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People Reached stat has currently the below criteria for answers:

  • Answers - Views of the parent question for answers that are:
    • Non-deleted AND
    • Score > 0 AND
    • Also meets one or more of the following criteria:
      • In the top 3 answers OR
      • Is the Accepted Answer OR
      • Score >5 OR
      • Has at least 20% of the total vote count

I disagree the "OR Score >5" criteria. This allows people "lifting" with popularity of the top rated answer, even when posted (much) later. More than often the quality of such posts is questionable too. Here are some examples of such answers (all posted more than a year after the popular question was asked):

Did those posts significantly contribute? Unlikely. Basically, those users see an old popular Q&A with, say, 100K views and then basically repeat a one line summary or a minor part of the answer, which then get upvoted 5 times in a month by nitwits blindly upvoting all answers because they absolutely liked the question in its entirety, and then those posts suddenly "reached" 100K people. Something's definitely wrong here. Their reach must be calculated relative to the other posts. That could be done based on a.o. the total vote count.

So, there are several options to prevent this lifting on other's success:

  1. Drop the "OR Score >5" criteria.

    • Also meets one or more of the following criteria:
      • In the top 3 answers OR
      • Is the Accepted Answer OR
      • Has at least 20% of the total vote count
  2. Make it AND with 20% of total vote count.

    • Also meets one or more of the following criteria:
      • In the top 3 answers OR
      • Is the Accepted Answer OR
      • Score >5 AND Has at least 20% of the total vote count

While I'm at it now, in my humble opinion, the "In the top 3 answers" criteria is also questionable, particularly if the popular question has had only 1-2 answers for years. A calculation based on total vote count and/or the post date would then still be better.

The alternative would be to take a step back and simply lock the Q in some way to prevent those kind of answers in first place, or perhaps (auto)flag for duplicate content, but that's unlikely going to be a trivial task.

  • I can't even understand what this request means. Surely popular posts should increase your people reached score - because you reach more people... – Rory Alsop Jul 20 '15 at 13:55
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    Ahh - now I understand you. Sorry - your post didn't make it clear that's what you meant. If it could get the 'views reached since it was posted' that would be much better :-) – Rory Alsop Jul 20 '15 at 14:11
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    I edited my question so that no one needs to click through the examples. – BalusC Jul 20 '15 at 14:18
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    Good spot. Although I'm not sure the reached means that much, it certainly means even less in the situations you outline. – Bill Woodger Jul 20 '15 at 16:34

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