I recently came across a joke-answer in an older question, and I flagged it as
not an answer. It's simply a link to a youtube video of someone blowing up a capacitor. Not what the user wanted to know.
When I was about to flag another, unrelated, answer, I saw that my previous flag had been denied, which surprised me. I can think of two reasons, one more likely than the other:
- The answer is posted by a high-rep user. I hope this is not the reason!
- The answer is three years old. This is more likely the reason.
I did some research and found this very similar meta-question: Answer flag declined because of the age of the answer, which has the following quote:
Part of the concern is to discourage going through old questions looking for trouble. When you go back 3-4 years, to the infancy of the site, you see a lot of behavior that would not be allowed now because people were unfamiliar with the format. Also, rules have changed over the years.
I agree with this in some cases - perhaps it's not constructive to edit old answers or questions, or delete old questions that are now off-topic. However, there is a benefit of having a consistent "answer base" because all questions and answers serve as examples on how we want the site to be, and I don't think that old answers should be immune to scrutiny. Heck, it's not even old! The answer I quoted above is from 2014. 3-4 years ago would have been 2010, which is ancient in comparison.
The last point is what I wanted to discuss or at least ask about. Questions from 2010 were obviously written in another life, if I may anthropomorphize stackexchange. Different rules, different topics. But 2013? I don't see much difference between the questions posted then and now. I would definitely hold posts from 2013 to the current standards. Am I wrong here? Have the rules changed too much since then?
Since I'm such a (relatively) new user I haven't reflected much on that, even though I've used StackExchange a lot as a passive seeker of knowledge. Since I've always admired the focus on straight answers and no fooling around, it is something that I would like to preserve now that I have an account.