Does Stack Overflow have some sort of community standard for filtering out knee-jerk responses to questions?

I am well aware of the issues when you try to parse HTML with regular expressions. In the abstract, it is A Bad Idea. And I know why. So it's frustrating when every mention of regular expressions and HTML now results in someone popping up to say, "No, bad idea" (examples 1 and 2 that I've seen within the last 24 hours) without explaining why or stopping to consider the situation. Because while a regex isn't the best possible solution to parsing a language grammar, it is better than nothing. More importantly, it is a perfectly valid solution when the situation is well-defined: if you look at my second example, the questioner has a completely fixed HTML string they want to parse. None of the problems of regex/ HTML parsing apply. But someone gets 3 upvotes for parroting Accepted Wisdom.

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    Please change your title so it matches what your actual intentions – Earlz Mar 4 '10 at 16:20

If you think the answers are not useful, vote them down.

If more people do this the answer will quickly drop down to the end of the list of answers. This is how community moderation of answers works on SO.

  • Fair enough, I just feel bad voting down something that's not exactly wrong, but it's not correctly applied. – Tom Mar 4 '10 at 16:10
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    @Tom: if it isn't wrong, then why does it bother you? – perbert Mar 4 '10 at 16:16
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    @Tom - If the answer is helpful for the question at hand, vote it up. If it's unhelpful, vote it down. Just because it's not wrong in general doesn't mean it's not unhelpful given the particular question. – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Mar 4 '10 at 16:23
  • I think people don't vote things down enough.. Course, whenever we get more weight for down votes, maybe it should stay how it is now.. – Earlz Mar 4 '10 at 17:20
  • @earlz - um... yeah... people don't downvote enough... er... walks away swiftly – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Mar 4 '10 at 17:53
  • Downvote and leave a comment saying what you explained in your question. – Pëkka Mar 4 '10 at 17:53

The <center> cannot hold

  • Or, in other words, No, Stack Overflow does not have some sort of community standard for filtering out knee-jerk responses to questions. Best plan is to note in the answer comments why this is a special case and the normal wisdom does not apply. There is a reason why accepted wisdom is accepted. – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Mar 4 '10 at 15:56
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    For those who are confused this isn't knee-jerk, it's knee-groin. – squillman Mar 4 '10 at 15:56
  • And here I thought surely some revelation was at hand. – Tom Mar 4 '10 at 16:12

If you're already aware of the knee-jerk response to your situation, work it into the question. Make it clear that it doesn't apply by showing us why your situation is different. If you've done that, then the knee-jerk answer should get down-votes for being wrong.

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