I don't understand how saying something completely ignorant that doesn't actually attempt to answer the question is allowed to continue on the Stack network. People get hundreds of reputation by posting these worthless answers and it really detracts from the purpose of the website. The most recent example:


This answer clearly doesn't answer the question, it is a silly remark and people have stupidly upvoted it when it does not deserve any upvotes. Why has everyone lost sight of the true purpose of the up/downvoting system? It's not there for fun, it's there to show which answers are actually relevant and full of good information for the question that has been asked. I really think the Stack network needs to step in here and delete these bogus replies or allow users with enough reputation to start voting to delete replies from a question, not to mention removing any earned reputation for posts that get deleted by the staff or community. This person got 180 reputation (at the time of this posting) for this ignorant response that serves no purpose, how is that possibly promoting this community? It only encourages people to post more ignorant responses which will eventually kill the community because programmers won't be able to get an adequate response, only jokes.

Most importantly, will the staff actually do anything about this problem?

  • 7
    What I don't actually understand is that your name appears in the list of people voting to close it as not a question. How can you say the answers don't do the question justice if you don't think it's not clear what the question is. – Paul Hadfield Sep 9 '10 at 19:02
  • 2
  • I can somewhat see the point. Still - it was closed as not a real question, and in those questions, everything is fair game. My bet is it would have been mercilessly downvoted in a well-put, clear question. – Pëkka Sep 9 '10 at 21:01
  • Actually, it garnered 228 rep; +230 from 23 upvotes and -12 from 6 downvotes. – Lawrence Dol Sep 10 '10 at 2:23
  • 1
    @Everyone: For those of you wondering, I voted to close because it sounded like a homework problem, but people actually submitted answers and it got me thinking, but you can unfortunately not revoke your vote to close. – animuson Sep 10 '10 at 2:42
  • 1
    Looks like you got the last laugh, @animuson; a year and a half later, that link goes to "This question was removed from Stack Overflow for reasons of moderation." – Pops Apr 19 '12 at 19:26

Wait. Hang on. You're complaining about an answer to a question that was, gasp, closed as not a real question? Seriously.... I think you need to take some time away from your keyboard.

However, that's what close and delete votes, flagging and moderators are there for. There is more then 900,000 questions on SO, and more then enough users to moderate them. And as proven by your example, the system actually works, since the question was closed and everyone moved on.

Also since it was closed, chances are it will get deleted, and during a rep recalculation the user's will loose the reputation they gained anyway. Or just wait for the next Mythical Rep Recalculation

I doubt there is more then 5% of users on SO that gain rep with these questions. Focus on the questions that are real and add value to the site. Lastly. I couldn't resist.

Someone is wrong

  • Not only was it closed as not a real question...the OP was one of the closers, which leaves me extremely puzzled :-/ – Nick Craver Sep 9 '10 at 19:09
  • @Nick You're not alone. – BinaryMisfit Sep 9 '10 at 19:13
  • 2
    This is important... you're misspelling your "your". – Peter Ajtai Sep 9 '10 at 19:35
  • @Peter Fixed. Pro Tip - You don't need to @ the poster of an answer or question when posting a comment. They will see it automatically if it belongs to them. – BinaryMisfit Sep 9 '10 at 19:58
  • 1
    Actually, Diago, there is some level of benefit to adding @ when addressing the post author. Low utility, but avoiding using @ for the post author is more useful when you're trying to simultaneously notify another user. – Grace Note Sep 9 '10 at 21:13
  • 1
    @Grace It would actually be nice if people tell me when the rules change. I can't smell these things you know? You would think I am a moderator or some.... Wait. Scratch that. I can only bow my head in embarrassment and try and move on from this fiasco. :) – BinaryMisfit Sep 9 '10 at 22:04

Maybe you should try to use your down voting capabilities.

Also, losing your sense of humor will endanger your ability to deal with life.

  • Why should I have to waste my reputation to vote down a post that shouldn't have been upvoted in the first place? – animuson Sep 10 '10 at 2:43
  • @animuson - Because while you might not find an answer useful, other people may... so if everyone votes according to their views, readers of SO will see some sort of net value that makes a certain amount of sense. ---- If an answer is spam or not a proper answer, you can flag it. – Peter Ajtai Sep 10 '10 at 3:08
  • @Peter Ajtai: I did flag it as spam, because it is spam in every sense, yet no action was taken on it. There's a difference between a comment and an answer. That was not an answer. As a comment, sure, I would have voted it up, it was funny, but only as a comment. – animuson Sep 10 '10 at 3:44
  • @animuson - Title = "How i can print 1 through 100 with out using any condition?" - Answer = "System.out.println("1 through 100");". That's perfectly valid, and it's useful, since it shows how badly formulated the question is. -------------- See, this is precisely why it's useful to have many people vote on questions. You think it's trash; many others obviously disagree. – Peter Ajtai Sep 10 '10 at 5:24
  • 1
    @animuson. I have to ask, if the post was not worth you risking your own reputation to down-vote, then was it really that bad? (I am not saying it isn't bad). Come on, get real. It costs 1 reputation for you to down-vote. You honestly want to tell me your not going to back that back within 24 hours? Yet you risk posting a question here, which got down-voted anyway. Seems like your cutting off your nose.... – BinaryMisfit Sep 10 '10 at 6:45
  • 1
    @Diago: I did vote the answer down, and yea it takes me a while to gain reputation because I really don't answer questions that often, I usually just post comments. And as far as this site goes, I was expecting to get downvoted, I mean look at how many people support that answer. Just because people support something doesn't mean it's right. – animuson Sep 10 '10 at 15:51

I disagree with your analysis here, it's a humorous way to convey a real problem with the question...and with requirements in general, an ambiguity most of us deal with on a daily basis.

Should this have been a comment? Sure you could argue that, but saying it's an invalid/bogus reply altogether I have to vehemently disagree with.

  • 5
    But 15 upvotes? Really? He has a point that funny non-answers tend to get more upvotes than good answers to actual questions, which is pretty broken – Michael Mrozek Sep 9 '10 at 19:14
  • 1
    @Michael. Realistically, there is possibly maybe 1 SO user that has gained enough reputation from these type of answer to be considered high rep? I don't see it being such a big problem compared to other issues faced by SO. – BinaryMisfit Sep 9 '10 at 19:19
  • @Diago I care less about their rep than I do about the score of the answer; that one is today's sixth highest voted answer, and I generally like reading through the list of highest voted answers. And I don't really like that it sends the signal that you shouldn't bother putting a lot of work into your answers when you can just post a funny one-liner on non-questions – Michael Mrozek Sep 9 '10 at 19:42
  • 1
    @Michael - The question will likely be deleted, easing those 15 upvotes anyway...so I still see it as trivial, but yes that's a valid point that it should be a comment, and that argument I'm with you on. I was more arguing that it's not a totally invalid reply, a humorous jab that may help the OP ask better questions in the future is a good thing IMO. – Nick Craver Sep 9 '10 at 19:44
  • It's not 15 upvotes. It's 21 upvoted and seven downvotes. – John Saunders Sep 9 '10 at 20:33
  • @John - It's changed a bit since being posted here, which is inevitable :) – Nick Craver Sep 9 '10 at 21:38

You must log in to answer this question.

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