I am noticing an eerie pattern in the home page. Some new users(registered for couple of days, some are unregistered) answers a string of questions within a particular time frame (say 1 hour), then vanishes. They come after some days to answer questions (usually in bursts), others don't come at all. The answers are particularly of 3-4 lines with no references whatsoever (most of them are opinion based answers). Is it good? How to deal with such users? How to handle such situation?

Note: I haven't named any users and do not have any ill-intentions towards them. I am not targeting any user for such activity. I am just shedding some light on this situation and seek appropriate measure.

1 Answer 1


No, this not good. However it is a part of the platform, especially since there is virtually no barrier of entry. Anybody is free to ask and/or answer questions, and most people will come to this platform with a typical forum/comment mindset. Just dropping their 2 cents where they can and want, and moving on.

This is not just a mindset limited to answers either. Often referred to as help vampires are also often found on the platform. Users that ask a question, never to return after. Or in some cases dissapear after a few days at most.

The best thing we can do is guide these users in the ways of stack exchange by guiding them to the [tour] or [help-center]. Provide them with a short pointer on why we work/prefer to do it different on this platform. And perhaps some instructions on how they could improve their answers and/or questions.

Personally I like the approach Madara's ghost mentions:

Be gracious, be professional. Don't drive away users. Be patient towards them, explain their mistakes, refer them to the FAQ and /about page if necessary.

If you aren't sure, flag it for moderator attention and we'll handle it.

In general, don't be trigger happy with downvotes, prefer comments and communication.

Downvotes are reserved for posts which aren't helpful, badly formatted or aren't clear.

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