This question is very low-quality. As the comments state, the code provided does not compile. Furthermore, it fails to ask (in my opinion) a specific question, show any additional attempted code (though in this case that might be fuzzy), or even describe expected results.

Yet the question has 7 answers (0 votes each).

This question should not remain on SO: it can't help future visitors to the site, and might show up as a result for a casting search, leading to no real answers for the searcher.

For the purpose of my question, define "bad" as a combination of unsalvageable and not demonstrating minimal knowledge. Answers to these questions generally don't solve the intended problem (since the problem isn't clear), and are probably more useful when presented as a code review than actual solutions.

This question's quality deserves more than downvoting, in my opinion. Is it enough to merely flag it as low quality? Or should it go straight to moderator attention?

  • @gnat Thanks for the new tag. I don't see this as a dupe, but if you're suggesting that questions like the one I mention be flagged as OT (or any other flag), I suppose that a closed question is a closed question, regardless of how it came to be closed. Is that what you're getting at?
    – Trojan
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 9:24
  • yes, I believe that low quality questions should be closed - and eventually cleaned up. For cases like you describe, when question and all answers have score <=0, there is even an automatic process that does this pretty quickly, called roomba
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 9:36

4 Answers 4


The linked question is a certain type of bad, I agree. Not only did the OP not post a working demo, they also just asked "why it didn't work".

What is worst about the linked question is that the OP asked this one question and seemingly abandoned the site or their account. They have 1 rep (since it cannot go negative) and have not been seen since they asked.

It would almost be nice if questions where the OP has 1 rep, the question has negative votes, there is no accepted answer nor answer with upvotes, and the OP hasn't been seen since they asked the question, if those questions could be eligible for automated deletion.

I see this case from time to time, where the OP asks one low quality question, and then completely abandons their account.

What is curious is why? Why would someone waste their own time like that? Hopefully they at least learned something, but perhaps they were unable to fully understand the system. I think this user possibly did not understand that they could edit their question once it was asked.

Jeff Atwood would say that the exchange does not need users like this, and sometimes it is hard to disagree.

  • Good suggestion. Single-bad-question users are common; do you think common enough for a feature request?
    – Trojan
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 21:57

Fix-my-code questions often attract reputation hunters that hope at least for an upvote from OP for finding a missing comma etc.

This question should be closed as off-topic because of lack of minimal understanding. Vote to close. If you don't have the privilege, simply flag that the question should be closed. Hopefully, it will be deleted soon.

  • Dunno why this answer was upvoted. this mantra "you should vote to close" DOESN'T WORK. One can close only 5 questions a day, while there are thousands. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 19:00

One thing that hasn't happened is downvoting all those answers. If an answer is not really answering the question and is not suitable as in this case, it should be downvoted.

Downvoting unsuitable or plainly bad answers seems to be underutilised. But it's a good tool. Works especially well in case of reputation hunter. They tend to remove answers with negative scores rather quickly. Hopefully they learn from it too.

  • 2
    1. A downvote would cost you a precious reputation point. So, You can write 100500 posts on Meta encouraging people to use downvotes, but it wouldn't change the thing even a little. 2. Getting a downvote, a rep-whore would ask immediately for the reason, with an air of injured innocence. And most likely would get a comforting upvote in reward. Because upvote costs you nothing. One have to be ESPECIALLY careful when downvoting such answers. Because you are one but they are seven. So, they can comfort each other. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    SO account: Votes Cast 149 down. Why I am not surprised? To talk of downvotes on Mets is cheaper than actual voting, isn't it? Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 18:56
  • @YourCommonSense You're relentless negativity is simply astounding. And not really constructive. Even your answer here is not a proposal to do something about the problem in question but just a rant.
    – Szymon
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 20:22
  • 1
    Before starting for the solution, one have to face the reality first. But as long as this Meta bunch would discuss imaginary SO, nothing would change on a real one. As long as you think that it's enough to post a suggestion on Meta and everything will become all right, as long nothing would be actually changed. So, before suggesting useless proposals, one have to understand the problem. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 20:29

This is exactly how the Stack Overflow works. Reputation is the only real value here.

There is no reward for closing bad questions but always a chance to get an upvote or two for an answer. What would you choose, %username%?

As a matter of fact, the worse the question is, the more points in can bring. Bad question always attracts a rep-whunter, because it require no hard research but just a quote from some gospel to answer. Yet this answer is comprehensible by the majority - and thus get more upvotes than a through answer to a complex question, as the latter require a knowledgeable person to vote.

You can't do a thing against a tide, actually. Just get used to it.

  • 4
    The reward for closing them is a more useful site. As a comment on the question says, "7 answers and all miss the point. Only correct answer is 'This code does not compile and give results you said. Please post the real code.'" We are a mature enough community to value reputation less and stop missing the point.
    – Trojan
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 21:54
  • 2
    @trojansdestroy unfortunately, nobody ever cares for the site. Even site itself. Their only concern is to reward users with as many points, badges and hats, as possible. Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 21:58
  • 2
    Oh, no. Speak not of maturity. SO is just a children's game to get the points. In practice it is. When you get used with this meta site, you'll see it yourself. Also... there are much more hungry newcomers than you could imagine. Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 22:01
  • 6
    A lot of people care for the site. Just because we're outnumbered by people who only seem to care about getting answers to their questions (and I don't blame them for that, I just wish they'd learn how to ask better) doesn't mean no one cares. Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 23:24
  • 2
    There is no reward for closing bad questions, I find quite rewarding helping to keep a site clean. Gee, how I miss this feature in the rest of the Internet.
    – brasofilo
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 1:54
  • 3
    @BilltheLizard Sorry, but you don't get the point. The question asked here is about only one who asked but seven who answered. This is the problem. And those few who cares can't do anything as long as site rules encourage fast and dirty answers. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 6:30
  • 2
    @YourCommonSense The few who care can delete these non-questions and make the rep-hunters' work for naught.
    – Trojan
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 8:25
  • 1
    @YourCommonSense ... just like what happened right now Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 11:52
  • 1
    @trojansdestroy What site you are talking about? Is it Stack Overflow? If so, these few failed then. A queue for closing (and you need to close before deleting) is 100k questions long. and these few can close only 8 questions each, because site won't let them more. Face the real SO. It's quite different from one you imagine. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 18:45

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