I've had this issue a couple of times now. A questioner (mostly newcomers) states a question where I provided an appropriate answer. However, either

  1. the questioner does not comprehend the answer because his knowledge is less than basic but is unwilling to research on his own, or
  2. the answer solved the problem, but opens up a different issue and he expects me/us to solve all his problems in one thread which, or
  3. he demands that we do his work for him (Restrict the user to access one folder only and deny all other folder in D: drive).

I see serverfault.com as a community to help and get something in return, or to get help and give something in return. Without that, the frustration grows and it makes me think twice before giving any answer to people with less that 200 points.

I would appreciate if there was some way to have answers marked as such, even if the questioner is one of the above mentions type of persons.

2 Answers 2


Regarding your specific scenarios:

  1. Instead of answering, vote to close/flag for closure.
  2. Walk away.
  3. Vote to close/flag for closure.

But in general, yeah, it's a problem that's been around for quite a while and isn't in danger of going away, either. Honestly, it's one of the reasons why a lot of the Server Fault community is quick on the draw with downvotes and VTCs... it's not that hard to spot the help vampire type of poster with a little experience, provided you're actually looking.

Personally, I don't see why people care. One of my top-voted answers was to a migrated question, where the user doesn't even exist on this site. So what if the original question asker is a douche or won't respect your efforts? If it's a good answer, other people will, and will vote you up accordingly.

Having said that, the asker is the only one who can mark an answer as the accepted answer, and that's a design decision for the whole Stack Exchange that won't change. So if it's that big a deal to you, there's nothing wrong with refusing to answer questions from users based on whatever criteria you choose, including rep, or how likely they are to appreciate your work/accept your answer. All of the community regulars that I'm aware of do it to at least some degree.


Provide an answer that is a solution to the OPs problem. I personally prefer to provide an answer which gives broad direction rather than a detailed how to as I think it is valuable for people to learn how to educate themselves. Sadly these don't go down well with the many OPs as they are clueless help vampires.

  1. Walk* away.
  2. Walk* away.
  3. Walk* away.

*For values of walk that may include running,screaming and axe wielding.

  • 3
    I've found an axe to be a very useful part of my sysadmin toolkit, starting way back when I was a spammer-hunting postmaster.
    – Jenny D
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 14:05
  • 1
    @JennyD: This sounds like a job where you want a tactical nuke instead of an axe. As a first response tool.
    – Sven
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 15:17
  • 3
    @Sven Indeed. If we'd nuked them from orbit back in the 90's, the internet would be a better place...
    – Jenny D
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 17:02

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