The pattern goes : high question score, low top answer score. SE doesn't list it as unanswered. The asker often understands to some extent that no good answer is or will ever be provided, yet the community wants to know.

Off the top of my head, some such questions :

Here, the ratio of question to top answer score is ~2. I'm used to questions being upvoted to 10-20, while the answers - either poor workarounds, or variations on "it's not possible / we don't know" - stay under ~5. (Of course, this depends on the site size.)

Typically, askers either leave it unanswered "until a better answer is provided" - meaning forever, or accept whatever scored best but which everyone agrees is not a satisfying answer (hence the voting pattern).

Is this phenomenon well known, and for starters, how can I see the list of such questions ? (some answer score >2, sorted by decreasing question score over answer score ratio)

1 Answer 1


I found this Data.SE query:

It finds answers of score <-5 to questions of score >50, and orders them by answer score. You can adjust this (click "fork query" to get an editable version of the same query) to find, say, answers of score <2 to questions of score >20, and order by (answer score)/(question score).

  • 1
    Thanks ! It's the perfect tool, and I should learn to use it. What's missing right now is the top answer part. As it stands, it selects any question/answer pair, so if I sort by decreasing question/answer score, it's the worst answer to any question that will score best (while I want the min score over its answers, maximised over questions). Jan 12, 2017 at 3:25

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