Sometimes I read annoying comments asking for, and eventually demanding upvotes or acceptance of some answer.

While for the demanding tone I have a clear position (flag!), the usual case is a user nicely or at least neutrally, asking for rep. So the nick "rep beggar". For those I usually just move my head from side to side, in a characteristic motion that means nothing, and follow my way.

But recently I started following the "activity->comments" of such users, and I found that some of them repeatedly ask for votes/reps/acceptance.

For example, from the same user, in several comments:

  • At least you can upvote me please! (found two times)

  • I would help but I don't know it'surely a recursive function. Can you please vote for me? Thank you!

  • C'mon some vote for me please!

  • ... my understanding is limited ( and I'm a lazy person ) but what do you think of my answer? Is it worth an upvote? Thank you!

  • Do you have enough Points to vote for me now?

  • Hmm. I voted for you! You didn't vote for me!

  • I didn't understand but would you be kind and vote for me? Please!

While I certainly don't see this as a felony, I feel it is a nasty kind of implicit ethic violation.

How should we deal with these cases?

  • 54
    PS: Could you please upvote this question? Apr 1, 2011 at 1:39
  • 1
    Woops! (Don't worry, I changed it to a +1 using unicorn magic.) Apr 1, 2011 at 2:33
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    Do you guys consider telling a new user politely, to accept an answer if it was useful to them, bad? I've done it once and I've seen a few people do it a few times. I linked to the "how does accepting as answer work" and did not use a demanding tone.
    – gideon
    Apr 1, 2011 at 4:49
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    must resist urge to upvote!!!
    – Aditya P
    Apr 1, 2011 at 7:56
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    was a +1 on my earlier comment agreeing that its bad or not?
    – gideon
    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:25
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    @giddy I think the problem is not about doing it once or twice. The question "Why don't you accept this answer?" has several times occurred to me, because is very similar to "What else do you need?" or "What is wrong with this?". But I see a problem when there is a pattern of doing this repeatedly. Or worst, trying to persuade the OP that a certain competing answer is not OK, while the one posted by the beggar is (as I saw recently). Apr 1, 2011 at 11:32
  • @giddy BTW I upvoted your last comment Apr 1, 2011 at 11:34
  • @whether I see. thats why I did highlight an, as in, any answer. I do write in my comment that the OP accept an answer, not necessarily mine. I tell this to users that comment a little thank you at my answer. IMO, they probably don't know about accepting and it would be nice to introduce it to them earlier instead of telling them their accept rate is bad later.
    – gideon
    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:36
  • @giddy That is one of the reasons I had for creating this message which I usually post in similar situations (new user giving feedback but not voting or accepting, not reading the FAQS, not answering, etc). Now for some people that message seems "suspicious", so I guess I'll refrain to post it in the future (although it seems still OK to me) Apr 1, 2011 at 11:42
  • hmm I don't see it as suspicious, infact I've seen and had comments like that upvoted, I was just seeking opinions about it since I'm never sure about anything =P
    – gideon
    Apr 1, 2011 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


Except for the first and fourth ones, they don't exactly mention which kind of vote... so go ahead and please them with a downvote. :) (For just one or two comments, I'd just let it slide.)

And flag the comment, since it is "noise".

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    I find it flagging such comments just gave me -5 flag weights.
    – YOU
    Apr 1, 2011 at 1:43
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    The same here, regrettably Apr 1, 2011 at 1:45
  • @waiwai I think mods are too busy with flagged Q&A to hardly look at comment flags Apr 1, 2011 at 1:47
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    Ok, I just figured out what happened. If not enough other community members flag the comments to get them deleted, the system treats it like a declined flag. So, um, if you link such comments here or in a chatroom, I'm sure a Meta team will come out and help you flag them away.
    – waiwai933
    Apr 1, 2011 at 1:47
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    @waiwai933, According to my experience, they got deleted with 3 flags, but still -5 for me (noticed at least 3 times, IIRC). And I could only earn around +1.0 for a valid post flags since I am around 6xx flag weight, so it is a hard business for me to flag unsure stuff to test at the moment.
    – YOU
    Apr 1, 2011 at 1:56
  • Ok I flagged a few. Hope my flag weight remains positive Apr 1, 2011 at 2:12
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    @YOU YOU were right hands down. My FW went astray. Apr 1, 2011 at 2:51
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    Ok. I m going to accept this answer, with the following observation. I DON'T RECOMMEND flagging those comments as noise, as the community will not stand up for you, and you'll potentially lose a lot of FW. This happened to me today, as I did it just to experiment. So I guess the best way is what was suggested by @waiwai in a previous comment: link such comments here or in a chatroom, Apr 1, 2011 at 21:12

Allow me to welcome you to StackOverflow and remind three things we usually do here: 1) As you receive help, try to give it too answering questions in your area of expertise 2) Read the FAQs 3) When you see good Q&A, vote them up using the gray triangles, as the credibility of the system is based on the reputation that users gain by sharing their knowledge. Also remember to accept the answer that better solves your problem, if any, by pressing the checkmark sign

  • Yep. That is my welcome message for new users. I usually post it when I see good/useful answers, feedback from the OP (ie OP not dead) , but not votes or acceptance. Apr 1, 2011 at 2:15
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    You posting these comments to questions that you also answered is strictly a coincidence then? Apr 1, 2011 at 2:22
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    Happens that those are the questions where I spend most time, and the users I care the most to educate, as those live in the tags I visit. I didn't write it thinking about my answers. Apr 1, 2011 at 2:27
  • Anyway, I upvoted your answer, as I believe it is a positive message, and the unicorns are beautiful. Apr 1, 2011 at 2:32
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    Do you see any correlation between what you do vs the behavior you bring up in your question? Don't these 'carpet beggars' have spent time too and cared to educate? Apr 1, 2011 at 2:32
  • I really don't think so. But be my guest to do otherwise. This is a free Net. Apr 1, 2011 at 2:45
  • In fact, I've proposed it as a standard greeting comment in mathematica.SE, and it's widely used.. Mar 14, 2013 at 8:21

Sorry to post late on an old question (it came up in the Related section next to my own question.). But these are my two cents anyway.

I personally believe that such comments should be generally ignored. Naturally, you draw a line where users are demanding for either. In such cases, you could flag them. That being said, however, I have always ignored such comments.

There is also a possibility that the solution they have provided is, in fact, the correct solution. Also consider the language disparity. I know quite a few fellow Indians who are not well versed with the English language and such they sound crude at times. Perhaps, even rude. But mostly I would attribute that to the fact that it has almost never been out first language (or even second for that matter).

And I ignore such comments for the larger reason that the StackExchange network is for the community and it's users. Some people who like to play the rep-game will typically post such comments. But that is not a reason for any of us to judge their reasons. It could be for the additional reputation they may or may not earn. It could be a genuine intent to ensure that other users who stumble on questions will know exactly which solution works for a given problem. I personally don't judge. Although, I still do find it weird that users post such comments. And some are users with > 10K rep. ;-)

Obviously, my suggestion comes with the rider: I neither condone such comments nor disapprove of them. And I have never once in my entire duration on SO have asked anyone to mark my solution or for an up-vote. And I never will. I am not on SO for the reputation but the genuine intent to help others as others have helped me.


I guess one should clearly discriminate between two types of comments asking for, and eventually demanding upvotes or acceptance of some answer: Those based on evident technical merit of the answer (explicitly stated by the OP), and those based on anything else (from pure will, to a wishful interpretation of the OP's comments).

I can't tell about the cases you mentioned, but with the info you provided, all of them appear to fall in the second category. And in those cases, comments should be flagged as "noise".

As for the other cases (those with technical merit backing the comment), there are two cases: 1) you are the OP, 2) you are not. For case 1, you may double check if paying attention to the comment would improve SO (in the end, anyone can have such a slip), acknowledge the comment with something like "ok, now you can delete the comment" (whatever the action taken), and everything would go back to a state with no noise. For case 2, simply ignore it (let the OP take any action).

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