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A recent question has an answer that doesn't sit right with me: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/a/391241/91862

It consists of four completely different answers cut from a reddit thread about that exact question on Stack Exchange.

Now, I don't see a problem with cutting an answer from a third-party website - that's a perfectly fine way to answer a question (although in this case the optimal outcome would be if the reddit users had created an account and answered themselves).

My problem is that I can't upvote the one I think is correct or downvote ones I don't think makes any sense at all because they are all bunched together. I think this goes against the spirit of the Stack Exchange network - the goal is to have good solutions rise to the top by voting, which will hopefully be the correct solution.

What do you think should be done with the answer? Is it a rare case of an answer that should be turned into a wiki? Should we ask the user to split it up into four separate answers? Or am I just overreacting and we should leave it alone?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also on the same questions are a few answers that start with 'I think' or, 'this is my guess'. To me, these answers should not be allowed either. Answers are supposed to be answers. If you are going to have a guess, then to me, it should be backed up with some examples, links or something similar. Or is that just me? \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Aug 20 '18 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MCG I have posted one of the answers you reference here, and I would normally agree with you but in this case its clearly not that common a practise so all the answers are going to be conjecture without an actual samsung employee responding. I think "other mfrs do this because of x, maybe samsung do as well" holds about as much weight as a reason which has no examples but stands up to scrutiny from experienced engineers. Perhaps this should be its own meta question? \$\endgroup\$ – Loganf Aug 20 '18 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MCG Have to agree with Loganf here, it should be a different meta-question. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Aug 20 '18 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Loganf and pipe, righto, I'll do a different meta question \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Aug 20 '18 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Loganf question has been asked \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Aug 20 '18 at 19:27
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You're right, they definitely should be four separate answers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As you are a moderator, a question I have regarding answers on this same post is because a few answers that start with 'I think' or, 'this is my guess', should these be allowed? Answers are supposed to be answers. If you are going to have a guess, then to me, it should be backed up with some examples, links or something similar. Or is that just me? I downvoted and flagged the answers. If that was wrong, let me know and I can reverse the vote, but to me, guesses should not be included as answers \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Aug 20 '18 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MCG: Well, that's a different question altogether. If a person writing an answer is not sure about the question or his answer, he should either write a comment asking for clarification on the question, or do more research on the answer until he's confident in the information that he's providing. You're right -- "I guess" or "I think" answers are really not appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Aug 20 '18 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was considering doing a new meta question for it but as I'm on my phone at the moment I thought I'd write a comment instead as the phone can be a pain! If you think it warrants it's own question I can open one. I'm glad you agree as I've always seen SE as a question and answer site, not a question and guess. As I said, I've flagged the answers but if you think it's worth a new question, let me know and I'll do it when I'm next by my laptop \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Aug 20 '18 at 15:41
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I've split it into four new answers and deleted the old one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Amazing! You took a substantial reputation hit from doing that, but I still think it was the "correct" path. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Aug 19 '18 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've changed it back after reading feedback. \$\endgroup\$ – Darius Aug 19 '18 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, then maybe we need to ask a mod to undo your "revert" again. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Aug 19 '18 at 20:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ One of the answers was deleted by a mod, another was recommended for deletion, and all four were downvoted. I don't think that splitting the answer into four parts is the solution. Instead the question is whether or not the answer should be deleted entirely, which I am open to doing if it's really that bad of an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Darius Aug 19 '18 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem with "forwarding" answers from another site is that the people who originally wrote the answers cannot respond or react in any way to the feedback that they get on EE.SE. You would have to take on that role yourself. Otherwise, this completely disables the mechanisms that SE has in place to create high-quality content that will be useful to future visitors.If you're not prepared to defend, revise or otherwise improve the answers from the Reddit users, you should delete the answer altogether. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Aug 20 '18 at 15:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is nothing that forces a poster to defend revise or otherwise do anything to a post after posting. Obviously 50 plus upvotes means it's good as is. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Aug 20 '18 at 18:10
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Or am I just overreacting and we should leave it alone?

This. There is nothing against the rules that an answer can't have multiple parts some of which may be wrong.

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    \$\begingroup\$ See my comment to Darius -- forwarding answers from other sites breaks all the mechanisms that SE has in place to create high-quality content. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Aug 20 '18 at 15:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ I understand the issues (copyright, plagiarism) with copy-and-paste forwarding, but I don't think the logic about "breaking mechanisms" holds beyond that. Many answers, good or bad, will have been "forwarded" from "what the answerer remembers from a textbook or a website" or even "what the answerer found when doing some research to answer the question". You can make a bad (or wrong) answer starting from a good source, whatever the details of how you do it. The person who posts on SE is always responsible for what they posted, regardless of what information they used to create the post. \$\endgroup\$ – alephzero Aug 28 '18 at 7:47

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