Is reputation only built or assessed by tenure and quantity and not by fewer but well researched, studied and articulated questions and relevant answers?

Original title started as this: Why does this off-topic member have higher rep than me & how can I report flag him to Moderators & Community?

But now, I am just pointing at this as an example/ instance of the subject.


Please see sammyg's comments on my very valid and well researched question which received unnecessary and quite a few negative points.

Understand structure of Chrome User Profile data to Transfer to new PC/ OS & avoid Settings corruption Error?

After an extremely off-topic flood of philosophical comment spam he says he has no idea as he does not use Chrome and has no idea what to do.

I am trying to avoid bad mouthing and using bad naming/ bad words for such people, but what are we to do with such people?

I have spent decades on technology & world exposure and dont post all the time on Stack Exchange sites; I do my research and putting together pieces from information and experience. I only ask questions here when I am unable to find a conclusive answer.

But, I tend to get flagged, when (for lack of a better or more polite word) 'morons' ( I cant find a more polite word to use here.. if there is one please do clean this out) like this Run amok and build rep here.

PS: I apologize for going this way, but how do I 'label' this member and his stupid & off-topic comment spamming?

enter image description here.

  • 1
    I don't see a single comment that @sammyg made that is "stupid". The minute I figure out how to avoid downvotes on well researched questions like this and this I will explain it to you. You have to realize that calling other members of the community morons and stupid is not constructive behavior. I pinged the person you are talking about out of respect, he has a right, he is being talked about.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:49
  • Short answer to your title & 1st sentence: no. Longer answer: SU isn't a refereed technical publication. It would be impossible to (timely) answer the quantity of questions received if it was. The model is not a bad proxy, though. It isn't a perfect or foolproof system, but it is pretty effective. Some high-rep users write a few excellent posts that receive high recognition. Others write tons of posts, many more of which get upvotes than downvotes. It's difficult to accumulate significant rep unless you are right most of the time, and it takes a significant investment of time.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 21:27
  • To add my 2¢'s worth to @fixer1234's comment: reputation is rewarded partly for quality and partly for participating in popular topics.  Reputation is earned from votes; the only people who can vote on a post are those who have visited its page, and people don't look at questions that don't interest them, or that they think will not be useful to them.  And sometimes votes are given for quirkiness, or because of groupthink (a post "going viral") — see this search. Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 7:53

4 Answers 4


My piece of advice would be not to escalate this and call people names, or assume bad intentions. This user voiced their opinion and they're entitled to do so. I agree the comment thread got a little out of hand. Certainly, chat would've been a better option to discuss this—if there even is a need for discussion.

I understand your frustration, but please take a step back and look at what you're writing here, publicly:

... such people ...
... morons like this Run amok and build rep here ...
... 'label' this member and his stupid & off-topic comment spamming?

Has this user ever offended you, personally? Do their comments justify you ranting on Meta about their actions, when everything could be quietly handled by moderators? What does building reputation have to do with commenting on another member's question, exactly? Is building reputation a bad thing, per se? (Isn't that what many people are here for, anyway?)

You are on a very confrontative path here, and I would not have been suprised if your reaction had caused an equal and opposite overreaction from the other side. (Or, will, for that matter, since this is still public.)

I cleaned up the comment thread and I'd ask you to just flag these cases in the future, so that we can deal with it like we deal with all other cases of chatty comment threads.

  • I have not confronted him at all. If you look at my comments I've just mentioned - 'What are you talking about?' He is way off-topic and just throwing unrelated junk. A wrong answer or a different approach to tackle an issue or question is understandable. An essay on his life philosophy has not applicability to migrating Chrome settings.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 8:37
  • Also, I keep getting negative so many times for well-researched, studied questions and answers. To be honest my experience of 'participating' on Stack Exchange sites is way below the technical php/ vbb forums I usually frequent. Back in the day I've written device drivers in Assembler and have research papers to my name, but it really bothers me how people act on Stack Exchange and reputation is awarded.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 8:40
  • 1
    I don't think you understand my point. I agree that the user's comments got a little out of hand—the comment thread is not the place to detail your philosophy about computing. You haven't confronted the user in the comment thread either and I never said that; you're doing it here. You are overreacting about a thing that could've been easily dealt with. About your question, I presume it's the lack of actual body text. It seems more like a list to me, and it's hard to parse the actual question out of it. Also, out of the (non-deleted) questions in your account, only this one was downvoted.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:28
  • 1
    Please, read the title of your question here again: "Why does this off-topic member have higher rep than me?" — this just calling for trouble, when all that it would've needed was a "too chatty" flag.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:31
  • I do not know "too chatty" and other all things about StackExchange. On the other hand, I am not too happy about how StackExchange reputation scoring seems to work. I have frequented online forums since way before StackExchange came around. But, somehow quality of a persons knowledge and articulation has no bearing, while apparently people with tenure and quantity accumulated with excessive commenting have a field day. PS: One place you tell me I am confrontational, and now you tell me I should have confronted the user there itself. I am confused. I thought Meta is for such issues
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:40
  • I never told you to confront the user. Why would I do that? Not sure how you come to that conclusion. I'm saying the easiest thing would've been to just raise a flag and move on. Meta is also a place to discuss issues, but you seem to have a very strong preconceived opinion about this other user and their intentions, and I recommend that if you come to Meta to discuss something, you take a more constructive approach and don't accuse users of just wanting to get reputation, and call them "morons".
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:49
  • To be honest: I am not very happy with you changing the question to something different. "Is reputation only built or assessed by tenure and quantity and not by fewer but well researched, studied and articulated questions and relevant answers?" deserves a careful study, but it has nothing to do whatsoever with a chatty comment thread.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:52
  • I dont have any preconceived notions. My experiences are the source of my post here. Let me come back and write in detail after collecting and linking the various experiences and issues with them. PS: Ok. Point taken. I was trying hard not to spell or write that out. Trust me, I did not wish to, but I could not come up with "too chatty" and "off topic in whole different philosophical direction". I'll have to find some way to articulate this when I have more sleep.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:55
  • @slchk - I will shift and reference several other instances of such experiences that make me wonder how this reputation thing works
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 9:56
  • @AlexS - Most of these questions don't even have a positive vote let alone a negative vote. Since I didn't see slhck mention this. Deleted questions count multiple times against your ability to ask new questions, if you keep asking questions, then removing them the system will eventually prevent you from asking new questions. The user in question has more reputation because they post higher quality questions and answers. I won't even comment on your answers, because the first answer I looked at, was a comment submitted as an answer.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:58
  • superuser.com/questions/948456/… @Ramhound - That question has "all the information" of this weird behavior exhibited by Windows 8.1 between 2 machines. I eventually had to copy the files to an external HDD and then copy back instead of direct copy to the D partition of the other HDD.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 11:32
  • @Ramhound - PS: I dont post things & questions that are simply and easy to find an answer for as I can google and find my way most of the times. Its when I cant move forward on things at all that I do so. So, he can build all the rep he wants on easy questions.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 11:33
  • @Ramhound - You can go on about every place where I posted something as an answer and not a comment because I did not have comment access there. I may lost points, but my intent was to connect and collaborate towards helping them or seeking help. At times, that has led to people connecting back. I have no other way to making the OP come back as I did not have comment access.
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 11:35
  • @AlexS - Are you honestly trying to defend posting a comment as an answer? There are no stupid questions. There might be questions that are not on topic or unanswerable questions, but they are not stupid.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 11:35

One of the things about any kind of troubleshooting is that it often requires a tangential approach to find out what the exact problem is, it could be with a component of something else. Sometimes it is useful to a user to say "have you thought about..." in order to garner whether the problem lies elsewhere.

Due to the way the site works we have to allow users some way to talk to other users through comments. Usually those comments are useful and insightful but sometimes they appear to be idle chatter or unrelated comments, in those cases we have a tool called a "flag". You can use flags to tell a moderator that something doesn't belong here and it should be deleted.

If you hover your mouse over a comment you will see a little flag button to the left of the comment, which you can use to tell us it should be deleted.

That would have been the best way to handle this, a quick shrug, a flag and then done.

Your question here though suggests that the entire system is flawed simply because one person has a higher number than you do, and that they might have fancied a chat.

The "reputation" system is a measure of work, not respectability. Users have given their time to help other people with their problems and as a reward people say "this helped me" by upvoting it. Higher reputation users have invested a lot of of their own free time helping people for what amounts to nothing more than some fake internet points that say "this guy is helpful". Generally when someone comments or answers then they are trying, in some way, to still be helpful.

The tone of your question here is belittling their efforts to help people they give to strangers for free.

You should detach any notion of "this guy thinks he's better than me" that is connected to reputation and just deal with people as you find them. If they are confrontational then flag them for moderators to deal with. Flag their comments if they are pointless chatter.

Above all else though, treat other community members with the respect you would have them treat you with. Calling someone "stupid" just because you don't think they are being helpful is entirely disrespectful. Would you be happy with someone calling you that if you happened to misread something and sidestep a conversation slightly?

  • Thanks. I just learnt how to use 'comment' flags. I did not know they existed or any way to use them. I will use that from now on. PS: Is there a META that would be better suited to "Stack Exchange" wide issues that I'd like to point out? Should I modify/ move this there?
    – Alex S
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 7:49

There is a Flag capability for comments.

enter image description here

The flag shows up when you place your curser to the top left of the comment text.

For the most part everyone here is trying to help, even if they have different methods, different ideas, and different thinking. Sammyg acquired rep from participating here quite a bit.

I am not a mod (at all) but mods have cleaned up some of the bad rude or really unnecessary comments before.

I would choose "too chatty" , and I doubt anyone would have a big issue with a comments cleanup there.


Welcome to the internet!

Generally people on here are trying to help. It is a community. So someone has a bigger number than you, been on here longer, know less, knows more - does it really matter? Your decades of experience should have taught you to be humble and accept that not all people operate at the same level in your specific domain.

If you think someone has less knowledge than you then you may ignore them:

  • You probably won't be able to change them
  • Your opinion of them probably won't change
  • The sooner your ignore them the less time you will have to deal with them
  • They will have to live with themselves the rest of their life, you only experience them for minutes

However, some of my best discoveries have been through people with less experience than me helping me to think of old methods and problems in new ways.

So don't let them hold you back on your journey:


from Reality Sets In

When you come up with a workable method of reputation that can be applied historically we will be all very interested to hear.

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