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:
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:
- I will list direct links to the question and each answer, and the starting score
- For the week, I would love your cooperation in voting on as many of those answers as possible
- 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'
- Any obvious mistakes (formatting, typos, grammar) should be fixed with an edit
- 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
- 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
- We can then go through the review queues to finalize any deletes that didn't get completed during the review
- 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)
- 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.