The most polite way to stress I do not wish to eat something?

I just saw a pile of comments added to old answers requesting for an update. I just find this to be a bit odd. Is this going to be done to all the questions?

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    To be clearer about the timeline: it was "resurrected" by a new answer, and then I left all these comments asking for backup.
    – Ael
    Jul 9 '19 at 10:42

From the question activity, I believe you're referring to yesterday's comments asking for editing an answer that does not meet the site requirements.

You may be aware that IPS is in public beta, which means we're still defining and tuning the scope, guidelines and requirements.

Last year the community updated what they think should be prerequisites for an answer to be valid, which unfortunately invalidated a significant number of old answers. Now the thing is, some users discover IPS through one of these old questions. What would happen if they saw such a question, studied its answers and then decided to answer a question themselves? They would likely be influenced by what they saw and how people shaped their answers. And then? Their answer gets flagged as "very low quality" or "not an answer", even downvoted maybe, and they do not understand why, because they did as others do before and they were not told anything about not meeting the site requirements. Such user would be likely to get upset, and I totally understand why.

So, is the community going to do this for all answers that don't meet IPS new requirements? Yes, eventually. I understand how this may be bothersome for people who answered a long time ago (and even got a lot of points from it maybe, I had quite a bunch of old answers to edit myself to address citations expectations), but it seems to me to be a mandatory step to make in order to provide the best possible content on IPS (and eventually graduate).

  • 5
    Stack Overflow has a special "historical question" that explicitly states the question/answer does not meet current standards, but are kept for historical reasons. Maybe use that instead? Digging up multi-year old questions and then flooding the "recent questions" with all these updates don't seem like a good idea.
    – Nelson
    Jul 9 '19 at 9:47
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    Although this may be a great tool, the issue here is that the ratio of posts that do respect the new requirements is not high enough to me. The chances to stumble upon an old post that's not meeting new requirements seems too high, and a ribbon is very easy to dismiss, especially if you have ADHD or an issue with focusing. Also, I understand that it only applies for questions - what should we do when the question is on topic but the answers lack backup or something else that make them not suitable for the new guidelines? Can it be applied to answers only?
    – avazula
    Jul 9 '19 at 11:24
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    I agree for the most part, but I too am concerned that it would be an odd thing to actually go hunting for old posts, and then slap our canned comments on them. I hope that's not what is happening. If an old post does somehow reach the "active" page, then we could deal with them as necessary. I say this since there's been a sudden rise in the number of old posts reaching the review queues.
    – NVZ
    Jul 9 '19 at 15:54
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    @NVZ We agreed a few months ago to refrain from using canned comments and most community moderating users stuck to this promise. It's worth mentioning, as Ælis pointed out in their comment, that most of the time these answers get flagged because someone decided to edit the question or post a new answer, which brought attention to the thread again. Most users don't go "hunting", and we don't specifically want to do this as a community, as this is really a lot to ask for.
    – avazula
    Jul 9 '19 at 15:58
  • @avazula I'm aware of the discussion, and you had my upvote. Comforting to know it is still not advised to go looking for the old posts.
    – NVZ
    Jul 9 '19 at 16:01
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    @Nelson nothing prevent asking politely a user if he could update his post and then eventually locking with historical lock or put a notice on the post if the user is not active anymore. And clearly, a part of why SO has so much troublesome with still Low quality answers questions is because of history. The sooner you handle the matter, or at least decide what to do about it, the better.
    – Walfrat
    Jul 12 '19 at 9:08

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