I've noticed that this message

"This question has more than two answers already"

come up when I went to answer a question which had 3 answers, but one of those answers had been heavily downvoted. Does it makes sense to loosen that warning such that it only comes up if there are 3 or more 0+ score answers instead of 3 answers overall?

  • 4
    If your answer is materially different, then you should answer. It's just a suggestion not a mandate.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Oct 7, 2017 at 23:38
  • 3
    no! negative score answers should indeed count heavier for such a warning, because these indicate that question tends to attract problematic answers. I'd rather loosen it for opposite case, when there are only answers with solid positive score (the latter is merely a dream because positive score in hot questions doesn't correlate with quality)
    – gnat
    Oct 8, 2017 at 7:12
  • No, I think it is fine the way it is. I would look at your situation differently: hypothetically let's say that the question can have only two good answers. (Yeah, I know we cannot determine the "maximum good answers" for a question, but this is hypothetical.) Now 2 good answers were already given and someone attempted a 3rd answer, which turned out to be bad (because we have exceeded the "maximum good answers" threshold). The system warns you against piling on with what it suspects is likely to be another bad answer. ...
    – Masked Man
    Oct 8, 2017 at 7:47
  • Of course, the system is not "intelligent" enough to think that way, and it certainly cannot analyze the quality of an as yet unwritten answer, so it has to rely on heuristics. It turns out that the bright minds at StackExchange (rightly or wrongly) decided that the maximum good answers threshold is 2, regardless of the question, and unless they change their mind, they are always right and we are wrong. ...
    – Masked Man
    Oct 8, 2017 at 7:51
  • 2
    Nonetheless, that warning is mostly useless anyway especially when question hits HNQ, as plenty of folks join the answering bandwagon despite the "warning".
    – Masked Man
    Oct 8, 2017 at 7:57
  • Seems reasonable. Or just feel free to ignore the warning. Many do. Oct 8, 2017 at 12:16
  • @gnat thanks for weighing in; your stance was definitely not what I was expecting! The angle I'm coming from is that we want good answers on questions, and don't want to even lightly discourage answers on a question which needs them. Unfortunately, answer votes are the only metric we have.
    – akaioi
    Oct 8, 2017 at 16:01
  • @MaskedMan I'm not sure I'm expressing myself properly. My problem is that if a question has answers with counts (2,1,-1) the system says "Ha! Already has three answers, who needs more?", when it should be saying, "(2,1,irrelevant)... I guess that's only 2 good answers, let's squeeze one more in and hope it's good." This is all told a minor thing, but wanted to lay it out there for people to chew on.
    – akaioi
    Oct 8, 2017 at 16:04
  • @akaioi Your point was clear to me. Anyway, the banner says "This question has more than two answers already", not "This question has more than two good answers already". The supergeniuses at Stack Exchange have already decided that once a question gets 3 answers, even if all 3 are rubbish, someone trying to post a 4th answer is to be treated with suspicion, because obviously the first 3 people who happened to answer the question know everything about the topic. Feel free to write a post on the main meta site and be "enlightened" as to why you are wrong and it is not even worth discussing.
    – Masked Man
    Oct 8, 2017 at 17:19
  • @MaskedMan this would probably work. As opposed to that toothless warning. "additional UI allowing me to review each of previous answers individually prior to posting my own..."
    – gnat
    Oct 8, 2017 at 19:50
  • Ignore the warning, everyone else does.
    – Neo
    Oct 9, 2017 at 17:56
  • @MaskedMan this is a feature request ... is this IPWP-meta not the place to post such? Or are there some requests which can be evaluated (maybe even effected) here and some which need to go to SE proper? I find myself furrowing my brow to the point my monocle is pinching...
    – akaioi
    Oct 9, 2017 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


No, it doesn't make sense.

The warning you see is a simple way of saying, "Hey, three people have already posted answers here. It's unlikely there are going to be many more than three ways to respond to a given situation, so please make sure you aren't saying the exact same thing as someone else before you post another answer."

Just because one person ahead of you had a bad idea, doesn't mean that you won't have the same bad idea. In fact, if one of the first responses was a bad one, chances are even more likely that other people will have the same bad idea.

The warning has nothing to do with the quality of the posts and only to do with reducing redundancy. Even then, it's a warning and doesn't actually change your ability to post. If after reading the other answers you still think your answer is different enough to post, then do so.

You must log in to answer this question.

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