We've had the "back it up" policy for almost a year now. It was one of the earlier things we seemed to think important for the quality of answers on the site.
We've had more than a few discussions about supporting answers with experience or references, as well as a few discussion about the problems that unsupported answers seem to be causing:
(I'm sure I've missed some, feel free to add to the list)
Admittedly, I once thought that votes would handle this issue. I'm generally not a big fan of hard rules and I perhaps had a little too much faith in people's common sense (pun intended) when it came to voting. Unfortunately it looks like we've had a lot of cases where votes have made the problem worse...
It seems like the majority of users seem to agree that unsupported answers are a problem, and most seem to agree that we can, and probably should, handle it the way that other, more subjective, SE sites have handled it.
(Again I'm sure there are others, feel free to add them to the list)
To paraphrase the above...
- Someone posts an unsupported answer.
- Add a nicely worded comment asking for the answer to be supported.
- Flag the answer, using a custom mod flag, to let them know that the answer isn't supported.
- A moderator responds to the flag by commenting and/or adding a post notice.
- If the answer isn't edited to add support, or the answer is significantly problematic, the moderator may then delete the answer.
Please realize that that's a paraphrased tl;dr of the three answers above. Please read the above answers for the fine details.
The question is... Are we ready to bite the bullet and start enforcing our back it up policy?
I would like to think that we are.
(Note that this is tagged feature-request, we've discussed this plenty, but this isn't a duplicate of the previous discussions because I'm asking that we finally take action.)