How can we stop people asking trivial questions all the time to gain stackoverflow reputation?

And how can we stop people setting up several stackoverflow accounts and prevent mutual/cyclic rating?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 15 '10 at 9:01

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  • Oh, the irony...... <votes to close> – skaffman Jun 15 '10 at 9:00
  • all i care here is getting my problems sorted out and helping others sort out their problems, reputation is a secondary thing ;-).. i suggest better not bother about this – sud03r Jun 15 '10 at 9:00
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    Can you provide an example question, or someone who has gained significant reputation by asking many trivial questions? – Tim Post Jun 15 '10 at 9:15
  • I don't want to blame anyone, but I've got the impression that some people I know got a high reputation through asking many questions that a single google search would have been good enough for and then pointed others offsite to those questions to uprate them. I was wondering if there are more strategies to detect this, like checking if the ratings of a particular identity come from the same group of individuals and if such a check is in place nowadays... – garbeam Jun 15 '10 at 9:50
  • possible duplicate of How to deal with google questions? – John Rudy Jun 15 '10 at 13:29

This is one of the reasons why questions were changed to carry half of the reputation weight as answers, ending in the 'great rep recalc'.

As for the sock puppets, there is an algorithm that catches 'cheating' patterns and reverses any gains (or losses, in the event of serial down-voters).

Its also not uncommon for new users to accidentally make several accounts, usually as a result of figuring out how OpenID works. There are other users (some of them notorious for providing stellar answers) who have multiple accounts.

Any system can be gamed, especially if you do so by playing within the rules. However, I don't think its that rampant of a problem to necessitate tightening the rules thus making participation less enjoyable for many just to deal with a few corner cases.

Trivial is also rather subjective, everyone has to start somewhere. Frequent users of the site who also have enough reputation to close / delete questions tend to remember the people active in the tags that they participate. I've seen many instances of :

This is the n'th borderline off topic question you have asked in the last 48 hours!

Left in comments on questions that were quickly closed, or down voted into oblivion. I think the system works rather well.

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