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(It looks like this post is about question posts specifically rather than answer posts.)

Quora has a specific report reason for joke/troll answers. I cannot believe that Stack Exchange which even removes 'thanks' and is of course generally far more strict than Quora (which in some ways is kind of like Yahoo Answers anyway) allows this. Does Stack Exchange lack such a policy that applies to every site? Is it really up to each site to decide whether or not to allow joke/troll answers?

Btw, there may be another law involved. See here:

Ah, but the problem here is rather Poe's Law. Even if the joke is outrageous, some simply won't get it. I'm taking bets pkr's answer above falls under it. Thus, whereas I might put in puns, popcultural snippets and anecdotes into my answers, I'd avoid outright joking. – Hauke Reddmann Feb 20 '21

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3 Answers 3

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Generally, each Stack Exchange community decides how the scope of the site is defined, what are the close reasons, and what are the general guidelines.

However, there is one common denominator: the Code of Conduct. If you believe some post/comment violates the Code of Conduct, it should be flagged.

Based on that I would strongly distinguish troll answers (which is not acceptable behaviour) and "joke" answers (which may or may not be acceptable). Overall, jokes by themselves are fine and are not against the current CoC.

The acceptability of jokes is definitely community-dependent, and discussed in more detail in the Meta post on jokes you have already linked.

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    ... jokes ... are not against the current CoC. That is a joke, right? Or are we using different version of the CoC? Because I read this Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes. Let's hope my joke is careful enough to survive the comment flaggers. Maybe a smiley face will save me ;)
    – rene
    Jan 17 at 22:43
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    @rene "...be careful with jokes" — is exactly why I conclude that they are fine, unless they are going against CoC for one or many other points. Jokes are dangerous, as it is extremely easy to become rude and unfriendly. Jan 17 at 22:47
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It's pretty hard to write a joke answer without it being downvoted and deleted. After all, we're generally here to impart knowledge rather than mislead.

There are a couple of well-known successful answers on Stack Overflow, but one of them has had to be locked to prevent people who don't get the joke from editing it or flagging it. This has the unfortunate side effect that you can't vote on the answer any more.

The other has been edited to make it abundantly clear that it is a joke. It's arguable of course that that has meant that it is somewhat less funny now.

So the answers have to have truth in them, but impart that knowledge in a humorous way and that's hard to do successfully. If it's insufficiently clear that it is humorous or it is only a joke then history tells us that it won't survive.

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  • There was another joke answer about the fifth element of an array, but I can't find it right now.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jan 18 at 11:32
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The answer to your question is clearly "Yes" as the Judaism site has a specific tag and a policy for asking humorous question during the period of Purim. See their policy here.

As you can see from the policy it is strictly regulated.

There was an attempt to have something similar on the Spanish site on December 28, the Day of the Holy Innocents and approximate equivalent of the Anglo April Fool's Day on April 1, but it failed to gain popular support. The relevant meta post is here but note it is in Spanish.

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