EDIT After reading my own pcst again, I do not think it is constructive. I can't delete it so I flagged it as not constructive. This issue is too minor to be discussed in meta IMO.

I'm sorry if this was asked before, I've looked for it and couldn't find it.

Recently I've been running into the following scenerio:

  1. I look at a recently asked low-quality question. I vote to close it and do not post an answer, usually because it is not-constructive or it is a duplicate.
  2. I comment with the fix to the problem, prompting the user it was very easy to find with a search engine or leave a link to a duplicate question.
  3. Users come in, a few minutes after I voted to close the question and left the comment and use that comment to formulate a low quality answer, or posts something along the lines of that comment as their own.
  4. Original poster sees that answer, before/after the question is closed and up-votes it/accepts it, giving the guy who put the answer rep.

I've been noticing this pattern quite a lot recently. Here is the most recent example although I've seen it at least a dozen times before.

What can I do to improve in my approach to the problem?

In general, what should be done in such cases?

  • 6
    Personally, your comment seems a bit rude...
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 20 '13 at 1:10
  • 5
    It's all null and void if the question remains closed and is eventually deleted - the rep changes from answers/accepts are undone.
    – Blorgbeard
    Mar 20 '13 at 1:12
  • @Seth It is ruder than usual in this case and I probably should have been more polite, this is about 10th time I ran into it these last couple of days, usually, the users who answer gain positive rep. Mar 20 '13 at 1:12
  • @Blorgbeard Sometimes questions provide a more "searchable" title or a better phrased question that is still asked some-place else. If you believe this is the correct approach feel free to post it as an answer. Mar 20 '13 at 1:20

You could still submit the vote to close, and provide the solution as an answer, rather than a comment.

  • 6
    It's generally frowned upon to answer a question you know is a dupe.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Mar 20 '13 at 1:11
  • 3
    Wouldn't that promote the bad behavior though? If the user learns that he can get good answers when posting bad questions, won't it persist? Mar 20 '13 at 1:11
  • 3
    @BenjaminGruenbaum: If they continue to post crappy questions, they will eventually be banned or suspended. Downvotes, closing, and deleting are the ways to tell users their questions are poor.
    – nneonneo
    Mar 20 '13 at 1:12
  • 3
    @BenjaminGruenbaum, all questions deserve good answers, even if they're crappy questions. Besides helping the immediate user, who might be writing a crappy answer because of any number of reasons like poor English skills, they will also help those who come behind. Mar 20 '13 at 2:04

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