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How do we stop the upvoting of unanswerably incomplete questions and unattempted homework?

I could list examples, but we've all seen plenty, so that's beside the point.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't think there is a way, it's completely out of your hands. Just downvote (with a comment), flag, and go about your day :) \$\endgroup\$
    – awjlogan
    Oct 11 '20 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ We can add tags (I think) to questions so how about a tag called "unanswerable question". \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 12 '20 at 10:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about questions that need to focus (too broad in the old parlance). Should we downvote these for not keeping to the site rules? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 12 '20 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heh, we have the same problem lately on Code Review. Obviously off-topic questions getting 2 upvotes for some strange reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    Oct 12 '20 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I imagine classmates would be enthusiastic about upvoting. How many close votes does it take to close a question on EE? - Stack Overflow fairly recently changed from 5 to 3. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13 '20 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think '5' close votes is good range. Otherwise ESE becomes autocratic system. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mitu Raj
    Nov 19 '20 at 4:16
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I'd strongly recommend going about making this major time sink less of a major timesink by introducing a specific close reason. This was discussed and agreed upon. This saves you the time to comment and gives the asker a positive way forward.

Also, if possible, we'd add the rule very specifically to the help "What can I ask about" and "What type of question should I avoid asking" pages. Unlike "fitting" the "needs more focus" or a custom verbage close reason to the question, which always leaves room for discussion, this establishes a fair (as possible - this is run by humans, after all) base to judge all questions. It's always better to say "hey, welcome here, but this is not the type of question you can ask here, see our definition" than to be like "and by common opinion, your question isn't welcome here".

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    \$\begingroup\$ This would help. But many of these questions have existing equally valid close reasons, and we simply don't manage to marshal enough votes to get them closed. Especially not to close them before someone sneaks in with a response that fulfills the assignment without advancing the asker's understanding or education. If we don't manage to prevent the site from being useful as a homework doing service, then it inevitably becomes one, because the person who got their homework done here once, even if subsequently scolded, will try again for the next assignment. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think awareness helps there: We're not really against people answering these question (I personally don't care that OP won't learn a thing; I'm only slightly worried about watering down of degrees, and ultimately, that's a shortcoming of the examining academic institutions, not ours), we're mostly concerned because a) it absorbs time and b) it attracts more questions of the same type, which pulls down the quality of the site. We don't have the same problem with other low-quality posts (say, shoddy drawings in "I 2 lzy 2 rite full sentences" questions), because the whole community \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ What boggles the mind is that those shoddy drawing posts do sometimes get upvotes! Homework is a particular example of the problem, but not unique. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ immediately reacts relatively coherently: "hi, this is not how you ask. Put in some work, and search before asking". That's our only hope. As you say, if it requires 5 high-rep users on instant pagers to kill these, then the high-reps are not the solution (maybe we're even wrong then); the only solution is that even a first-time answerer knows to spot a homework-without-own-effort-question as spam. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton sure, that happens, mostly because we're a helpful community. That's a good thing. It's not a significant time-sink, though, usually. Homework questions, on the other hand, do make up a lot of our work \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ The real issue is not the shoddy drawing, but that so much critical information is missing that no actual answer can be created. Yet there's a faction that still hands out what I can at best assume are "participation" upvotes. Though I think we also see truly malicious upvoting, too, from those who have a fundamental disagreement with the idea of SE as being a specific tool, and want to see it diluted into an anything-goes by throwing chunks of wood in the mechanism. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ On one hand: yes, that exist, but on the other, as long as bad quality voting still works as swiftly, I'm not too worried. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '20 at 16:28
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It is unnerving, but there is no way to stop people from upvoting questions, from a moderation perspective. Moderators don't have control over voting, this is up to the community. If you see a bad question, then be sure to downvote. I see many questions that the community hands off to the moderation system when only a downvote would be appropriate.

If you see a homework question (that is also off topic, Homework questions are allowed, but they need an attempt at a solution, if they don't then they are off topic and) you can also flag it and let a moderator take care of it.

Just in case your wondering, the voting system is what it is: "Moderators can see more data in the system, including vote statistics (but not ‘who voted for this post’) and user profile information."
https://electronics.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators

IMO this is because stack exchange does not want anyone to manipulate the voting system, not even a moderator. The only time votes are ever touched is in voting fraud.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The point of having moderators is to deal with the issues which voting cannot. Voting here is substantially broken at the moment, because the number of users who don't really understand how SE works active at any given time, tend to outnumber those who do. You have the power to fix these things, ordinary users do not. Instead, the responses to no-effort questions get treated as "argument" and removed, by a moderator who then leaves the no-effort or unanswerable question itself open - it doesn't need five community votes, it needs your one. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13 '20 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ We all know you can close a question with a single vote, so where the question is unanswerable, that's what you should be doing, even if you also downvote. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13 '20 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep so flag it and I will be more than happy to close it as I have done in the past, I can't scan all questions all the time, so I need to have the bad ones brought to my attention. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Oct 13 '20 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you are downvoting the question, you're already on the page and don't need someone to flag it... that's just silly, and inefficient. And when we do flag them, you just decline... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13 '20 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I also close most every homework question without an attempt at a solution that I see. There are certain instances where I don't think this is appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Oct 13 '20 at 16:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Albeit I'm often verbally relatively frank when it comes to pointing out shortcomings of questions, "autonomous single-moderator-vote closure" feels like a last resort. I mean, all glory to our glörious moderator Spike, but ideally, no moderator or moderator team is responsible for controlling the overall content. If the community doesn't adhere to our (as in: senior users) ideals, we have two options: \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '20 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. Bend to the majority. That's democratically right, but unsustainable. Although this site is a very direct-vote thing, the whole higher-rep close privilege thing gives this, rightfully so, a representative-democracy touch. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '20 at 0:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ 2. Bend the majority. Be very vocal about what we want to see, and why we don't understand why someone upvoted something. Comment questions, and clearly point out problems, as well as making clear what could be done better. Be constructive, but firm. Be clearer in the rules, and less willing to discuss things that are on their way to oblivion, anyways. Be agressive about community rules – we could have "don't try to use this site as collection for your circuit, device or physical ideas. This is a QA site." as a "what not to ask" rule, like very soon, I assume. Be bold. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '20 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ (example of what I'm thinking about) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '20 at 0:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarcusMüller You may want to read this: electronics.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators The rules and guidelines are already clear, the stack exchange FAQ is readable by anyone, so is electronics.stackexchange.com/help the moderation team is dealing with these problems, and the moderation team is actively watching specific users. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Oct 14 '20 at 3:31

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