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Have a look at these Stack Overflow questions, here and here. Doesn't it fall under the following flag category?

Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results.

And yet a user having access to moderator tools is answering the question instead of putting it on hold or raising a flag.

So, is it the time to rethink about how moderation privileges should be granted? Or some kind of flagging mechanism should be introduced for users belonging to 10K+ reputation category?

Have a look at this Stack Overflow question. What's wrong with it?

Reading all the answers and comments, Stack Overflow seems to be following double standards. Rules are there, but not for everyone. It's totally on luck that either your not-so-good question will be accepted by the community or not.

One more for example.

  • 7
    That's a borderline question; obviously that user thought it was worth answering. – michaelb958--Reinstate Monica Aug 2 '13 at 6:16
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    "Some kind of flagging mechanism should be introduced for users belonging to moderator category" wat? – BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 2 '13 at 6:50
  • why down votes? – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 7:04
  • @TryingTobemyselfRahul a note about downvoting on Meta – Samuel Liew Aug 2 '13 at 7:35
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    "its totally on luck that either your not so good question will be accepted by the community or not". That is a rather unfair conclusion. Luck does not keep your question open. Clarity plays a major part. And in several of the examples you've quoted, clarity could have been better. And if you feel they have been unfairly closed, roll up your sleeves. Improve them and vote to reopen. – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 9:56
  • And yet a user having access to moderator tools is answering the question instead of putting it on hold or raising flag. I don't see how that connects to the user's 10K+ access to moderator tools at all. Are you suggesting that if he didn't have moderator tools, he wouldn't have answered the question? Or just that in that case it wouldn't have bothered you that he did? – David Robinson Aug 2 '13 at 12:09
  • no I'm suggesting if such an user doesn't bother about the community rules, he shouldn't be moderating at all – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 12:14
  • You should do nothing . I mean nothing , really .... if you think question should be closed than flag/cast close vote and for answer just flag – NullPoiиteя Aug 2 '13 at 12:20
  • That's the whole point, rule is there but its not sure that it will be followed. – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 12:27
10

I get what you're trying to say, but the problem is that there is no real consensus with regards to the underlying issue.

There is a large part of the community that is of the opinion that, if a question is clear and answerable, it deserves an answer. Look at the tons of regex questions for example. Many of those don't contain more than a request for a regex to achieve a certain result.

One could argue, as you do, that such questions should show own effort. They should answer the question "what have you tried?". And I'm with you there. But then again there is a significant part of the community saying "what point is there in seeing a bunch of failed results? The question is clear without them". And they do somewhat have a point.

So how far do you go in enforcing the idea that the OP must show own effort? Where do you draw the line? The somewhat rotten thing is that, for questions which are somewhat unique and difficult to solve, the point is more easily made that effort needs to be shown. After all, you're asking quite the effort from us otherwise. And yet for the low-hanging fruit, they are so simple to answer that showing effort is not always seen as useful or necessary. Add to that, that there will be a large factor of "hey, I know the answer to this one" there as well, and you'll understand why answers come in.

Until you've figured out how to handle that issue (which I'm hard-pressed to believe will happen), I see no point in punishing users, of any rep level, for providing answers to them. If you feel they should be closed, by all means vote accordingly. And if you feel some are bad enough to be deleted, do the same. But that's about as much as can be done to get the message across I'd say.

  • But then again there is a significant part of the community saying "what point is there is seeing a bunch of failed results? The question is clear without them", so don't you think "Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results." should be changed accordingly? – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 7:49
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    No. Because I'm with you there. I'm on the "show some effort" side. And I will vote accordingly. But that's just me. And I can somewhat see where the other side is coming from. – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 7:50
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    The reason is there because certain questions are virtually impossible to answer correctly without seeing this information. Those are the ones that should be closed, and this reason gives us a way. But just because a close reason exists doesn't mean it has to be applied all the time. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 7:50
  • @CodyGray "Just because a close reason exists doesn't mean it has to be applied all the time." Don't you think its being bias with new users? – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 7:54
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    The problem with that though @CodyGray, is that it gets iffy when you have users coming to Meta asking "why was it closed?", and we say in choir "zero effort". Yet here are entire tags of questions which escape that. It makes my consistency-sensor itch. :) – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 7:54
  • @Bart I don't know, I don't really see the problem. I don't see very many question closing complaints here on Meta that are borderline. The one or two I've seen actually got re-opened by the community after a few edits. Trying does count for something. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 7:59
  • same type of questions this this – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 8:00
  • We know the type of questions @TryingTobemyselfRahul. The point is that, if there is no consensus, or even if the consensus is "that's just fine", there's no point to your proposed "punishment". – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 8:02
  • So the standars set by the community are falling apart – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 8:03
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    A site the size of SO being the perfect reflection of its own rules and regulation is a utopia to begin with. – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 8:04
5

I don't see the problem here. Whether a question deserves to be closed is inherently subjective, that's why we allow people to vote on it.

Obviously the person who answered that question didn't think so. He obviously thought it was answerable in its current state, and put forth an answer to back up that claim. He's perfectly entitled to that opinion. We certainly don't need to "do" anything with him, or others like him.

If you think the question deserves to be closed, then you should cast a vote of your own to close it. If you don't have close vote privileges, then raise a flag so that the community can review it and decide.

  • In that case I think partiality is there, because the same type of question gets closed and others not. And in a community like SO there shouldn't be any partiality, everyone should get equal chances – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 8:15
  • That type of "fairness" is a dangerous path. It ends with an automated script closing all of the questions. Obviously if enough effort is put forth, the problem can be solved without having to ask a question. And if it can't, well then the question is impossible and thus also off-topic here. Before making accusations of bias, find actual evidence. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:17
  • find actual evidence? you want some?? – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 8:20
  • Err, yes? I don't know. Is that a trick question? – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:25
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    The difference between those questions and the one you've brought up here is that they do not contain detailed descriptions of the problem to be solved. There's no way that someone could write the code for them, even if they wanted to, because the parameters are unclear or ambiguous. The MySQL question is quite specific, despite asking for someone to do the work for him. If you're going to get away with that type of question, you need to be as detailed as possible with your requirements. Having a large code block also helped. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:34
  • The 1st question has detailed description of the problem to be solved and it is no different, what about this – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 8:40
  • It isn't detailed enough for me to solve. C# and WinForms are my areas of expertise. I couldn't write an answer if I wanted to. On that next one, it consists almost entirely of a link to an external resource. If that page changed or went down, the question would be meaningless. Questions need to be self-contained. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:54
  • Do you argue though, that if the question was made self-contained, with a clear explanation of the desired effect to be achieved, the question would be fine? – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 8:55
  • Here's an even better example: Concept behind these 4 lines of tricky C++ code. That one is in the "hot questions" list, has a score of ~+130, but doesn't demonstrate anything that has been "tried". I'm not sure how it could—it's asking if someone can explain how the code works. Obviously he doesn't know. The point is it doesn't require that explanation to be answered. The problem description is clear and there is a self-contained example. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:56
  • @Bart Yeah, probably. I mean, what I'm envisioning in my mind is the question that I would write. So that might not be entirely fair. But the point is you have to evaluate questions independently on their own merit. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 8:56
  • @CodyGray "It isn't detailed enough for me to solve. C# and WinForms are my areas of expertise. I couldn't write an answer if I wanted to. " I'm not being personal or rude and its off-topic here too, but If you can't answer that question as it it in its current state, thn neither c# or winform is your area of expertise, or you can't understand question which are not well written – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 9:09
  • @CodyGray Have a look at this question whats wrong with it? – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 9:24
  • Not sure. Obviously it's not a fantastic question, but I would not have voted to close that one. (Not that I would upvote it either.) Robert obviously disagrees with me. Disagreement != bias. Robert isn't discriminating against that person for any reason, he just doesn't think the question is clear enough. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 9:36
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    @CodyGray I'm not talking about disagreement among mods, what I mean is if some questions are allowed than all similar question should be allowed, otherwise its BIAS – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 10:06
3

Sometimes experienced users will have the time, energy and inclination to answer questions from clueless newbies rather than just down voting and closing.

Sure it could be closed, the OP has shown zero input into the problem, it's a "gimme teh codez" question. It really should be closed even though it has up voted answers. But that doesn't mean it can't be answered, and it would seem that a little bit of effort from that experienced user has triggered a couple of not-so-experienced users to also submit answers. At the end of the day that is what the site is about - quality answers, prefereably to quality questions.

You can still cast a close vote, and even leave a comment explaining to the OP how they could improve their question.

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    "a little bit of effort from that experienced user has triggered a couple of not-so-experienced users to also submit answers." and also motivated them to support this type of questions – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 9:15
2

If it can be reasonably answered, just let it be answered. After all, isn't SO a Q & A site?

Plus, not one but three different users thought it could be answered.

0

Only one 10K+ reputation user answers a question that doesn't mean all 10K+ reputation users follows under same category.

On Stack Exchange's each site, all users are granted same for basic general activity like editing post, asking question and answering a question ( Ignoring ban for any task ).

And if you feel to flag any post, you can always do it your self.

-1

After reading the other answers here, I think the flag should be removed. There's no point in having it if it's nothing more than a lottery of who will handle your flag. It's not a matter of interpretation, it's a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with this "rule".

  • 100% true...Agree – Trying Tobemyself Rahul Aug 2 '13 at 9:20
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    That is utterly backwards. Just because something is not blindly enforced by the whole community doesn't mean we should throw out the criterion completely. If that were the case, we should reopen all book-list questions as well, because the C++ one is. – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 10:00
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    @Bart Either you set up rules and the community follows them, or you don't set up rules. If I have to wonder if today John will see my flag and accept it, or if Jane will see my flag and reject it, there's something wrong. Anyway, regardless of what happens with the flag, I'll just stop using it. – Stijn Aug 2 '13 at 10:06
  • By and large the system is consistent. There are however tag-communities which, based on their experience, have decided that they can support certain questions just fine because the broad requirements we try to impose don't really apply. Do you really need to see failed SQL queries or regex examples if the question is perfectly clear? It seems they have settled on a "no" answer. And if there is any debate about that, they can come to Meta and have it. That doesn't necessarily imply they are horribly wrong, nor does it imply the rule has no merit. Throwing it away for consistency is nonsense. – Bart Aug 2 '13 at 10:10
  • So when it is impossible to achieve absolute consistency, is it better to have some degree of inconsistency, or to just throw the baby out with the bathwater and allow any question that comes in? This is the real world. Not everything is black and white. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 10:12
  • @CodyGray Sure, you can have your inconsistency if you prefer that. Like I said, I'll just stop using the flag. – Stijn Aug 2 '13 at 10:14
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    Yes. If you see something that is bad and should be flagged, by all means do not flag it out of some irrational fear that it might be declined and some inconsistency might be introduced. Err wait. So what? So what if your flag is declined? Is it the end of the world if someone disagrees with you? – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 10:17
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    @CodyGray Since you brought in the real world, here's an example. Imagine your neighbour playing loud music. You call the police, and the officer picking up the phone says "You know what, I don't agree with that law that says you can't do that, so I'm not going to do anything about it." Yes, I'm bitter about it. You're asking me to continue flagging while I'm fully aware that my flags could be rejected because of the opinions the flag handler holds. – Stijn Aug 2 '13 at 10:23
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    That's not what's happening. No one's disagreeing with the closure reasons, they're disagreeing with whether specific questions are in violation of those rules. It would be like if the officer came out and said "Well I'm sorry, that music is loud, but it doesn't sound like to me that it is higher than the maximum decibel level specified in the ordinance." So he won't do anything about it. Except maybe knock on their door and leave a comment—err I mean ask them to turn it down. That definitely happens in the real world, and it happens here. It's a judgment call for each individual question. – Cody Gray Aug 2 '13 at 10:27
  • I wouldn't worry about individual declined flags. I have a large number of them myself. We only care about that if a significant number of your flags are really bad, not if we disagree with you on particular calls. Our mission here is to create and maintain a high-quality repository of information that benefits a large number of people. That's what's important, not any specific rules. I wouldn't get hung up on specific flag decisions, or abandon flagging altogether, but keep the larger reasons why you're flagging something in mind. – Brad Larson Aug 2 '13 at 15:15

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