I've been reviewing answers from users with less than 10 rep, to help improve their format and fix some spelling issues.

But most of the time, I came across answers like the following example.

Question: How to overlay one div over another div


By Using div sty x-index:1; and position: absolute; you can overlay your div on any other div


The facts are:

  • The answer isn't helpful on its current form.
  • The question is more than two years old.
  • There is an accepted answer with 45 up-votes so far.

By these facts, I find that if a user with less that 10 rep gets prevented from answering, a large amount of poorly formatted answers present on old already accepted and strongly voted questions would be "free" of useless answers.

So, should a user with less than 10 points be answering extremely old questions?

Just found out that users with less than 10 rep gets prevented from answering questions when protected:

protected by XXXX Mar 27 at 9:39

This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.

So, the proposed solution already exists, but is limited to the protection of the question.

  • 2
    While I am sympathetic to the idea that old questions should be auto-protected, why isn't the current process of people reviewing late answers enough? Do you have data to show the extent of this problem?
    – user149432
    Jun 8, 2012 at 21:58
  • Well, I've flagged some, others I manage to salvage trough edits! But I can gather a more detailed information and have it appended to this question to better legitimize it.
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:03
  • 3
    I just checked out your recent edit/review history to see more examples of the problem you're describing. I'm sorry to say that I disagree with many of your actions. Some of the edits you've approved actually introduce new errors. Others are too minor. I'm not saying this to be mean or arrogant; when you spend your valuable time and effort and quality doesn't improve, everyone loses, you most of all. If you're not sure about an edit you're making or reviewing, please leave it for someone else.
    – Pops
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:04
  • @PopularDemand, No offense taken, just help me see where does my problem lies, to improve myself! Perhaps this question doesn't concern the new users, but my evaluation of their answers.
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:11
  • The rule of thumb for editing is "if you're going to edit it, make sure you fix all the problems in the post." If a suggestion doesn't do that, you should improve it, or reject it if you don't know how to improve it correctly. You also left several spelling and grammar mistakes. I don't really know what to tell you about that; based on your profile, I assume English isn't your first language. I also don't understand how you choose text for bolding/italicization. In my opinion, the stuff you highlight often doesn't need additional emphasis, so the bold is just distracting.
    – Pops
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:19
  • @PopularDemand, Point taken! I'll try to improve my expression skills before performing further edits! (I'm from Portugal as mentioned on the profile, and Portuguese is my native language). Tks by the enlightenment on the subject.
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


I think anyone not in suspension should be able to answer a question.

Excluding new users from answering old questions just moves the problem (if there is one) to newer questions. At some point, a new user has to learn from the community what a good answer involves. The best way to learn to answer questions is by getting involved, and your suggestion would prevent that.

By answering old questions, it brings the question into the pipeline, and people can upvote, downvote, or comment to the user anything about their answer. More importantly, it might bring attention to an old question that might prompt a better answer from someone that now sees it.

If it's really a non-answer, we can flag it for a moderator.

  • Despite the fact I may agree with you at a certain point, I can read your answer as: "allow useless answers and give reviewers extra work, that can be incremented by passing the extra work to moderators." Keep in mind that we are talking about extremely recent users that overcome the 10 rep fast enough.
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:08
  • Accepting the answer by the we can flag it for a moderator reminder.
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:25
  • 3
    @Zuul well one problem is you might miss out on something special. This user has one answer what if that question had been old? Jun 8, 2012 at 22:28
  • @Some Helpful Commenter, Not every rule is perfect! Nonetheless, an old question "+2 years", either has an accepted answer or was poorly expressed, since 2 years is a long time to stay "in the dark". (you really chosen a very special case to defend your point of view!) nicely done! :)
    – Zuul
    Jun 8, 2012 at 22:34
  • @SomeHelpfulCommenter: Wow. That was a pretty unique example! The user has posted only one answer in the entire SE network, and it has gotten him rep of 3k+ and rising!
    – awe
    Sep 10, 2013 at 11:03

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