For example, I don't really like it when people say thank you by answering their own question.

When people just think about winning reputation more than help users. I know that the reputation is used to encourage participation, but it's before all a collaborative tool, and it shouldn't be a way to shine in society.

What's yours?

  • 16
    Slightly beside the point, but answering your own question is encouraged for all sorts of reasons. If you find programming information that isn't on the site we want it here. Ask a question and answer it. Also, if you ask a question that you don't know the answer to, we want you to keep researching it and post the answer if nobody else does. – Bill the Lizard Apr 30 '10 at 12:14
  • 5
    Are you repwhoring? – rlb.usa Apr 30 '10 at 18:00
  • @rlb.usa, there's a term now? Repwhoring? – macek Apr 30 '10 at 18:40
  • @macek See here meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14994/… – rlb.usa Apr 30 '10 at 19:02
  • 3
    I thought this post covered the most annoying user behaviors brilliantly: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41976/… – Robert Cartaino May 1 '10 at 2:25

15 Answers 15


"This is urgent - please email me the answer as soon as possible. I don't really read this message board."

Oh, and my recently tweeted complaint: "An exception was thrown" or "It didn't work" but with no further details.

  • Ahah, it makes me think of the 3 e-mail types in IT, the detailed and clear, the useless with no information, and the apocalyptic, i need it NOW, with bold, uppercase, and Urgent everywhere ! – Boris Guéry Apr 30 '10 at 12:38
  • 47
    "People who upvote whatever Jon Skeet says". – Gnoupi Apr 30 '10 at 12:40
  • 32
    @Gnoupi: upvoted your comment because it talked about Jon Skeet. – perbert Apr 30 '10 at 13:10
  • 3
    @Voyager: I upvoted your comment because... – IAbstract Apr 30 '10 at 17:34
  • 4
    ...and the annoying thing is that SO isn't a message board! – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 30 '10 at 20:56
  • 1
    @IAbstract See how few upvotes you get if you don't talk about Jon Skeet? JON SKEET!!! – Mateen Ulhaq Oct 25 '11 at 4:54

People posting unfunny nonsense on meta with excessive use of played out memes.

I enjoy a good inside joke - when it makes me laugh. Don't push your luck.

  • 4
    We had many examples recently indeed. – Gnoupi Apr 30 '10 at 12:51
  • 2 more steps to the big 10k for you. But indeed, this is far too true. – Grace Note Apr 30 '10 at 12:57
  • 4
    @ccornet - today is my birthday, and all I want for my birthday is to hit 10K on MSO. And a pony. – user27414 Apr 30 '10 at 13:03
  • 8
    Well, happy birthday, and congratulations! You've made it! – Grace Note Apr 30 '10 at 13:04
  • This happens to all memes, everywhere. The "cool kids" are the first to get a meme. It spills over to the slightly cool kids. Eventually it grows in popularity to the point that the uncool kids get ahold of it and run it into the ground – Bob Apr 30 '10 at 15:43
  • 4
    @Bob: We're programmers. We're the uncool kids by definition. Running it into the ground might actually be OK. But some people won't stop there, oh no; they pound it relentlessly into the ground with a sledgehammer, then sandblast it into the ground, then drill it into the ground, then use high explosives to create a bigger hole in the ground so they can drive it even further into the ground, and then, finally, when it's obvious that they can't possibly get it any deeper into the ground, they dig it up with a shovel and start all over again 20 feet from their original spot. – Aarobot Apr 30 '10 at 16:51
  • 1
    @Aarobot I wasn't saying it was ok or not ok, just stating it happens with all memes...And thanks for reminding me how uncool I am being a programmer ;( – Bob Apr 30 '10 at 17:06
  • 3
    @Jon_B Happy Birthday, Happy 10K, and a Happy Friday to you, sir. – rlb.usa Apr 30 '10 at 18:01
  • 2
    Ahem George ahem Edison – Earlz Apr 30 '10 at 18:21
  • @Earlz: But the waffles... the unicorns... they are so... Ya I think I see what you mean. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 30 '10 at 20:53
  • 1
    I protest, waffles are ALWAYS funny especially when its Friday afternoon in Iceland – waffles May 5 '10 at 13:27
  • People writing snarky comments linking to ESR's How To Ask Questions

  • People writing snarky comments about acceptance rates

  • People writing "this should be community wiki" comments (no, it shouldn't be community wiki, it should be closed, and you are implying that it would be OK if it's CW)

  • People who ask vague questions and demand specific answers (and are abusive toward anyone who tries to help but refuses to write a book on it)

  • Retagging with stupid tags (yesterday someone added dizzay to a closed questions)

  • Unexplained downvotes on answers that are clearly correct and not subjective/rude in any way

  • Random/pity upvotes on really terrible questions (although the real annoyance is that too few people are willing to give up 1 rep point to bury the question)

  • People voting to reopen blatantly off-topic/inappropriate/unfunny questions because (a) they answered it and want to keep gaining rep/badges, or because (b) Stack Overflow is their only source of entertainment.

  • Etc.

Yep, I'm easily annoyed.

  • 2
    -1 +1 +1 -1 -1 +1 = 0 – perbert Apr 30 '10 at 12:27
  • @voyager: The 4th "-1" originally pointed to frivolous retags; you don't think those are annoying? :P – Aarobot Apr 30 '10 at 12:30
  • 2
    actually, that would have been a +0, but hey, this way don't have to do anything. I'm big on doing nothing. Status quo FTW. – perbert Apr 30 '10 at 13:09

The most annoying behavior is when questions are left unanswered because the person asking the question doesn't follow up on comments for more information. These questions tend to sit around collecting dust:

how to load the save value...

Or, when questions are asked that say, "provide me teh codez/solution":

how to add a map...

It is also quite annoying when posters make references to ponies, waffles, and unicorns without understanding the memes.

  • 1
    Voted to close both questions. – user102937 Apr 30 '10 at 20:19
  • 1
    Ya. The memes are overused. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 30 '10 at 20:58
  • @Robert: dang I gotta go find replacement questions to keep my answer relevant. ;) – IAbstract Dec 2 '10 at 21:47
  • 1
    A pony, a waffle, and a unicorn walk into a bar.. – bobobobo Apr 28 '12 at 2:38
  • @bobobobo: +1 - lmao... – IAbstract Apr 28 '12 at 4:34

The people who upvote insubstantial answers like "If you're using LINQ then this is simple" before they are even edited with content are even more annoying than the people who post such answers in the first place.


Posts that only contain 200+ lines of uncommented/poorly-formatted code and a title that says "Please fix error."


"I found the solution with a simple Google search, you can too" or lmgtfy equivalents.

  • 13
    Mine is asking a question whose solution can be found with a simple Google search – RAY Mar 28 '11 at 6:45

People asking poll questions without making them CW.

Or people asking poll questions at all.

  • People who write an encyclopedia as an answer to a weak or terrible question...
  • when the only needed answer is one line of code or similar...
  • in a form that will obviously be very difficult (if not impossible) for the OP to comprehend...
  • possibly not even answering OP's actual question...
  • in hopes of getting massive upvotes for writing such an epic post.

In other words, people who try way too hard while ignoring their supposed target audience (the asker) and talking to voters instead.


Q: How can I add two numbers in PHP?

A: The Zend Engine is an open source scripting engine (a virtual machine), commonly known for the important role it plays in the web automation language PHP. It was originally developed by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski while they were students at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology....

Addition is a mathematical operation that represents combining collections of objects together into a larger collection. It is signified by the plus sign (+)...


  • 1
    I look at it as trolling (or rather, counter-trolling, if the question is itself one that couldn't be seriously asked, like your example). – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 3 '11 at 1:52

@Downvoter and @Random

  • 3
    Awww, that's good company right there. – random May 5 '10 at 13:08
  • @random: It's not a compliment! – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 5 '10 at 16:32
  • I'm tempted to downvote, but this made me smile inside so I upvoted – Earlz May 5 '10 at 22:54
  • @Downvoter: care to explain? :P – Amal Murali Sep 28 '13 at 23:34

Someone who posts a question and then don't even bother answering comments asking for precisions.


Asking for code to be sent...


Rep-whoring. Please punish users who ask for being picked as best answer. Asker chooses, not us!

  • 2
    Hey! Rep whoring is a honourable trade. – Pekka Feb 15 '12 at 17:39
  • 1
    @Pekka'sReputationBordello I see what you did there. – Josh Darnell Feb 15 '12 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Pekka'sReputationBordello - ARGH - Why'd I fall for this .... :\ – Adel Feb 15 '12 at 19:45

A question asked so poorly no one can understand it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .