I don't know who is the author of this priceless piece of art but I want to share it anyway (if you know the source then please let me know).
Anyway, so why would I mention it?
Actually, I expressed this opinion more than one year ago as a comment here. After a couple of additional encounters with this nonsense I decided to extract it to this blog.
So what's the problem?
Here are some of the issues:
- stack exchange websites are viral in nature, that's why they are becoming popular. But that does not help to bring the high-quality content. A lot of dumb people come in just to get points and become “cool”, for some reason their incompetence does not scare them away. This results in very high amounts of wrong answers. Possible solution: dump the score system! It is not a fucking computer game… 😩
- After two years of inactivity my score doubled. Check it out. Great system, way to go… not. All you have to do is post a couple of answers, and then just wait for these answers to gather a lot of votes. Pretty much like a pyramid scheme! Those who join early win.
- I don't know why, but most people feel that downvoting is offensive. I downvote pretty frequently, but other competent people ignore the wrong answers simply because there is a shitload of them. It is not possible to explain to every idiot why he is an idiot, so I guess that it is a right decision to just give up. On a wiki, such educational (“you are an idiot because …”) comments or edits are usually peer-reviewed, which increases the overall intellect of the community. On stackexchange your comment is just ignored, because most comments are usually hidden. People don't bother reading them (yes, nobody reads the comments!). The only one who will read your comment is the author of the answer, but he will probably ignore it too.
- Moderation is bullshit. I like to revise my answers, because I am a human and I do mistakes sometimes. But on stackoverflow, you can't edit more than like 10 old answers per day… So I was coming back to stackoverflow for several days in a row to fix some of my answers, and know what? I received a personal message from some moderator. Look:
This just proves that there is no point to have authorities on such websites. Just let the peer review to do its thing.
- Refactoring is not possible. For example, double answers are frequent. Yes, sometimes it happens that two identical answers are posted with a 10 second delay and people don't bother to delete one of them. Usually both are voted up and you end up with duplicated information. Not so bad, but there is just something wrong with the system.
- There is no “Recent Changes” thing. If there is, then where the fuck is it? Perhaps oh-mighty-moderators can see it. That being said, I will probably get the access to moderator tools too for another year or two of inactivity. That's how it works, folks.
- You cannot change something massively. There is no such thing as bulk replace. And if you start doing something like this, you will get punished. This is a little bit different from refactoring. I'm talking about fixing some common problem in bulk on many pages. For example, I stumbled upon some idiot on stackoverflow who kept giving bullshit bash answers and I spent half of an hour revising his other answers and sometimes voting them down, in some cases even describing the problem (not always because I don't want to link to the same problem more than once). And you know what? That worked! At first, he got angry, but then he started revising his answers, and I was giving an upvote for every fixed one. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, yeah, until some moderator came in and rolled back all my voting… Great. I think exactly the same would have happened if I was editing his answers myself. See? Do I even have a right to vote? Come on, every downvote is only -1 point while upvotes are +10, let me do it the way I find useful.
- Shitloads of duplicate questions. One of the reasons is that the content is not structured in any way. But the problem is that you cannot simply close a question as a duplicate because old answers are rarely revised and are usually out of date. And you cannot get on that old question page and start begging for a fresh information, there is simply no mechanism for that (yea, that's one of the downsides of not having recent changes).
- Some people come to get instant help, and they ask questions that will never be helpful to somebody else. For example, they paste a piece of their code and ask why something is not working. This is justified sometimes, but HEY GUYS, we have IRC for that.
StackExchange is rather new, all we have to do is wait a few years until it is filled with useless bullshit. Then the problem will fix itself (stackoverflow will die and we will get back to wikis, FAQs, docs, IRC and other stuff that actually works in a long run).
You can also read my other comment.
Be conscious and try not to support Stackoverflow.