First of, this is an overall really great community. Nevertheless, I feel driven away. So this post is not a question, it's just that I need to voice the opinion I formed in actually just the last few months.

I have the impressions that there is some sort of (fake) karma-farming or something similar happening out of these observations (read: as in highly anecdotal evidence):

  • The thing is, I don't visit often in times when I do not have questions or anything to say. But the times I visit, I notice there are so many of those cheap low effort questions with some remarkable detailed replies.

  • Then there are the basically inactive users who just have with some little karma and who re-edit any post they can find.

  • Then there are the users who post more replies to already solved questions or questions which are popular.

These obversation mostly relate to questions which address something basic and/or familiar for every pc/laptop user, so they aren't really concerning something specific *buntu-related.

My personal example would be a user here. In this specific thread, he posted another reply. The thing is, I remember that he had registered on this day and I had like 10 notifications only because of his edits and comments which were mundane edits and non-constructive comments. I told him, I flagged him and some of his content disappeared.

The second issue is where users are concerned with minutiae. This leads to a double standard (in regards to all the posts which are out there) and to a hilariously bad example such as this. I can tell you, any time I spot an edit for something very small in the post (and I already have my personal favorite user for this), I am closing the tab. AFAIK the way it works on SE, there is nothing you can do except closing the tab. I don't imagine many people try to stick around for this. (this last paragraph is not about tags!)

I know it's an internet thing, but it's clear that in some cases people really do make an effort to get their own specific will in while completely disregarding proper behavior. I don't know what it's for, in the big picture? To write on you rCV that you have some IT support-related experience wile working towards a goal in a team or something?

  • 1
    I don't see anything wrong with the posts/edits you pointed out.
    – guntbert
    Mar 29, 2014 at 9:58
  • 2
    @guntbert maybe the "wrong" content has since been removed? I also see a lot of edits that are just adding/removing tags while ignoring other aspects of the question. I initially used to look at edits to learn how they are done but it's frustrating to see edits which are just limited to tags. As for karma-farming, that's the weakness of SE and we just have to accept it. Very blatant fraud is caught but "under the radar" rigging is difficult to spot.
    – DK Bose
    Mar 29, 2014 at 11:52
  • @DKBose (a) I was (of course) looking at the edit history, (b) IIRC editing "just the tags" is something suggested by the system in the beginning.
    – guntbert
    Mar 29, 2014 at 16:55
  • 1
    I still have no idea what you're worried about..
    – Seth
    Mar 30, 2014 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


I might be a bit biased here but I think the mods work really hard to find people who cheat the system. We have a pretty decent toolset for forensically linking accounts to the same people so if you think people are doing something bad, tell us. Flag one of their posts, leave a "for moderator attention" and explain what you think is wrong.

That said:

  • A good answer to a crappy question isn't always suspect. Answerers are often more willing to put in the time to write good answers than new users are willing to write good questions. A sad fact.

  • Some people like editing. They want to progress to other things but don't have the wherewithall to gain reputation through questions and answers directly.

  • Sometimes popular questions deserve fresh answers... But no, if they're posting the same old stuff again, flag it and we'll nuke it from orbit. This is unfortunately common.

I'm not trying to stop you from flagging any of those behaviours, I'm just giving you a second perspective. There's a lot more good come from the community than bad...

And yes, there are are some people who take the rules too seriously but I don't count your example as a valid one. There are also some things that might seem ridiculously strict that we do for everybody's benefit. How users trade reputation is one of those things; it has to be on technical merit.

But for the people who do overstep, we do contact them (privately, most of the time) to get them to moderate their own actions a little better. Again, this is something you can flag up for moderator attention if you think something's going sideways.

You're also more than welcome to post on Meta about policy. You won't always get your way but you can learn other opinions (and their popularity) on here.

  • I actually don't glag much stuff (I think). But this was a really refreshing and informative post. But with so many new accounts which have low karma, it seems like it's a lost effort from the get-go as people can just abandon it and try the game with a new one.
    – henry
    Mar 29, 2014 at 9:38
  • "glag" = "report". Don't recall what happened there.
    – henry
    Mar 29, 2014 at 14:38
  • @henry Why are you so worried about it? It's the moderators job to deal with people who are breaking the rules, and you haven't given any good examples of what you're seeing that is "suspicious".
    – Seth
    Mar 30, 2014 at 3:24
  • 1
    @henry AU has almost 200k users now, we're huge. There's going to be some people who abuse the system, that doesn't mean it's bad, that's just life. Have a look at our top voted questions and answers, there are many people doing excellent, high quality work. If you see something wrong, keep on rocking, don't let the gunk slow you down. Apr 9, 2014 at 13:41

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