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The abusive use of "answer declined" in Kudoz
Thread poster: DocteurPC

DocteurPC  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:51
English to French
+ ...
Jul 27, 2005

The abusive use of « answer declined ».
In Proz questions and answers, the Asker has the privilege to decline some answers – normally answers that do not fit the context (of which we probably have too little, as usual) or are so way off from what he/she is looking for.

Furthermore, other answerers have the privilege to agree/disagree to an answer and they often do, with an explanation. This is the first level of feedback.

Some Askers are using the "answer declined" function in a very aggressive fashion. When somebody goes to the trouble to research and answer your question and help you in your
work, their own work should be at least respected, even if it is wrong.
In fact, once you accept an answer, it (almost)automatically declines the others (unless you mention in your acceptance note that this or that answer was also very good).

Furthermore, sometimes this “answer declined” comes in despite the fact that dozens of colleagues have agreed to this answer.

Some Askers systematically “decline” answers, as if to prove a point. What point is that? That you control who gets Kudoz? That you don’t know how to use this
feature? That you’re not a very nice person? If it is not a power thing, is it simple stupidity?

This is particularly galling when the question consists of one or two words, without any context and we are all scratching our collective heads to come out
with an acceptable answer. (OK I think my middle name should be changed to : more context please, context, context…)

I recently had one answer declined with a note saying : it does not fit the context. Except for the fact that there was no context! at all! Just a two-word question and a choice of field.

I even had an nfg (not for grading) answer declined, which was a bit much, you have to admit.

When I ask a question, I rarely decline answers,unless they are really off the wall and even then, I usually let is pass. The thinking is simple, why would anyone try to help me next time I have a question if I
keep insulting them by rejecting theirs answers with a flip of my hand, which is what answer declined is all about?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 07:51
SITE FOUNDER
We are going to modify the "decline" functionality Jul 27, 2005

We will be modifying the decline functionality this month to encourage its use as a form of asker/answerer communication, and discourage its use for rejecting answers. Thanks!

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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
English to Chinese
+ ...
IMHO Jul 27, 2005

The decline functionality is not needed.

Henry wrote:

We will be modifying the decline functionality this month to encourage its use as a form of asker/answerer communication, and discourage its use for rejecting answers. Thanks!


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:51
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree with Chinoise... Jul 28, 2005

...that the decline function is not needed. I've never used it myself and never would.


AmyD


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Luis Zepeda
United States
Local time: 04:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
The abusive use of "answer declined" Jul 28, 2005

I agree with the above comments, and in fact, there are several members who post questions and I avoid providing an answer. Even if it is simple, they are under my ignore button.

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Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:51
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same happens to me Jul 28, 2005

Luis Zepeda wrote:

I agree with the above comments, and in fact, there are several members who post questions and I avoid providing an answer. Even if it is simple, they are under my ignore button.


I do agree with Luis, as the same happens to me. I do not pay attention to some members here.

Kindest regards.
Inés


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Parpalhol  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:51
English to French
+ ...
Sorry! Jul 28, 2005

I have always used the 'decline answers' option as a polite way to say: "Sorry, you did a nice job but I prefer the answer of ... because ...", and I add a little nice comment.

While reading this thread, I am realizing I have surely missed something in the reading of Kudoz rules. I hope I have not offended anyone and I do apologize to the persons who felt offended after one of my "declined answer".

Jean-Michel


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 04:51
English to French
+ ...
Let's scrape it altogether Jul 28, 2005

I agree with most posters that the declining function doesn't really serve any useful purpose. It is more insulting than anything.
So let's do away with it, sometimes less is more.

FWIW

Sarah


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Deschant
Local time: 12:51
I agree Jul 28, 2005

I really see only one situation in which the power to decline an answer could be useful: one (or more) really wrong answer (wrong language, for example, or wrong field...) receives 2 or more agrees, so that it would be awarded points by the system if the asker does not choose another option. But this option does simply not exist, or it is not better than the wrong one. In this case, I would decline the wrong answer(s) to prevent it from being selected by the robot and therefore included in the glossary. This is a very special case and it would be really helpful for all glossary users.

Otherwise, I feel the declining function really aggressive. I mean, we can simply choose the answer we consider the best, perhaps explaining why, but what's the point in declining the other answers? If they are really incorrect, I'm sure they would have received one or more disagrees from colleagues, for future users' reference. I've had answers declined which were only slightly different (I mean, it was simply a matter of style) than the selected one. I was under the impression that the asker didn't appreciate my help at all and, honestly, I didn't feel like helping him again.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Reason not compulsory Jul 28, 2005

I think that the biggest mistake with this option is that giving a reason is not compulsory, while for giving a disagree it is.

And of course, saying that answer was found elsewhere and not saying what it is, is not a valid reason.
I'm not against the option but I dislike the way it's used by a few people.

Claudia


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
... Jul 28, 2005

Jean Michel Levain wrote:

I have always used the 'decline answers' option as a polite way to say: "Sorry, you did a nice job but I prefer the answer of ... because ...", and I add a little nice comment.

While reading this thread, I am realizing I have surely missed something in the reading of Kudoz rules. I hope I have not offended anyone and I do apologize to the persons who felt offended after one of my "declined answer".

Jean-Michel


No worries. I've had very few answers declined but I think the times it happened the askers were just acting as Jean Michel describes. Once I appreciated it especially because there were nine or ten answers and asker took a long time to decline each of them and give a small, individual explanation for everyone. I don't think the decline function is bad per se. It's just courtesy; a job application can be refused but it's more polite to send a letter than absolute silence.
Now, what DoctorPC mentions is a different issue, i.e., abusive use of this function. In cases of insulting behaviour, I think moderators should intervene, like in abuse of any other kind.


[Edited at 2005-07-28 13:07]


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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Partial member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Yes, it's not a "nice" function Jul 28, 2005

sarahl wrote:

It is more insulting than anything.
So let's do away with it, sometimes less is more.

FWIW

Sarah


I fully agree. When it (rarely) happened that my answer was declined, I felt always slightly insulted. It is true that there are askers that use to decline much more than others, without explainin anything, which is still worse (and I, too, try to avoid them in the future:-(), however there are others (like Jean-Michel) that don't really know how to handle with this function - and fortunately he uses it, like he says, with a "nice little comment" which is surely always welcome in such a situation:-) -; some seem to believe that every answer that doesn't get points has to be declined... I find there is much confusion in this point; anyway, the answerer whose answer is declined feels always disappointed.

Therefore let's find another more "friendly" solution!

[Edited at 2005-07-28 17:58]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:51
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jul 29, 2005



[Edited at 2005-08-05 23:46]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:51
German to English
"Answer declined" can be useful if applied properly Jul 29, 2005

In another thread started today - http://www.proz.com/topic/35152 - Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes wrote:
"I really appreciate and enjoy when I see a well-explained answer, with examples related to the same context, great links, etc. where you see that the person really put his/her heart into it in order to genuinely try to help the asker, as opposed to the 1-2 minute mad rush."

I've never used the decline feature and have been the victim of it when it was used wrongly. Just recently someone asked a question and specifically stated she had no context. After I spent quite a while researching the question and entered my proposal (formal EU terminology), the asker declined it saying "we wouldn't use this expression in the US." It would have been nice if she had told us in the beginning that she needed US terminology.

But having said that, I do believe there are legitimate uses for the decline button. An answerer who is in so much of a rush to get his answer in first that he doesn't have time to read the question and doesn't have time to do a minimal amount of checking and enters something totally off the wall should have his answer declined forthwith. This might encourage the answerer to spend a little more time reading the question and thinking about the best solution before submitting an answer. As I see it, if used properly, the decline feature can help us make KudoZ a more professional experience.


[Edited at 2005-07-29 02:08]


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