This question caught my eye because it had accumulated close votes as being a duplicate of another question, which is very rare on CR. The target was a question I reviewed last year by the same user.

The new question:

  • Has no indication that it is a follow-up.
  • Makes all of the same mistakes as the original posting plus a few new ones (all of the same HTML validation errors are there, I even linked to the validator so the OP cannot claim they didn't know about it)
  • I can literally copy my answer from the original and paste it into the new one and everything I mentioned would still apply, some of which is quite unique to the OP's code (on SO, if you can copy/paste answers between questions, that's a pretty good indication that they're duplicates)
  • The only modifications made from the previous posting to the new posting is either additional code or changing div elements to spans

At best, the OP can feign ignorance of the etiquete here on CR regarding follow-ups. At worst, it looks like they OP is covering the minimum number of bases (hey, there's code here) necessary to get their question answered (ELI5 difference between span and div, hint: we've answered that one already on SO, but the OP asked again anyway and it was closed as a dupe). Also note that the user in question was "temporarily suspended for rule violations" over on SO.

Why am I bothering to give a review if the OP isn't going to learn anything from it? This isn't a case of the OP not agreeing with any of the points I've made, either (and that's fine, I don't expect everyone will agree with everything I have to say). In this case, absolutely nothing was learned, including the purely objective stuff like HTML validation. I firmly believe the OP is taking advantage of us here, and we fell for it and rewarded them with upvotes and answers.

Update: the OP is now going back and editing their questions to be a help request and actively soliciting help in comments.

Semi-related (referring to "duplicates" posted by different users):


3 Answers 3


Well, whatever it is, it is certainly not a duplicate. The follow-up question asks about the proper use of divs and spans; the original question contains no spans.

I agree that it is rude to ask a follow-up question without adding mutual links, because that wastes other users' time. However, the author has not concealed the fact that it is a follow-up question: "I've tried to ask questions about it before, but I can't understand the explanation." For users unfamiliar with how to use Code Review, I usually just fix these signposting deficiencies for them (along with titles, thank-yous, etc.) — which I have just done.

Is the question allowable on Code Review? The "I don't understand the difference between divs and spans" aspect would be better asked as a Stack Overflow question — and indeed it has been asked before. The "It seems to work, but I'm not sure if I did it right" aspect, though, is on-topic for Code Review, so I think that the question can stay. If you're unhappy about the fact that the user hasn't grasped the concept of using an HTML validator, you may leave a comment, and maybe downvote if you want.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a specific reason why we don't copy code from an off-site link into a question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 11:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't addressed my other points. \$\endgroup\$
    – cimmanon
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 12:11
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I did address it as "If you're unhappy about the fact that the user hasn't grasped the concept of using an HTML validator, you may leave a comment, and maybe downvote if you want." It's not the same shitty code, it's different shitty code. Some students need to see a concept explained in different ways before they get it (and you can reuse your answer). I'd rather see a separate question that you can make downvoting/closing/commenting decisions on independently than an attempt to modify the original question. As far as abuses of iterative review go, this isn't the worst instance I've seen. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 12:16

If I remember correctly, the user in question posted a very similar question within 24 hours before that one, and removed it after 15 mins when it received only 2 comments, one from me linking to the tags in w3schools. The reason this stood out to me was because he commented angrily and rudely about the site. Since the post has been deleted, I have no proof, but someone with more power may be able to verify it.

He has posted the same code over and over, here and on SO. I admire that he wants to learn, but from what I have seen, he asks a question before googling it, as if his problems couldn't possibly have been solved before by someone else. I don't feel it is fair for us to review code, and find that all the code is a giant mess of things that they tell you not to do on the first day, and after all that to be ignored until the next time he wants to add a new feature.

I understand that the reviews are not solely for one person, they can benefit other people of a similar level, but I don't believe that the amount of people it will benefit outweighs the frustration that builds from dealing with uninterested persons.

If I am being overly harsh, or if my understanding of what the goal of the site is wrong, please tell me.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed there is a removed question by this user, and indeed there's a (removed by moderator) angry comment by OP as well. The deleted question is here: codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/100931/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 11:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The OP left me an abusive comment on the new question as well (implying that the reviewer on his original question did a terrible job). \$\endgroup\$
    – cimmanon
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ So what do other people feel about it? \$\endgroup\$
    – spyr03
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 16:38

Perhaps I'm late to the party, but just looking at the code, these two questions don't appear to be duplicates at all. The code is quite clearly different (and Code Review doesn't have quite exactly the same duplicate rules as Stack Overflow).

I do agree that when users post follow-ups or other questions and quite clearly haven't taken into account the advice of others, it is a problem, but marking a question as a duplicate isn't the right solution.

The fact of the matter is, someone could post a question, then I make a review, then they post a different question that's not a follow up and is entirely different code that does something entirely different... but they've still made all the same mistakes. This is really the problem you're complaining about.

And the solution is to downvote their question, leave a comment with a link to your other answer explaining that they have a lot to learn still about the points you made in that answer, and move on. The way to encourage users to stop posting questions with the same mistakes is simply to refuse posting answers fixing the same problems for the same user. Twisting the rules just to close questions as extra punishment isn't particularly helpful or useful.

Worse case scenario, someone else posts an answer to the follow-up question. Perhaps they explain things differently than you did, and the OP "gets it". But it's no longer your problem any more at that point, is it?


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