as her, incidentally), and I'd solved it myself. So I posted my solution there. I don't think that's fraud.

Then there's my answer here. I realized that her answer was wrong, and I told her over the phone (similar to your case). We discussed, and she managed to improve her answer, as well as urging me to post my own. That's pretty OK as well--the post quality improved.

Basically, don't worry as long as you don't do it too much.

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