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I'm starting now to use the Stack Exchange sites and didn't find any discussion about this issue.

Imagine the hypothetical situation:

I'm trying to contribute to the Linux Kernel. I find some trouble and ask for help in Stack Overflow (or Programmers, Unix & Linux, etc).

My question is a yes/no type. Something like:

Can I make this with that function?

I'm expecting for a yes/no answer with some explanation. Then, a user named Linus Torvalds appears and post a answer

Yes

Man, He is Linus Torvalds. Certainly, this is the answer that should be marked as correct, even without any explanation, even if I have a "No" answer with a lot of explanation, right?

So, here are some questions:

  1. Am I right in mark the right answer based only on the famous name who answered?
  2. If yes, How can I know that the profile is THE Linus Torvalds and not a fake? The Stack Exchange has some "verified account" badge or something like this?

The situation presented here is overstated, but something like that could happen to any of the names on that list, so I think that may be relevant.

In short, how we can deal with famous (and possibilty of fake famous) profiles in SE sites?

UPDATE

All the scenario it's more clear to me now, after all comments and answers here.

From what I understand, the ecosystem of SE sites takes care to prevent a possible fake profile to post an incorrect answer that will screw it up. So, if the profile is real or not, simply does not matter.

Just some observations:

  • I know that everybody could make mistakes, but you must agree that it's complicated to say to a "genius" that he is wrong (assuming the profile of the "famous" guy is real and assuming that the answer is wrong);
  • Sometimes, we can test the answers to decide which is correct, but sometimes we deal with some theoretical things that depends largely on personal knowledge. Think about a question in Theoretical Computer Science SE that was answered by a book writer in the same theme and things like that. I agree that can't be decisive, but I believe that personal profile should be taken in account sometimes. (In this case the advice of @Mr.Bultitude it's a good approach, though laborious)
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    Regarding verified accounts, see: Does Stack Exchange have a “Verified Account” feature? – Fish Below the Ice Jun 10 '15 at 15:35
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    Am I right in mark the right answer based only on the famous name who answered? No. – Mr. Bultitude Jun 10 '15 at 15:42
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    FYI when I made a second account with permission (while writing a stack exchange course) the moment I posted from it I got a ton of comments saying "stop pretending to be Kate Gregory" - I think communities know who their "names" are and can defend them. – Kate Gregory Jun 10 '15 at 15:46
  • FFS your example fills me with all the rage of the internets combined. – Won't Jun 10 '15 at 15:52
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    Well, on the bottom line, even famous people can give bad answers (even more so the guy from the example, I guess ;-)). It is the answer you judge and not the poster. If it really only says "yes" without any explanation, it is an awful answer without any way to reasonably proof it's actual value. Downvote at any costs. Yet, of course noone stops you from dowvoting and accepting simultaneously (even if quite unusual), those actions have different meanings. But all in all, a name does not make a post so practically it just doesn't matter if the poster is famous or not. – Christian Rau Jun 10 '15 at 16:04
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    Are you... that James?? I don't believe it. – jonsca Jun 11 '15 at 0:21
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    @jonsca I second your suspicions... – James Jun 11 '15 at 13:06
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You'd be unwise to ingest an answer that says:

Yes

.. in the absence of anything else within the answer to defend that. If the answer is correct, and the assertions it makes are vetted, then it doesn't really matter if it's the real 'Linus' or not :)

If Linus came to the site and posted something that terse, he'd not be well-received. He'd be screaming at us via email about stupid length requirements.

We imply, through the appearance and UI of the site that if you ask an on-topic question:

  • It will receive at least one answer, in a reasonable amount of time (sometimes it takes a while, but folks generally know when they're in need of rare knowledge)
  • That answer will be vetted by people that know the subject

It's the second part that sort of makes the scenario you describe moot, you don't have chops enough to answer something unless you can explain the why behind it sufficiently.

There are exceptions:

Will printf() print things?

Uh, yes, but that hardly requires someone that routinely swims through kernel innards to answer ;) This is easily answered by searching, or just trying it and seeing what happens.

That's not to say that terse answers can't also be useful, sometimes a link to the documentation with a short example is all that's needed. But, your question is pretty much rooted in knowledge that isn't commonly known to be wrong being passed off as correct by a fake authority. If it's wrong, or uncommon and unsourced, it's also very likely to be buried under a pile of down-votes as the .PHONY is revealed :)

  • The exception is not so exceptional: a "yes" answer would likely be supported by a one-line code fragment demonstrating the use. (Assuming for now that the question itself is valid.) – user259867 Jun 10 '15 at 16:41
  • @HomegrownTomato Then it's still giving more than "Yes". printf("Yes\r\n"); would be more clever, if you have to be that terse :P – Tim Post Jun 10 '15 at 16:42
  • I think that was @HomegrownTomato's point; even when answering trivial questions, a simple "yes" is still not a good answer. – Mr. Bultitude Jun 10 '15 at 17:15
  • As I recall, “I don't remember” was in fact pretty well received. – Gilles Jun 10 '15 at 17:36
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Certainly, this is the answer that should be marked as correct, even without any explanation, even if I have a "No" answer with a lot of explanation, right?

Wrong. That's not what Stack Exchange is for! Explanation is vital for a good answer. And even the most famous developers of systems, and even the inventors of those systems, can be wrong sometimes. If they fail to explain themselves, they deserve downvotes. If they only post a one-word or one-line answer, they probably deserve a NAA flag. Who cares if they're famous if they're not willing to be productive members of the SE community?

Stack Exchange is for learning, not for appeals to authority.

Am I right in mark the right answer based only on the famous name who answered?

Again, no. No way.

If all else is equal, i.e. both answers are well-sourced and well-explained but contradict each other, and you know one is by an expert and the other may or may not be, then you may put more weight on the one you know to be by an expert. But even then, why not test both answers to see which is right?

If yes, How can I know that the profile is THE Linus Torvalds and not a fake?

Since the answer is no, there's not much reason to address this part. If being famous doesn't afford much of an advantage, then there's not much reason to impersonate a famous person and little harm if you do. But if you really want to know whether someone is who they say, you can check their profile; real famous people will often have their photo there, a link to their blog, etc. And on their website, you can probably do some Googling to see if they mention being a member of Stack Overflow (or whatever SE site).

you must agree that it's complicated to say to a "genius" that he is wrong

Not really:

an asteroid, Mr. President.

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