15

Due to graduation, privilege levels have dropped to the point where most of us can no longer delete answers making this less productive. We can revisit it in the future when we have more 20k+ users.

Back in May 2012, Rarity asked about how we should deal with bad or "me too" answers:

Do we need a policy on bad/"me too" answers?

More recently, bad deleted posts pushed one of enderland's questions in to CW mode causing much gnashing of teeth:

Un-community wiki this question?

When questions here get popular, they get a lot of views, and a lot of answers because of the subjective nature of this site and the feeling that anyone is qualified to post their opinion as an answer. While gnat is leading the charge to solve the hot question issue, in the meantime something we can do is clean up these posts with tons of answers, and improve the quality of the site for people looking at some of our most popular questions.

I have run a query showing the number of posts we have with each range of answers. Here are the results for posts that have never been closed:

Graph of Query Results

I am going to wager that a question with 25 answers probably has a lot of answers that are less than ideal. But don't take my word for it, see the post. Not to pick on anyone, but is this answer really worthy of 6 upvotes when compared with the other answers in the question? I would wager not.

What I want to do is, starting from the questions with the most answers, get the community (that means you!) focused on cleaning up one per week. This is my proposed workflow:

  1. I will list direct links to the question and each answer, and the starting score
  2. For the week, I would love your cooperation in voting on as many of those answers as possible
  3. Any answer that does not offer anything unique compared to the other answers should be downvoted since the downvote text is 'This answer is not useful'
  4. Any obvious mistakes (formatting, typos, grammar) should be fixed with an edit
  5. At the end of the week (Friday Japan Time, Thursday US Time) I will show the change in score between the starting point, and the ending point
  6. Questions that have dropped below -1 can be voted by trusted users, -3 by normal users -- bad answers should get a vote for deletion so it gets sent to the queue
  7. We can then go through the review queues to finalize any deletes that didn't get completed during the review
  8. Answers that had a large negative drop but remain positive can be reviewed by the mods who can delete them anyway (we can always undelete or create separate meta discussions if merited)
  9. If the number of answers drops, CW status for the question can be removed (if desired) to encourage future users to contribute quality answers

Appreciated but not required is flagging comments that say things like "+1 for mentioning that skills do not increase in direct proportion to experience."

I plan to start this project next week. If you have any concerns, or can improve the workflow, or otherwise have a good idea on how to do this in a better way, share it here. Starting next week we will go through the questions one by one until we end up with a better resource. If you are willing to contribute what shouldn't be more than 20 minutes a week to this, please add a comment and show support.

Here is the data for how many questions have each amount of answers, and a link to an advanced search to find them (only questions with more than 10 answers listed):

  • 25 Answers: 1
  • 23 Answers: 1
  • 19 Answers: 2
  • 18 Answers: 1
  • 17 Answers: 2
  • 16 Answers: 1
  • 15 Answers: 5
  • 14 Answers: 8
  • 13 Answers: 4
  • 12 Answers: 12
  • 11 Answers: 13
  • 10 Answers: 26

At that pace we can get all questions down to under 15 answers (the Community Wiki threshold) by Spring, meaning that we can manage future answers by searching every now and again for questions with over 15 answers.

  • 2
    Good idea, we want to set a good example for questions and answers. Count me in! Though i am hesitant about arbitrarily making everything less than 15, if they are good answers i wouldnt want them deleted for the sake of it – Rhys Jan 23 '14 at 12:20
  • This is awesome. I really like how you're focusing on one question at a time in its own thread. – jmort253 Jan 26 '14 at 1:11
  • Since the answer you singled out was posted among the first, it could have been very useful at the time and wasn't actually compared to the others. Not sure how to deal with such situations however. – Relaxed Mar 11 '14 at 15:40
  • For the sake of "precision," maybe there should be a down vote reason like "this answer is useful but another is FAR better." :-) – WGroleau Oct 7 '16 at 22:24
4

Please vote to delete the bad answers, and if any answers require mod intervention or flagging of comments, please flag as need-be so we can move on to the next question next week.

Results

We placed 57 votes on the question this week for a net change of -10 in the score of the answers in the question. Two answers were deleted, and 4 additional answers can be deleted (negative score) dropping the answer total from 25 to 19. Personally I think too many marginal answers were upvoted despite not contributing anything to the quality of the Q&A on the question. Moving forward, let's remember that if there are 19 answers, people are not going to read all 19, so it is very important we make the good answers more visible by downvoting/deleting marginal answers with no added value.

Here is the result of each answer:

  1. (▼2) 7 → 5
  2. (▼3) 7 → 4
  3. (▼2) 6 → 4
  4. ( ― ) 10 → 10
  5. ( ― ) 51 → 51
  6. (▲4) 160 → 164
  7. (▲1) 14 → 15
  8. (▲4) 33 → 37
  9. (▼1) 3 → 2
  10. (▼1) 2 → 1
  11. (▼3) 1 → -2
  12. ( ― ) 4 → 4
  13. (▼2) 1 → -1
  14. (▼1) 2 → 1
  15. (▼2) 0 → -2
  16. (▼2) 6 → 4
  17. ( ― ) 2 → 2
  18. (▼1) -8 → -9
  19. (▲1) 1 → 2
  20. (▼1) 2 → 1
  21. (▲4) 12 → 16
  22. (▼3) 2 → -1
  23. ( ― ) 2 → 2
  24. (▼2) 0 → -2
  25. (▲2) 2 → 4

How can I overcome "years of experience" requirements when applying to positions?

Created: May 29 '12 at 12:55
Score: +137
Views: 48,044
Answers: 25

  1. Initial Score: 7
  2. Initial Score: 7
  3. Initial Score: 6
  4. Initial Score: 10 edited
  5. Initial Score: 51 edited
  6. Initial Score: 160 edited
  7. Initial Score: 14 edited
  8. Initial Score: 33 edited
  9. Initial Score: 3
  10. Initial Score: 2
  11. Initial Score: 1
  12. Initial Score: 4
  13. Initial Score: 1
  14. Initial Score: 2
  15. Initial Score: 0
  16. Initial Score: 6
  17. Initial Score: 2 edited
  18. Initial Score: -8
  19. Initial Score: 1
  20. Initial Score: 2 edited
  21. Initial Score: 12 edited
  22. Initial Score: 2
  23. Initial Score: 2 edited
  24. Initial Score: 0
  25. Initial Score: 2
  • What do the little pencils mean? – jmort253 Jan 26 '14 at 1:12
  • 2
    @jmort It means it's been edited. While I find it unlikely, it's possible someone could make a bad first answer, and then steal ideas from other answers in a later edit to make it look better. While I posted them in original creation order, the ones that are edited may require a wee bit of added scrutiny. (see the little mark next to this comment? same image, same meaning, you can mouseover them to see the time they were edited) – jmac Jan 26 '14 at 13:26
  • Hmmm, one of the posts that has a pencil beside it doesn't appear to have been edited when you look at the post itself. Maybe it's because the user's account is deleted... – jmort253 Jan 27 '14 at 2:05
  • @jmort, which one? I used this query and compared activity date to answer date. If it hasn't been edited, I'll have to look at the query data. Which number was it? – jmac Jan 27 '14 at 2:06
  • Number 2. Look at number 2... – jmort253 Jan 27 '14 at 3:24
  • Ah, it's not a deleted user. The post was migrated from Programmers SE. – jmort253 Jan 27 '14 at 3:25
  • 1
    timeline view can be helpful to track voting on answers: workplace.stackexchange.com/posts/1478/timeline – gnat Jan 27 '14 at 3:27
  • @gnat, that is tremendous. Another tool to use to prove the huge influx of votes from a hot post. Wow! Thanks. – jmac Jan 27 '14 at 4:59
  • @jmort, ah, it seems migration counts as activity. Not much I can do about that without going through them manually. Not good enough at SQL to figure out how to foo the bar to prevent that from occurring at any rate. Shouldn't be too much of a problem (I hope), but I'll take a look at migration date in the future if I realize a similar issue. (for now I removed the edit mark on post #2) – jmac Jan 27 '14 at 5:00
  • yeah. Especially sad to see how basically any answer, no matter how bad, gets a solid portion of sympathy upvotes from passers by. "...there are just too many new voters and commenters to get things going as designed" – gnat Jan 27 '14 at 7:21
2

How can I encourage a culture of punctuality in a software company?

Created: Apr 12 '12 at 17:34 Score: +72
Views: 19,143
Answers: 23

Results:

We placed 73 votes, deleted 6 answers, and made a net score change of +9 to the question. Here are the results of each answer:

  1. (▼2) 5 → 3
  2. (▲3) 43 → 46
  3. (▲1) 110 → 111
  4. (▲8) 90 → 98
  5. ( ― ) 21 → 21
  6. (▼1) 19 → 18
  7. ( ― ) 9 → 9
  8. (▲2) 13 → 15
  9. (▲2) 4 → 6
  10. (▼1) 0 → -1 please delete me
  11. (▲2) 6 → 8
  12. (▲2) 16 → 18
  13. (▲4) 36 → 40
  14. ( ― ) 7 → 7
  15. (▼2) 9 → 7
  16. (▼6) 10 → 4
  17. (▲2) 9 → 11
  18. (▲2) 28 → 30
  19. (▼3) -2 → -5
  20. (▲3) 8 → 11
  21. (▼3) 2 → -1
  22. (▼1) 6 → 5
  23. (▼3) 0 → -3

  1. Initial Score: 5 edited
  2. Initial Score: 43
  3. Initial Score: 110
  4. Initial Score: 90 edited
  5. Initial Score: 21 edited
  6. Initial Score: 19
  7. Initial Score: 9 edited
  8. Initial Score: 13
  9. Initial Score: 4
  10. Initial Score: 0
  11. Initial Score: 6
  12. Initial Score: 16 edited
  13. Initial Score: 36
  14. Initial Score: 7 edited
  15. Initial Score: 9
  16. Initial Score: 10
  17. Initial Score: 9
  18. Initial Score: 28 edited
  19. Initial Score: -2
  20. Initial Score: 8
  21. Initial Score: 2 edited
  22. Initial Score: 6 edited
  23. Initial Score: 0 edited
  • There seems to be a flood of "Not an answer" flags on answers on this post. Many of the answers so flagged were, in fact, trying to answer the question. If they're low quality, downvote instead please. – Yamikuronue Feb 3 '14 at 20:01
  • 1
    @Yami, created a separate discussion here. I personally disagree (I think a half-dozen of those flags at least were mine), but we'll see what the community thinks. – jmac Feb 4 '14 at 0:07

You must log in to answer this question.

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