Lately I've seen a trend where a new person will come onto the site and ask a question. The only issue is, the question is put in as an answer to an existing question. When others see it as a question and a faux pas, they'll not only flag the entry as a non-answer, but will also downvote it as well.

I see this as an issue for a couple of reasons:

  1. A new person may not know we don't include a question within a question and expect it to get answered. This is just the learning curve for Stack Exchange, and to me, nothing which would warrant a downvote. By downvoting, you may be pushing this person away, where they never come back. In my humble opinion, this really isn't keeping with the idea of the new Code of Conduct.
  2. If it truly is a new person who asks their question inside of another question, they don't have any points. (Well, they will have one point, anyway.) If you downvote them, nothing will happen to their point total, but your point total will go down by one as well as you using up one of your daily votes. This hurts you, but doesn't do anything to the recipient.

I'm trying to draw attention to the fact it really isn't doing anyone any good to downvote in this situation. Instead, flag the answer as "Not an Answer" and one of us Mods will take care of it in short order. If you feel inclined to suggest to the individual they should be using the "Ask Question" link at the top of the page, then please do so.

Now, I'm not telling you how to vote. Far from it. You should always feel free to vote your conscience and use your daily votes in any manner you feel you need to. As always, if you take umbrage with anything I've said here, please feel free to leave a comment or go full on postal in an answer. As part of your Moderation Team, I'm only here to serve.

  • 1
    OK, I wondered about the double-whammy of a flag with a downvote. I'll keep this in mind. Thanks Paulster2. – mike65535 Nov 6 '18 at 16:41
  • Could we come up with a "standard" boilerplate response, that includes the "welcome", explanation, and appropriate links embedded? I've seen such variation in this - it would be nice to cut and paste an ideal response as a comment. Typing this from scratch every time is a lot of work - and it only occurs 7 times a day. Anything to streamiline the effort put in by a few of us to try and keep the site clean and tidy, but not dissuade a new poster and help with the learning curve. I'm not asking for a coded button (As lazy as I am I'm willing to do the CTRL-C and CTRL-V) - – SteveRacer Nov 13 '18 at 0:26
  • But a nice thorough comment template that is the "accepted" polite response in these situations would be helpful to those of us that review a bunch a "New Posts posted as an answer to an Old Question". Speaking only for myself, I know I get terse sometimes when I'm not looking forward to typing a full paragraph - but also not such an ogre as to simply downvote. Rather than "flag" and make it somebody else's problem, it would be nice to have a tool that get's the job done politely and quickly. Just my never-humble 0.02 – SteveRacer Nov 13 '18 at 0:27
  • @SteveRacer - I use an add-on from Tampermonkey.com called SOX (Stack Overflow eXtras). There are several canned messages you can use, plus it has the utility to add your own messages or edit the canned ones to suit your purposes. There are separate messages for questions and answers. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mod Nov 13 '18 at 1:25
  • Thanks! I'll make certain I put my credit card number in the @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 field... – SteveRacer Nov 13 '18 at 7:55
  • Well newcomers should learn it the hard way. I'm also very annoyed when someone come ask a question, you answer it correctly, but they never come back to mark your answer as the right one. – AsenM Nov 13 '18 at 12:07
  • @AsenM - I hear you on that one ... we can lead the proverbial horse to water, but there's no way to make them drink. We can remind them to select as the answer. If they don't come back, we need to help each other out by upvoting good answers. This tells the SE system the question is "answered" whether the OP checks the mark or not. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mod Nov 13 '18 at 15:01
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 yes, but people don't even upvote, some even downvote for no reason. – AsenM Nov 13 '18 at 15:26
  • @AsenM - Again, I completely understand. We cannot control other people's actions; we can control our own. Do the best you can and let others deal with their own issues. Yes, it still ticks us off, but there's not much we can do about it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mod Nov 13 '18 at 15:29

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