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Answer that only contains a link to jsFiddle

What should be done about jsFiddle only answers? Whilst jsFiddle is great, even expected for relevant tags it still suffers from all the usual problems of link only answers and the consensus seems to be that jsFiddle only answer should be handled as link only still. It seems to be a losing battle fixing it on the social engineering side though, but technical solutions have been ruled out too, even though those behind it seem helpful and responsive. (Embed and mirror automatically would have been my preferred option here)

I put together a data explorer query, based on an older query to find some of these. Some of them have been fixed since the last data dump. Some are now deleted, but there's an awful lot still around in that list, even some with comments asking to expand them into a full answer. Towards the end of the list some of them get better, but a lot still have no text with them at all.

That's an awful lot of answers - clearly too much for a crude mass-flagging attempt. What should be done? What can be done? The idea of manually fixing 5000 answers is not attractive, I don't much like the idea of a mass-purge (although flagging new questions/answers seems sensible), a URL ban hurts everyone even those who write good answers and give a fiddle.

Maybe a language specific quality filter is needed? (E.g. block short+no code+jsfiddle link with a suitable message).

  • @sixlettervariables - I don't think a 5000 answer delete is a good plan either - jsFiddle is just too handy and quite a lot of those answers are upvoted and accepted - the best/only answer and good SO specific question related knowledge within the link.
    – Flexo
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Would anyone object if we just delete Fiddle-only answers (or convert them to comments) that have zero or negative votes where the question also has other answers that have been upvoted or accepted? This would cut down the list a bit, making it easier to evaluate what's left. We could modify the SEDE query to include vote count and accepted status to find them.

(I'm just throwing this idea out to see if it sticks. Feel free to downvote or comment if you think it's a bad idea to indiscriminately delete potentially helpful answers.)

  • 3
    Starting with 0 or negative answers is a great place to start. You can always pick up the pace and wipe out the rest later...
    – jmort253
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:21
  • 2
    If you do it on the data dump I think you'll want to ignore everything that's been edited since the data was dumped. It seemed a few did get improved and they should not get caught up in any actions even if the score of the post still isn't great.
    – Flexo
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:27
  • 4
    Would it be possible to convert them into comments instead? While they're certainly not answers, the fiddles still might be helpful to someone.
    – Dennis
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:30
  • @Dennis Yes, good point. Moderators can convert them to comments instead of deleting them. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:33
  • 3
    @Flexo Yeah, that's a good point too. I'd lean heavily towards only deleting posts that are link-only and low-score. Deleting answers for low score alone would be just like moderators deleting wrong answers, which we don't normally do. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:37
  • 3
    Link-only answers are still link-only answers, and it's particularly bad when the links don't describe what they are pointing to. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 14:44

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