Is it possible to guide people to the 'correct' use of the site? Well this is what the guide lines are for.

Let's get this stackoverflow question.

IMHO it is a poor question. I added a comment and flagged it. The question received a bunch of answers and comments, with correct references, code snippets and link. And one downvote.

Now my actual question. A downvoted question (how many downvotes?) should be answareable? Or it could be more useful to deny adding answers, and to allow adding comments to improve the question and flags to send a warning to the moderators?

  • 4
    To stop answers from being posted on a poor question, we have closure. That suffices I'd say. Those who want to answer a poor question before that happens run the risk of their content being deleted together with the question. – Bart May 23 '13 at 13:08
  • If that happens often enough (an upvoted answer gets deleted with the poor question, and one looses all the associated reputation), you learn not to answer such questions ;) – Oded May 23 '13 at 13:11

Yes, even a downvoted question should be answareable. It's not because one user thinks it's a bad question, the OP doesn't deserve an answer.

You can always modify the question to help the OP, or close it if it's incomplete.

In case of the question you linked, that question is incomplete and I would close it. Once the OP updates the question, it can be reopened.


Downvotes doesn't mean it's unanswerable, not necessarily. There's a high correlation, of course, but it's not always true. Downvotes can also be when the question just isn't a good one. Answerable, but not good (no display of prior research/etc).

If you feel that a question should be closed by one of the five close reasons, then don't answer it (flag to close instead). If you don't think that this is the case, go ahead and write an awesome answer. Who knows, you may even get this shiny badge!

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