I’ve asked a question recently which got completely mis-interpreted by everyone, despite my repeated attempts to clarify.
This is the second time I’m seeing a highly upvoted answer which answers a different question but at the same time confuses others into thinking that the question is being addressed.
The first time was discussed here.
Something needs to be done about this. This is damaging to the site’s reputation as a place of reason and logic. This kind of fallacy is to be expected from Yahoo Answers; it cannot be acceptable here. Worst of all, I am powerless to do anything about it. The answer about cigarettes is still out there, and is a top-10 hit for "smoke single cigarette" on Google. I did do the one thing I can and am supposed to do, but this didn’t fix the problem.
What are everyone’s thoughts about this?
One possible solution is to change the question so that it matches the answer. I do think that’s rather disrespectful of the asker, however. Another possibility is to "close" off-topic answers like we close off-topic questions. Lastly, we could just delete the whole thread; I’m certainly considering doing that to my misinterpreted question about Coca-Cola. One thing we can’t do, in my opinion, is leave them as-is.
List of examples:
- Does smoking a single cigarette measurably harm your body? (measurable health impact vs measurable levels of toxins — closed, answer deleted)
- Is the exact composition of Coke Coca-Cola a secret? (list of steps vs chemical composition — question rewritten to match answer)
- Is physical beauty correlated with health? (actual health vs perceived health)