Sometimes there are users that post questions and immediately with that answers that are just meant to attract votes (in the positive way: an opinion of the community).

As an example here. OP posts a feature request, and immediately after that two answers that just take one of the implementation details in the feature request in order to vote on (almost like a poll).

What should we do with such answers? Are they beneficial in any way? Should we let them stay or flag them? If so, how?

  • Related, referring to per-site metas: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/233908/…
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 12:16
  • 1
    That is about the questions, not the answers. The question is okay. Commented May 12, 2016 at 12:18
  • True, but so many of those questions are followed by the type of answers that you describe.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 12:20
  • 1
    Let's add two answers, one for "deleting them" and another one for "keeping them" ;-) Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


When I see someone essentially pre-posting every side of an issue (as in a poll), I generally remove the answers and leave them with this guidance:

I removed the polling-style answers you posted in favor of an open discussion. If you have thoughts on the issue yourself, please feel free to post it as an answer, but it is generally better to let everyone have a voice to express their own views rather pre-posting all sides of the conversation yourself.

It's not difficult to infer what the community wants from the conversation while allowing for the possibility that there's an issue we have not considered. Polling is not a good substitute for discussion. Thanks.

If you see this style of polling, you should flag the answers to have them removed with similar guidance.

Are poll-style questions acceptable on meta sites?

I can appreciate the desire in someone to step up and elicit decisive action with expediency, but that doesn't mean they should essentially control the entire conversation in one voice. That last bit about open discussion often (very often) raises issues that would have been lost in a simple poll. Even the simplest issues can involve more than simple yes/no answer. You just don't know until everyone has a say. No one person should be allowed to lay out all sides of an issue themselves.

  • 4
    Download this whitepaper to learn how to save your company a billion dollars! Choice 1: Yes! I love saving money! Choice 2: No, I want my company to go bankrupt.
    – JDB
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 17:24

They aren't answers. They are poll options, directly taken from the original question.

And the problem with poll options is that you want each option to have equal visibility. Any voting and further real answers being posted by other users would mess this up and interfere with the poll you're intending to have. A fact which could even make it awkward for some to add their own answers/responses to the question.

Long story short, it doesn't fit the Q&A format, and I'd personally flag them as "not an answer".

Note that there is nothing against self-answered questions. But then make them good answers to a good question.

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