All SE sites I've partecipated on did get a non irrelevant amount of completely useless and broken answers from random noobs, and this one is no exception.

What puzzles me is the attitude of the current moderators/high-rep users towards these posts: reports towards many of these posts get often declined or disputed!

Everywere else, they are either deleted or converted to comments, while here they are usually allowed to just stay here polluting the site.

Is this intentional? With "intentional" I also mean that you do realise that this is very different from all other SE sites and you are OK with that.

edit: I'm sorry I wasn't clear, I wasn't talking about posts that "do not get noticed", I'm talking about posts that are noticed, reported, and then someone declines the report.

  • 12
    I would like to see some examples of what you are talking about. It would be difficult to judge the validity of such a claim without seeing examples of what you believe are non-answers. Feb 26, 2014 at 19:01
  • An example would be good. Feb 27, 2014 at 4:12
  • 1
    I just saw a question today that had 4 or 5 deleted non-answers...
    – Izkata
    Feb 27, 2014 at 4:31
  • I didn't add examples on purpose: if I did, this would just turn into "discussing these examples" instead of discussing the general issue.
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 8:49
  • 4
    @Lohoris: But without specific examples, you don't have constructive criticism, but only a rant. Feb 27, 2014 at 8:50
  • Without examples, it's just 'a feeling' you have. "I think you're being mean to me all the time!" "What, when was I mean to you?" "I'm not going to give examples!"
    – SQB
    Feb 27, 2014 at 11:24
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/a/49598/640
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 13:38
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/a/50618/640
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 13:39
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/a/23501/640
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:09
  • scifi.stackexchange.com/q/50523/640
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:10
  • 3
    @Lohoris - suggest adding these to your question. Also - have you flagged them? Speaking for myself: I can't catch every bad answer and rely on the flagging system/review queues to bring them to my attention.
    – user8719
    Feb 28, 2014 at 0:37
  • 1
    @Lohoris First one is getting delete votes now (most likely no one saw it), second one IMO is an answer (just not a very good one), third one somehow got enough upvotes that we can't VTD it yet (has to have negative votes for non-mods), and all 3 answers on the fourth look like answers to me...?
    – Izkata
    Feb 28, 2014 at 0:40
  • @JimmyShelter I already flagged all these posts and the flags have been declined, and that's exactly why I've posted this question.
    – o0'.
    Feb 28, 2014 at 8:11
  • @Izkata true, I forgot to say the problem in the fourth link is the question itself.
    – o0'.
    Feb 28, 2014 at 8:12
  • @Lohoris - 4th link is exactly the kind of thing that the Star Wars EU loves to set up a hugely elaborate and over-complicated explanation for.
    – user8719
    Mar 1, 2014 at 9:00

3 Answers 3

  1. Your rep is well below 10k (10k is when you get the privilege of seeing deleted answers). Once you get there you will see that the site is littered with deleted ones.

    I just randomly[1] went on page 50 and pulled 15 next questions that had possible poor quality answers (<=0 score) and weren't story-ID.

    Of these answers:

    Of those, 7 came from the same Q :)

    Frankly, this shows that we are deleting crap at a pretty good rate (assuming you trust my judgement on questionable ones being OK, we had 10 of 19 bad deleted by someone else and 4 more by poster themselves; meaning 74% crap already deleted and further 10% having negative votes).

  2. Also, looking at my own flagging stats:

    302 flags (out of 380) deemed helpful. The rest were 50/50 declined vs disputed. Excludes spam/offensive flags as they are offtopic to the meta Q.

  3. Having said that, this site probably (I can attest to that from my own attitude) is slightly more lenient in judging what constitutes a non-answer/very poor answer. For example, something that is a logical speculation without canon backup may be judged to be OK enough, if it's clearly marked as such.

[1] - "random" enough :) I didn't cherry pick which page to start on

  • TL;DR, unless I've misunderstood: there are so many bad answers, that it's inevitable that some will pass. It surely makes some sense, but I'm not terribly convinced. Especially point 2: 20% refused flags seems pretty high to me, unless of course you have been flagging too freely.
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 8:52
  • About point 3 I understand, but the answers I was talking about were much worse than that, in any other SE site they would have been converted to comment.
    – o0'.
    Feb 27, 2014 at 8:53
  • @lohoris links or it didn't happen :) Feb 27, 2014 at 11:42
  • @Lohoris Haha. I've had my flags denied because Keen didn't notice the urls listed as text in the answer/comment. He nagged me in chat, and I pointed out it was there. The mods are far from infallible.
    – John O
    Feb 27, 2014 at 23:02
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    I have to highlight DVK's first point here - hitting 10k was quite an eye-opener and I was shocked at the sheer amount of deleted crap on this site. The stuff that makes it through - that's honestly minor.
    – user8719
    Feb 28, 2014 at 0:41
  • 1
    @DarthSatan -- Reaching 10K definitely opened my eyes. I went all over the place looking at all the shiny new stuff. Also, I like your new icon ... Sisters of Mercy ... Oct 23, 2014 at 8:51

I pay attention to the review queue, and mostly only see such answers there. If the answer is less than 2 hours old, I leave a comment and ask them to improve the answer... I don't like smacking them with the closehammer so quickly. Those that are older than 2 or 3 hours (or for which there is no real hope of improving) get no such consideration.

I have serious issues with the way in which we close questions and delete answers around here. It often seems retaliatory or "just for sport", rather than for the purpose of improving the site. I would be very hesitant to change my attitude on this matter, unless a very persuasive argument were made.

When you get votes to re-open your unfairly closed question, you'll thank me... everyone else is racing to smite the thing.

  • 1
    IMO removing rotten content is improving the site.
    – o0'.
    Feb 28, 2014 at 8:15
  • 1
    Removing rotten content is improving the site - I'd agree with that, but I agree that some allowance should be given to allow users to update/improve their answer. We recently changed added the "on hold" designation before closing to help guide users to improve their questions before it was truly closed. If it's an old, stale, answer that has no value, I could see the value of deleting, but only once a user has had a chance to make necessary corrections.
    – phantom42
    Feb 28, 2014 at 14:11
  • <comments removed> Simmer down, folks.
    – user1027
    Feb 28, 2014 at 22:49

I'm a high rep user who occasionally flags non answers. Mainly my participation on SE in this way is due to the fact that I only read the Harry Potter questions (okay, with the rare exception). So I probably miss 99% of the content that comes through this site. And it's okay for me to use the site in this way -- I'm not doing anything wrong by not reading questions other than on Harry Potter -- it's just that I have a specific interest. When I do see bad answers in the HP questions, I do make the effort to flag it for the mods. Anyway, this is my long-winded way of suggesting that some bad content falls through the cracks because not all SE users use or monitor the site in the same way.

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