There seems to be an in-grained need for some people to act as style nazis on this site. Can I block certain people that, clearly don't take any time to answer yet get to use their imaginary "power" to squash other people's answers.


this reads more like a rant, see How to Answer – gnat 28 mins ago


The How to section does not clarify style, not in the slightest.

He is opining and that's debatable, he did a drive-by cursory smearing - no work - and then moved on. He didn't refine the answer, he didn't recommend improvements. And he didn't think about his own answer;

How is that helpful?

How is that following the spirit of:

"Keep an open mind The answer to your question may not always be the one you wanted, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. A conclusive answer isn’t always possible. When in doubt, ask people to cite their sources, or to explain how/where they learned something. Even if we don’t agree with you, or tell you exactly what you wanted to hear, remember: we’re just trying to help."

His sole complaint was his feeling, where is that a basis for complaint?

Why this is not a rant is simple. Style is an opinion. So if I don't phrase my question or answer the "right way" some feel they have the right to do something about it. But not an actual helpful something. That's nonsense, if they don't like it they should either "improve" it or move along.

So why can't I block people that aren't helping / helpful?

1 Answer 1


I took a look at your answer and I feel it makes a reasonable effort to answer the question and posits a plausible explanation for the question that was asked. I do think the assertion that this is because "programmers are lazy" perhaps could have some more credibility with a quoted source, but I digress, no major problems I see with this answer.

With that being said, I am telling you this as my personal opinion and in a way that I am no way directing at you in particular. This is merely a generalization that I have noticed and I am making some assumptions about the motives of others so hear goes.

I have noticed that when people see a new post to a popular question, by a newer user or lower reputation user, when there is already a supremely excellent and comprehensive answer, and the new answer has some strong opinions, then people tend to judge it a little more harshly. A good flank steak on the grill with some A1 sauce is a good treat. You put it next to a well marbled ribeye then the flank might as well be stew meat.

Now when somebody leaves a comment to that answer that may not be a fair assessment, and that person leaves 5 or 6 pretty agitated comments in response, well ... many people are just going to think that person is being a troll and will downvote you not because they don't just not like the answer, but because they don't like the user.

This problem fortunately can be easily solved for everyone.

Be Nice.

If you think user gnat is a troll? Get in line, he has more villains after him than the Bond franchise. The fact remains though that is one person, who utilizes the Citizen Patrol features that his reputation allows him, to do one thing and one thing reasonably well and that is help maintain quality content on this site. If it weren't for people like him then this site would be just another Yahoo Answers.

I don't always agree with him. I didn't agree with his assessment of your answer either and you can probably find where we threw gloves on Meta on the many disagreements we have had through the years. But again, I think he is a net positive for this site and he is just ONE downvote, ONE close vote and ONE comment to the extent of his powers. You just don't need to get that worked up over ONE opinion that you disagree with. Our community doesn't consist of a bunch of sheeple that are incapable of thinking for themselves and making their own determination on the content that you provided.

So again, Be Nice, write good content and the upvotes will reward far more than any single downvote.

  • 1
    a fair comment, thank you.
    – daemondave
    Sep 26, 2015 at 15:12
  • I would point out that while I am in no way interested in amassing 15,666 quatloos of reputation herein, to damage someone's reputation below function status - which is what he did thoughtlessly - disables my ability to function on the site. So I guess my comment is that power-wielding should be more onerous against a newcomer for the simple reason that it in effect, silences debate.
    – daemondave
    Sep 26, 2015 at 15:16
  • 3
    that answer merely repeats point that was made and much better presented in top answer ("tendency to spend less time on optimizing things for space" etc). Guess it was my fault to focus on rant / handwaving, these are rather natural to see in answers to bikeshedding questions. Instead I would better point to more painful and tangible issue. What to do with late answers which retread the same ground as previous answers (but not as thoroughly)?
    – gnat
    Sep 27, 2015 at 12:37

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