I asked a question and answered it myself to help other people, because there was no such question on SO. People got a little bit offended and my question and answer were seriously down-voted to the point that my answer was deleted and I got a score of -7 on my question.

This is the question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11158721/sql-not-like-not-working.

My answer was the following one.


I asked in chat if I did anything wrong by asking that question. The trasnscript is here.

Then I answered this question: mysqli_fetch_row() access a specific row in the sql database

My answer was the first among all answers and I got one up-vote.


Later, somebody down-voted my answer. Still a little bit later, my answer was converted into a comment, so I lost the 8 points that I had earned.

My answer was appropriate, considering the information the question contained. There are other answers like this one and this one which consist only of ideas. They were not converted into comments. Mine provided a clear solution.

Is this an act of sabotage? I am not sure? I have never seen this.

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    I converted your answer to a comment. The assertion "my answer was appropriate, considering the information the question contained" is incorrect. If you're going to provide an answer, then provide an answer regardless of the question. What you provided was a blurb, a comment, and provided little more than lip service as to what to do, but no reason as to the why. I'm not saying that this is mandatory, but at the same time, lacking the why (or any sort of background) is an indicator of lack of quality. – casperOne Jun 23 '12 at 1:10
  • My answer gave the OP a clear direction what he was doing wrong. Yes I was ready to update my answer provided I hear back from the OP. But he never cared to get back and I could not update my answer. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:12
  • further the OP only has 2 points. That means he does not have the experience to know what to ask for and how? The question is so basic that you dont even need to explain anything else. These are those types of question which the OP ask and once they get a hint, they basically delete the question because it was so basic. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:16
  • In that case, you should not have posted the answer if it was not fully fleshed out and had an expectation that it would remain unmoderated, either by the community or us. Essentially, there is no grace period anymore. – casperOne Jun 23 '12 at 3:17
  • I will include excerpt from the question Am I able to do this using this function?. My answer is in the question body itself. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:23
  • Either I am in the dark or someone else. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:24
  • @casperOne, my last message for you, you retaliated. If you did not see at my first question which got serially downvoted, you would have not changed my asnwer to a comment. Knowing that it had 1 up-vote already. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:41

To answer the question in your title: it was converted because it was flagged, and didn't appear to actually answer the question. I'm not familiar enough with the subject to say for sure that it didn't, but it sounds dismissive - as though you were primarily concerned with telling the asker what the routine doesn't do, and less interested in telling him what would work.

I'll agree that a couple of the other answers aren't much better. Part of the problem here is that the question wasn't particularly clear: my best advice when answering questions like this is to go beyond the simple answer and try to provide enough instruction so that a user who is obviously already confused by the technology he's using can learn from it rather than walking away even more confused by what you're telling him (even if what you're writing might be an obvious answer to an experienced user, an experienced user wouldn't ask such a question to begin with).

Now, for your other question,

People got a little bit offended and my question and answer were seriously downvoted to the point that my answer was deleted and I got a score of -7 on my question.

This depresses me a bit. This question wasn't very good (titles of the form "x is not working" are a big red flag) and possibly should've been closed as a duplicate (though frankly, the answers to the question that was suggested are... not great), but instead the answer was heavily down-voted and deleted. The takeaway here is really that you need to be double-sure you're asking a good question when you're also providing an answer - it's easy to be too close to a problem you've solved yourself, and unable to accurately describe what you were struggling with as a result.

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  • wouldnt it be more appropriate if someone would have left a positive comment when they were downovint? Or explain their answer better rather than? Does it sound like sabotage? The flag could be from the same person who downvoted my question and answer. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:11
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    @Dave: it wasn't. Obviously I can't betray the privacy of those who voted or flagged either post, but so far as I can tell, there's no connection between the two. – Shog9 Jun 22 '12 at 22:13
  • that is good enough for me. When a question or answer is upvoted because people get it and then it is seriously downvoted because it was not clear as Matthew said here clearly means we are biased. This is how our brains works perhaps, act out of blue. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:24
  • I commented this else where, If I saw a question like that which I thought was really basic, I would have left a positive comment in the worse case and move on.[fixed my comments] – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:39
  • casperone comments in the question above shows, it was act of retaliation. It is funny I got so many answers, all wrong. At least my concern was right, it was retaliation, in this case by a moderator. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 12:17
  • Huh? What reason would casperone have to retaliate? – Shog9 Jun 23 '12 at 13:34
  • he probably saw my first post then acted based on that post to convert my answer to comment which had +1 vote. BTW Now I included an expert from the question itself, and it seem my answer was rightly address the question. I did not hear his clarification. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 13:39
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    He found your answer because someone flagged it. Neither casperone, the flagger, or the down-voter have any detectable activity on your previous question. You've actually attracted a fair bit of attention to that via this question, but prior to posting here I can't find anything to connect the two. – Shog9 Jun 23 '12 at 13:46

Did you read the first 3 comments?

This is really very very basic SQL. It's how OR works! – JNK 6 hours ago 3

possible duplicate of SQL WHERE AND & OR Clauses – JNK 6 hours ago 2

If you're going to post a self-answer at least make it a good one that's not been covered to death. – JNK 6 hours ago

In other words:

  • You weren't sharing anything useful. Self-answered posts are for when you have a solution to a difficult problem to share, not for the absolute basics. Especially when it's just a case of misunderstanding what you're doing.

  • There are already questions like that on SO.

The title is inaccurate, as well.

As for the other post, I seriously doubt that your answer to an unrelated question was downvoted in relation to this.

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    Does it ring a bell that the three comments were posted by one user? – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 21:41
  • How do you explain my answer down voted and removed? Let alone the question itself. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 21:42
  • @Dave What "bell" should it ring, exactly? You didn't provide the content of the answer, and I can't see it. As for "Let alone the question itself", I think it deserved every downvoted it got -- "unclear, not useful, shows no research". – user154510 Jun 22 '12 at 21:53
  • I have updated my question with my answer that was deleted. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 21:59
  • @Dave Thanks. Your answer makes it sounds like it gets two sets of results and combines them, which isn't the case -- it applies both parts of the clause during a single query. Beyond that it's a bit hard to follow. I'm not sure deletion was warranted, but yeah. In the end you probably don't want a answer that's just going to be downvoted to stick around anyways, it will just drag down your rep. – user154510 Jun 22 '12 at 22:02
  • @Mathhew, sorry you are totally lost. You called my question vague, strange? Can it be more clear. I think at this point you just want to critize it. Could someone have left a positive comment like your have here so I could have realized and fixed the problem. Because part of it is, I wanted to learn too and would accept a better answer. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:04
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    @Dave Wanting to learn is good, I suppose I would just advise you to stay away from self-answers while you're beginning. If an answer is really short, consider posting it as a comment, and definitely ask for clarification when needed. Shog's advice in his answer here is good as well. And keep writing, you'll get better with practice. – user154510 Jun 22 '12 at 22:09
  • downvoted for totally misguided biased answer. Even shog9 said, it was probably not duplicate. You did not give any example of where is the duplicate. You constantly attacked my side that my question was not clear and my answer was not clear. I would challage you to at least rephrase that question in better words for me. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:34

I sort of agree with you regarding your point about your answer being removed but not the two others; those two answers are arguably better than yours, but only slightly.

The problem with your answer (and I'm guessing why it was converted to a comment) is that it's not clear; you haven't really explained yourself. Let's look at it:

You can use your SQL command to move to a particular record and fetch your data from that point.

I think I can infer what you're talking about -- use Limit in the SQL statement... right? -- but that's because I already know the answer to the question. The Op could not be expected to understand you. In particular, your choice of phrase move to is confusing here. It might have helped your answer to provide some code to illustrate your points.

Do take another look at the How to Answer wiki.

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  • I do not not agree with you. The question was quite vague itself, what type of fetching we are doing. My question implied any logic that can take you somewhere for example `select from mytable where id >=10' or anything literally. The question is not clear in itself. Why should I be paying for answering it? – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 21:46
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    @Dave The response to a vague question should not be to post an unclear answer. You should ask for clarification and/or downvote and/or move on. – user154510 Jun 22 '12 at 21:52
  • so all answers are basically wrong, there is no accepted answer yet. Should all be changed to comments? – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 21:54
  • @Dave I agree that the question was somewhat vague (more detail would have helped for sure); but it's not too bad. But even the example you gave just now would have been very helpful; I don't think your answer would have been removed if you had provided something like that. – McGarnagle Jun 22 '12 at 21:55
  • @Dave it's a gray area which answers should/shouldn't be removed by moderators. The solution is to provide clear, detailed answers so that you don't fall into the gray area. – McGarnagle Jun 22 '12 at 21:56
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    @Dave Please note: answers are not removed for being incorrect, they are removed for being "low quality" or for "not answering the question". – McGarnagle Jun 22 '12 at 22:02
  • I think if a mod did it, I am ok with that. No harm. But if it is act of sabotage as my previous question and answer was seriously downvoted, I just wanted to know if this is act of sabotage. Other than that I am ok. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:02
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    @Dave: so far as I can tell, the two events are completely unrelated. See my answer. – Shog9 Jun 22 '12 at 22:04
  • @dbaseman so my answer was low quality and did not answer the problem itself, good to know lol. May be all of my answer are like that. I am hoping they will all be deleted one by one. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 22:32
  • @dbaseman, if you read the question ` Am I able to do this using this function?`, did not I answer that? – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 12:19

In the first case, you are answering your own question saying something already reported from another answer. It is a too basic question, to answer yourself. It is also suspicious that you asked the question, and answer it in one hour limit; it is probably a sign that you asked the question without trying too much to get an answer yourself.

In the second case, you are not answering the question, as you are not saying which function should be used, or which code the OP should use.

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  • we ppl take thing too serious sometimes perhaps. If I know an answer with limited info that I have, that is a valid answer. Which function should he use, do I know what type of data he has? 2 I did research before posting and apparently you did not before answering this question. @yannis trying to get what you meant but it not clear to me. – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 23:09
  • @Dave Don't worry about it, I was talking about something that's not there anymore... ;) – yannis Jun 22 '12 at 23:11
  • ok I did not notice your comment before, sorry – Dave Jun 22 '12 at 23:12
  • @Dave If you have limited information, you are not answering, if you are not giving all the possible answers. Guessing is not answering. – kiamlaluno Jun 23 '12 at 3:20
  • check my comment to @casper. I did answer what he asked for Am I able to do this using this function? and I said No. – Dave Jun 23 '12 at 3:27

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