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Is Suggested Answer misused?

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  • Conor Gallagher posted on 17 Jun 2016 10:20 AM
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    I regularly see this on the Microsoft CRM forum, but would be interested in hearing other opinions. I regularly see suggested answers where the post is blatantly not an answer, or is wildly incorrect. I don't want to start pointing the finger at threads, but you will often see somebody ask questions, e.g. looking for more information, or looking for traces, and they mark their post as a suggested answer. It happens just too often to consider it a mistake! Because of it I find myself spending more time on Stack Exchange, because at least bad answers get downvoted there. 


    Is it time to remove the power of suggested answer from us mere users/contributors? I hate to put work on you guys... but I think this is a feature that should be left in the more reliable hands of the moderators!

  • Guido Preite responded on 21 Jun 2016 3:04 AM
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    in my opinion it's misused because there is a leaderboard associated to it, nothing less nothing more.

    Some people like more the "gamification" part of the community.

  • Conor Gallagher responded on 21 Jun 2016 4:31 AM
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    I didn't even know about that leaderboard. In fact, I didn't even know about leaderboards until now!

    Completely agree with your point about "gamification" as you put it. Although I think this aspect of the community does encourage people to get involved and answer questions, I think this particular leaderboard encourages unfortunate misuse like this.

    A better model would be a voting system. Your proposed answers are weighted on how many likes you get rather than an inaccurate leaderboard like the one we currently have. Also, how about an "unhelpful" or "down vote" button so that unhelpful proposed answers count negatively towards the leaderboard.

    Something simple like that would remove the need to moderate it too.

  • Guido Preite responded on 21 Jun 2016 5:03 AM
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    is not the first time that this kind of discussion appears here, the main problem with the downvote system (as stackoverflow, I'm a user also there) is that people will start to write replies asking "why my answer got downvoted?" "who downvoted me?", etc etc (this phenomenon is present also on StackOverflow, but there normally comments are used to express this)

    There is space for improving of course, but at least you can see right away the confirmed answers (because are green) and about the users that always put their answers as suggested, I'm in this forum for some years now, and I noticed that after some months they get bored and they don't participate anymore (also because the "gamification" effect disappears because proposing every single answer you get very few confirmed, especially when the answer consists of the first google link based on the question)

  • Conor Gallagher responded on 21 Jun 2016 5:16 AM
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    Fair point about the down vote, I see that a fair bit on stack exchange myself too.

    I guess it's just a tad annoying when you are looking at a list of questions with proposed answers and it isnt informative. Because you don't know which have proper proposed answers and which have "fake" proposed answers. So you just have to open up every question anyway.

    Links as answers are another pet hate of mine. Links often prove worthless in terms of site history. If I had a pound for every time I find an accepted answer on here with just a link to a blog from a couple of years back and the link no longer works... Well, I'd probably have 50 quid anyway...

  • Crispin John Augustine responded on 9 Mar 2017 8:03 AM
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    I don't find 'Suggested answer' quite helpful. Having used this forum extensively to search for answers to questions/problems, I guess, this feature mostly impacts the user who is searching for answers.

    When there is a post with 15 comments, and 1 verified answer marked in 'green', it's easy to spot the right answer and take it.

    But there are posts with 15 comments, 10 suggested answers, (sometimes with/without verified answers). So I read all suggested answers, but there is no confirmation if that indeed is the right answer. In short, my question is still not answered.

  • AJ Ansari responded on 4 Apr 2017 1:18 AM
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    I agree with Conor. Suggested Answers should just be removed altogether. And having a leaderboard for it further convolutes things.

    Just allow the original poster to verify an answer when she/he sees fit, or allow moderators to verify an answer that they deem is correct.

  • Antony Butcher responded on 9 Nov 2017 4:45 PM
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    I find users barely go back and Mark suggested answers anyway. They find the solution and then move on. :(.  It would be better if this was handled more by moderators.

  • Antony Butcher responded on 14 Nov 2017 9:53 AM
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    The other thing that I think is misused is multiple people suggesting an answer when clearly someone else has already suggested the same answer above in the thread.

    The only reason I can see people do this is to earn more badges.

  • Crispin John Augustine responded on 12 Dec 2018 6:19 AM
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    This is clearly getting out of Control. And I'm surprised that no admin/moderator has responded to this Topic.

    This is certainly a bigger Problem than probably how it is perceived.

    Everytime, a user suggests an answer, the Person who created the post gets a notification "Userxyz suggested an answer to *question in post* "..

    Following the notification link, expecting an Answer, the user only finds the following "suggested" answer:

    * can you provide some additional infos?

    * can you upload a screenprint?

    * Have you checked for available Hotfixes?

    * Have you made a System modification?

    * Have you checked in LCS for an available solution?

    * You have to get a developer to look at it

    * You have to make a System modification

    While these may be very generic and fit to any Topic, they clearly are not "Answers" by any means. They aren't helping the user who asked the question, but end up giving the user a false hope of an answer with a notification.

    I hope, there could be some innovative idea to make "suggested answers" Feature actually helpful to the users, or remove the Feature and the leaderboard altogether.. (because all the examples I shared above are from someone at the top of the suggested answers leaderboard, and I have seen this go on for a long time)

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Community Manager responded on 19 Dec 2018 7:08 PM
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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Crispin, and bringing this post to the forefront of the Feedback Forum. Our goal is to foster a healthy community and make relevant information easier to find. Your feedback and others' thoughts shared within this thread is very valuable. We will consider this issue in our planning for the coming year and our understanding of how we can continue to improve the experience for our community members.

  • As a moderator, whenever I see such posts - I will mark that as “No” in suggested answer option. In fact I do the same for exact duplicate answer post.

    I believe the OP aka question asker can also mark it the same way.

  • Crispin John Augustine responded on 18 Feb 2019 4:13 AM
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    @Arun: I greatly appreciate the work done by you guys (Moderators).

    But in this case, I think it is a bit too late, as the user already received a notification  "Userxyz suggested an answer to *question in post* ", the Moment someone submits a suggested answer.

    So in my opinion, your initiative to correct them definitely makes the Forum to look much more cleaner for other users, but it doesn't prevent the main user from getting an unhelpful/misleading notification.

  • I do a lot of Stack Overflow, they have a lot of Artificial Intelligence, still this kinda issues cannot be circumvented. We need some human intervention like flagging. Also enormous policing work, time-outs for regular offenders, etc needed for a better community.

    Anyway asker is going to get notification for any simple replies. We don’t have minimal character count or any other way to find out if the content is really going to help the asker - as this is going to be a case by case scenario.

    We may have a lot of other pressing issues compared to this. Also badge itself is a gamification idea and we cannot expect fairness from only one side. :)

  • Conor Gallagher responded on 18 Feb 2019 10:59 AM
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    Been a while since I asked this and I see it sometimes gets resurrected!

    Here's the great thing about Stack Overflow, the voting system makes it almost self moderating. So just taking this very simple feature would add a whole lot of good to this site. And I think that is the little bit that needs to be implemented.

    Also if you baked the voting score into the leader board then suddenly you have a way to down vote scores that are rubbish and they suddenly don't qualify in the gamification part of the site. The scoring could initially be a much simpler version of stack overflow too so that we could take advantage of the effective bit needed here, i.e. good answers / suggested answers:

    - You can up vote or down vote an answer or a suggested answer (but only once)

    - Every up vote you get for your answer/suggested answer gives you 5 points (or 1, I'm just picking a number).

    - Only moderators or people with a positive score can up/down vote.

    - Each down vote costs you a point (to make you think twice about your down vote and use them wisely)

    - Only posts with a score of 0 or above get counted towards the leader boards.

    The points could ultimately become a leader board too, and eventually points can be used for other purposes beyond down voting (or maybe not, could just be kept simple).

    Now, can we have this implemented by Friday? :D


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