There are some questions on this site which provoke opinion-based answers (i.e. Are there any redeeming characters in Game of Thrones/SOIAF? - which has 13 answers!).

There are some answers which address this well:

and some who inherently stray into opinion-territory:

I have to point out that it is not the fault of the answerers - the OP has asked an open-ended and opinion-soliciting question (it just becomes "I think Jon Snow is good", "no I think Victarion is good" etc.).

Here's the problem:
I wouldn't flag the entire question, as there are some good answers which do not go into specific opinions. There are however some answers which are primarily opinion-based and in my opinion something may need to be done.


  1. I flag the answer (but there's no appropriate flag choice)
  2. I down-vote/forgo up-vote
  3. Something else

What is the correct course of action if I see an answer which I think is primarily opinion-based?

2 Answers 2


Per the FAQ

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

  • If you think that a question is itself opinion-based (or prone to generating opinion-based answers) mark it to "close" and see if your fellow site users agree.

  • If you think that an answer is too opinion-based, downvote it and explain to the author why you've done so.

  • I could flag the question, but I just don't want to flag the whole question because it has some good answers. What do I do about the answers which are opinion-based?
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 22:11
  • 4
    @Mooz - Downvote them and explain to the user why.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 22:11
  • 7
    @Mooz The fact that a question has good answers does not make it a good question.
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 12:37
  • 1
    @Phantom42 The fact that a question has good answers does show that there is some merit in it.
    – SQB
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 11:10
  • 2
    There are lots of interesting questions which do not meet the standards of a SE site. Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 11:40
  • 2
    @SQB Having merit does not mean it's a good question or a good fit for the site. This question, for example, has a -6 score and has been closed as non-constructive (an outdated close reason now, to be fair) but the answer has a +14 score.
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 12:36
  • 3
    Similarly, this question has both a high question score and answer scores, but is currently on its way to being closed as opinion based.
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 13:04

Some kinds of opinion-based questions and answers are OK.

This is covered in depth on the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective SE Blog post so I won't go into excessive detail here.

The key word in the "Primarily Opinion Based" close reason in this context is Primarily. Obviously this isn't a binary distinction, and there are all kinds of grey areas in between. An opinion-based answer may well be backed up by solid evidence sourced from canonical texts; despite the fact that the final conclusion may be opinion-based, if the weight of such evidence is strong enough, then it is a good answer. A bad opinion-based answer on the other hand is solely or mostly comprised of opinion, with little (or poor) evidence to support the conclusions (if indeed there are any conclusions).

So what I'm saying is that you shouldn't look for a hard-and-fast ruling on this, but instead make your own best judgement on a case-by-case basis.

  • I do like the concept of "make up your own mind, using educated ideas and case-by-case basis" etc; but does that apply to answers as well? And what close-reason should I use?
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 1:08

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