I'm starting to be fed up with those kind of answers.
Every time someone asks a question, such as "Print a christmas tree", one of the top 3 answers is something along the line of Print("a christmas tree");
cf https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/4348/8806
It's true that those questions are often not the most exciting but is there a way to limit those uninteresting answers? Or do we accept them all?
One of the answers I'll probably have would be "they usually don't win" (damn J), but even if it loses, it still takes space in place of actual interesting answers.

Have a good day!

EDIT: To add some context, should we downvote answers like this? As a asker of 1 pretty big question, I'd like to downvote this one, as it uses nothing special, and still gave more rep to the poster than other ones who actually thought about it.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I share the same view. These answers are for code-trolling questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – ComFreek
    Jan 30, 2014 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, there are some highly voted ones, such as this one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Claudia
    Feb 8, 2014 at 1:38

3 Answers 3


I would actually want to nuke those kinds of smartarse answers. I dislike them as much as you do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @AryanBeezadhur Wiktionary does not list it as offensive or even vulgar, and that lines up with common usage of the word. Having said that, I'm happy for the current mods to decide on this. If they decide it's outside of appropriate norms, I'd swap it with "facetious". \$\endgroup\$ Nov 2, 2020 at 18:01
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ (cc @AryanBeezadhur) I don't think SE has a definitive policy saying profanity is not allowed, even in the case that this were profanity. That being said, calling such answers "smartarse" could be seen as an insult to the author even if it's intended purely as a judgement of that type of answer, so different wording may be better, but I leave that up to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Nov 3, 2020 at 16:31


The first one of those (on the first [code-golf] on stack overflow) was funny. Since then they only serve to point out poorly stated problems.

As that is their real function I propose to not nuke them as such, but instead convert them to comment where they serve that (important) function but do not

  • generate rep for the poster
  • encourage more such answers

Or maybe convert the earliest one and nuke any follow-ons.


To answer the follow-up:

The way to discourage non-answers is twofold. Firstly, yes, downvote them. Secondly, if they're unoriginal and clearly not good-faith attempts to answer the question, there's a flag option for "Not an answer". That brings them to the attention of the moderators for nuking or conversion to a comment.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Flagging as "very low quality" may be even more appropriate, as it will add the answer to the low quality review queue, where it can be deleted even without mod intervention. Mind you, that option is only available if the answer has a negative score, so it's best to downvote first and then flag. Remember that you'll even get your -1 rep from the downvote back once the answer is deleted. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31, 2014 at 18:39

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