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Assume there is a question that can be answered by doing some in-game tests. Those tests might be somewhat time consuming (e.g. 1 hour of testing).

Is it acceptable to request that answers are based on facts, instead of opinion? (by "opinion" I'm also referring to assumptions reached through limited experience in given matter)


Reason I am asking is because of a somewhat not so well received question, where some users posted partially inaccurate answers.

I can answer it myself in the following days as I have done in the past for other questions. Reason why I posted it instead of answering it on my own, is because sharing knowledge is good. Also, I could save some time if someone had already done the research needed.

Note that the answer has no room for opinion, it is completely objective.

Here is the question that made me wonder why insisting on not inaccurate answers is perceived so negatively.

  • I don't think it's the insistence on accuracy that's garnering the downvotes so much as your refusal to show what you've tried. Incidentally, being that picky about getting an absolutely exact answer, without displaying any effort yourself, is going to gather a rather large amount of downvotes. You have several comments to that effect, in fact. – Frank Jun 24 '15 at 23:07
  • As a sidenote, you're being rather abrasive to users that are volunteering their own time to help you. They're taking the time to answer your question, and okay, if it's wrong, there's nothing wrong with stating that and downvoting. But saying things like, **This answer contains incorrect info**. Therefor, i conclude that you didn't test it. I specifically asked for answers based on testing, not opinions. isn't really going to make people want to help you. – Frank Jun 24 '15 at 23:13
  • @Frank "... as your refusal to show what you've tried" - This is not true. And neither is "without displaying any effort yourself". There are comments where I explicitly mention some of the things I tested. As I have already said, I will post a full answer. The reason why I use bold letters is because users in SE websites (excluding SO) tend to up-vote way too easily. There are offtopic answers on Arqade that got more up-votes that the ontopic accepted answer. – Fermi paradox Jun 25 '15 at 14:16
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    @Frank "..their own time to help you" - Inaccurate answers are not helping anyone. Also helping is not the only reason that users post answers. Rep is another reason. In this case, rep without research effort. I cant believe I have to defend myself for trying to stop misleading answers. Unbelievable. – Fermi paradox Jun 25 '15 at 14:21
  • Comments are second class citizens. You need to add your effort to your question, not in comments, as they can, and do, disappear without warning. You're getting plenty of advice on how to improve your question, but rather than follow it, you'd rather argue with the people. Which, incidentally, is a reason people don't have to comment when they downvote. – Frank Jun 25 '15 at 21:47
  • How do you know an answer is inaccurate? You haven't provided anything in the way of proof. Your statement does not make it so. Regardless, though, if you're trying to get people to, y'know, answer your questions, it's generally not a good idea to bite their head off. What you're asking for, while it is your right to ask, you cannot enforce as an answer, nor will they be deleted. It's not about only helping you. It's about helping everyone else who reads the question. – Frank Jun 25 '15 at 21:49
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    @Frank I know it's inaccurate because I tested it. As for proof.. what do you expect? A screenshot? Try cutlass active. It will take you about 5 minutes with a friend to tested and see that 2 of the answers are wrong. Judging by your comments, you don't seem to realize (or care) about how damaging inaccurate answers are to Arqade. About the "helping others" part.. wrong answers don't help anyone! – Fermi paradox Jun 25 '15 at 21:57
  • @Frank There is no point in discussing it with you. As I said already multiple times I will post a full answer. There is nothing wrong with the question itself, however I will edit it to force you and others like you to find a different excuse on the downvotes. The hard truth is that you want a casual forum where everyone can speak their mind (no matter how wrong they are). Unfortunately, you have achieved it to some extend. – Fermi paradox Jun 25 '15 at 22:03
  • If you tested it, then you should put it as part of your question! Not only will that result in displaying effort, it will also help answerers not re-do your effort! You'll get a better answer out of it, too! As for not caring about damaging Arqade...you should check my vote counts. I also observe that you haven't actually downvoted the wrong answers, so...it's kinda hard to take you seriously when it comes to discussing that aspect. I think we're probably coming from the same area, just need a little bit of nudging. I'll happily discuss it in chat, if you want to continue this. – Frank Jun 25 '15 at 23:46
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Fermi paradox Jun 26 '15 at 10:30
  • You are all welcome in the chat to discuss it. – Fermi paradox Jun 26 '15 at 11:03
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Generally a question is modal; either it can be backed up by facts (it is objective) or it can't (it is subjective; these are rare and often off topic). In the case where a question is objective, a good answer will often include not only the answer but any research done to arrive at the answer. So mandating in the question that an answer to an objective question be backed up by facts is essentially redundant.

You can't stop people from posting answers that don't help you, but you can certainly downvote them and withhold the checkmark if the answer isn't addressing the actual question.

As the asker, you shouldn't be dictating how to answer. If you're asking a question, then there is some measure of doubt about the topic that you're asking about. In theory, a good answerer will know the correct way to answer your question, and it may include information you didn't even realize was relevant as the asker.

So...no, you can't really mandate specific kinds of answers when asking a question. But you can use upvotes, downvotes, and the accepted checkmark to help sort the answers you do get based on how helpful they were.

  • In a single question i got 3 answers 2 of which didnt include any research, and where partially incorrect. I would have downvoted along with a comment but unfortunately (on sites other than SO) people tend to upvote wrong answers out of pity. So on mild cases downvotes are ineffective, and in reality reward the answerer. – Fermi paradox Jun 19 '15 at 16:42
  • By "mandate" do you refer to even suggesting that they should not simply state their opinions? I mean, i know i cant force them, but reminding them cant be bad, right? Since I regularily encounter lots of questions with answers that are plain wrong and simply state what they believe.. – Fermi paradox Jun 19 '15 at 16:45
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    @user5061 I think you're confusing "incorrect facts" with "opinion". Someone giving an objective answer based on their own experiences could be incorrect, and warrant downvotes, but it's not an opinion. When I say "you can't mandate" I mean that there is no enforceable way to only get answers that are strictly backed up by research. – Invader Skoodge Jun 19 '15 at 16:51
  • By opinion I mean conclusions reached through some personal experience and (quite a few) assumptions. I ll edit my question to clarify it. – Fermi paradox Jun 19 '15 at 16:58
  • regardless, asking for facts/a source is an option when placing a bounty on a question – user106385 Jul 25 '15 at 0:22

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