I recently saw a question where someone asked for StackOverflow users to convert some Javascript code to PHP, since he didn't know how. Unsurprisingly, this questions was downvoted and flagged, as it's not what the site is for.

Would it be unethical and/or against the rules for a user to post a comment, offering to complete the requested task outside of SO (assuming it's a valid question, not a question such as a homework problem)? In essence, the user is offering to consult for the original poster and solve his problem.

  • It may seem like this is different because the question is invalid, but the problem is that encouraging this kind of behavior, regardless of the question's validity, is still generally the wrong choice. – Pollyanna Feb 18 '16 at 21:31

My experience has been that any comments or questions offering up help or information for a fee are generally disliked by the community, receiving downvotes, flags, and comments dismissing the individual offering their services.

The underlying concern is that you'd then start seeing experts withholding information and help, and start seeing a lot more help-for-fee posts, which would have an overall negative effect on the community.

That you would only do this on questions which don't belong on the site probably makes little difference in how the community will react.

There's no strict policy that covers the entire network, however, so the communities are individually able to promote or discourage that kind of behavior.

If you are interested in trying it out, have a discussion on the per-site meta, or simply try it out and see how the community reacts.

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