Proposal: Software Recommendations

Inevitably if this site is successful at what it plans to be there will begin to be spam along the lines of

Q. What is the best Mp3 encoding software available?

A. Oh, what an interesting question, I would like to recomment GREAT SOFTWARE THAT CONVERTS AND HAS A SPAMMY WEBSITE its really cool.

This could then be copied to hundreds of Q - A pairs.

I guess the voting system will take care of this a bit, but even that can be gamed by these people. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this, or will it just need to be managed as we go?

  • 11
    Do just the same as on the other sites, when receiving spam: Flag as spam.
    – juergen d
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


I'd suggest to use specific flagging, similar to how things are done in StackOverflow. Users should be able to categorize certain questions and responses in categories that would appear when flagging posts.
Here is my suggestion:

Both Questions and Answers

  • Harmful / Malicious software recommendation
    Malicious software, or other suggestions that are directly seen as harmful either to the OP or the community is not tolerated.

  • Low Quality
    The question/answer is not suitable according to the expected format for this site and will not be salvageable trough the edit/improve features.

  • Discrimination / Hate Speech / Obscenity
    The post introduces discrimination, obscenity, hateful and/or disrespectful attitude to other community users or in general.

For Questions

  • Off-Topic
    The question does not provide means for a concrete answer. This may be split into the following sub-categories:
    • Too Broad
      The question could generate broad discussions and is primarily opinion based.
    • Too Localized
      The question addresses a flaw to the user's own configuration, that prevents/causes certain software problem. This would be appropriate when the flaw is result of the asker causing it deliberately, with no valid reason and without the knowledge of doing so. For instance:

      "I have changed the windows OS to use pictures and fax viewer to open .mp3 files. Now I my music player no longer works when I double click music files. What alternatives do you recommend"?

For Answers

  • Advertisement / SPAM
    When the answer is obvious attempt to advertise a product with the intention to profit. Affiliate or direct benefits for the answering user should not be tolerated.

  • Off-Topic
    The answer does not provide a solution to the issue. This may be split into the following sub-categories:

    • Not an Answer
      This is rather an attempt to comment on an existing question/answer.

    • Too Localized
      The answer seems to serve the answering user's specific needs, but it does not prove to be a widely-applicable solution. It may also be used for answers that have quite individual prerequisites in terms of OS, software configuration and etc, in order to work.
      Flag especially when the OP's configuration does not match the described in the answer and requires major reconfiguration/additional setup effort that may limit or trouble the OP.

    • Overly General
      The answer does not seem to address the OP's specific needs - OR - the answer suggest more than one equal software alternatives with no objective reasoning to their usage.

I will not assume the above list to be exhaustive for all the possible flagging options we would support. Therefore I will try to improve it in time as new flagging issues arise.


I think there are big examples we can follows. Google deals with spam every day while building it's SERP when it's queried. Also Wikipedia. I think the solution can come from many separate ways. Google uses complex alghoritmic solution, Wikipedia is wikified. For sure a constant monitoring will help a lot, but, at the same time the site should avoid the example of DMOZ. Too much closed, untransparent, and tirannic (in my and many's opinion).

I leave this post to community wiki to leave the possibility to others to enhanche it.

I think also this section should ask users to avoid to ask: "which is the better ide" but to replace questions (or give answers) that explains very specifically the feature.

With a community like ours I believe there will be not many problems.

Also reputation could be exploited.

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