An answer to the question How do I see more rival's best time in Super Mario 3D Land? was put up for review. The answer says:

This may be like Mario Kart Wii, Your rival may be Nintendo Staff, with high scores, like a Personal Best.

That's the whole answer (At this time). I've chose to recommend deletion, as in my opinion, the answer doesn't really provide an answer to the question but rather a wild guess based on another game of the same brand (the Marion bros. brand). In my opinion it should be given as a comment, unless the answerer can verify it themselves or find a credible source to say that it's indeed the solution. As I wrote in a comment to the answerer:

If you have a real tested answer that you know that works from testing it yourself or from other credible sources, than it's an answer and you should phrase it as one, if it's only a guess based on other games with of the same brand, then it's merely a guess and should be put as a comment and not an answer.

Am I right in my "demand" for tested answers, or am I too influenced from Skeptics.SE?

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I'm a huge fan of tested answers; some of my best answers are massive walls of tests. But I don't think requiring each and every question to be tested is the right way to go. –  Frank Feb 24 '13 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

We do not require all answers to cite a source, like Skeptics does. However, we'd rather leave guesses in the comments area.


That said, I'd rather not moderate guesses out of the answers area at least for objective questions for a simple reason. If a guess is wrong, it's easy to try it, bust it as incorrect and downvote the answerer, punishing him for a wrong guess in the answer area. We don't moderate wrong answers.

If a guess is right, it's still helpful to the asker — plus chances are somebody who does know the answer can write a better, more quality answer that floats to the top anyway.

It is possible to exhaustively and correctly answer a question with a guess, as I might've done here. It's also known as "getting lucky." Does it really matter, then, if it was a guess in the first place?

We have had a few guess answers that sounded right, received quite a lot of upvotes and then were proved to be wrong; this (10k only) is one such example. If that happens, then please do flag away.

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"We have had a few guess answers that sounded right, received quite a lot of upvotes and then were proved to be wrong... If that happens, then please do flag away." Does this mean that it's acceptable to flag answers that have been proven to be wrong? I'm asking because I've seen this flag decline reason: "flags should not be used to indicate technical inaccuracies, or an altogether wrong answer". –  galacticninja Feb 24 '13 at 15:39
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tl;dr: A flag is also not a super downvote. Please don't use it as one. –  LessPop_MoreFizz Feb 24 '13 at 16:00
    
@galacticninja Yes, but only if their score is +30 or something horrifically wrong like that where it would take extraordinary amount of community coordination to rectify the situation and the answer is grossly incorrect –  badp Feb 24 '13 at 16:28
    
I'm assuming there's a second answer that was removed in that example? I only see the accepted, tested answer. –  MBraedley Feb 24 '13 at 16:33
    
@MBraedley That'd be correct –  badp Feb 24 '13 at 16:33

Answers should be authoritative and contain correct, factual information.

We have banned entire categories of questions (game-rec, ITG) because they didn't allow for answers that met these criteria.

Answers that contain nothing more than guesses should be downvoted at least. I personally think that, in order to help make the Internet a better place (which is kind of the mission statement here), any answers that don't provide useful new information should also be deleted. Guesses are not useful.

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What about in the case of debugging an issue with a game, which we do allow? Answers in that case wouldn't be wrong, but they'd still be guesses - such as "I've had 'Issue ABC' before, this sounds similar (Issue BCD). Try X'ing your Y, and if that doesn't work, try Z instead of X. If all else fails, you might have to D System 32" –  Robotnik Feb 25 '13 at 5:45
    
@Robotnik That's what comments are for. –  Rilgon Arcsinh Mar 3 '13 at 1:32
    
This is the problem with pretty much all tech support questions on our site... 90% of the answers are guesses. –  Sterno Jan 21 at 21:02

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