Quite often I see questions asked that have an answer, but are really the wrong question (bear with me here). "How can I add disc brakes to my $200 bike?" The answer is get a new wheelset and fork, and add some tabs to your frame, sure. It can be done, but really it shouldn't be done (in most circumstances). I've seen this with coding/querying questions as well. Should there be some additional modifier for answers that allows an answer to distinctly denote "you can do X this way [modifier section] this is a bad idea for the following reasons". Theoretically up and down voting questions accomplishes some of this, but it isn't as apparent on some of the lower activity questions.

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I think the existing mechanisms work pretty well and don't really require any kind of special modifier...

Typically when a question comes in for something that's a bad idea, you'll end up with:

  • A highly upvoted comment explaining why it's a bad idea
  • A highly upvoted answer that basically says "Ok, look, that's a bad idea and here's why, but if you're going to do it anyways you should [...]"

Either or both of those are a pretty good solution already.

Do you think people are coming to the site, seeing answers about how to do something that's a bad idea, skimming right past the "this is why it's a bad idea" part and only reading the "ok, here's how you do it" part; and that maybe some extra emphasis on the "don't do it!" part would help?

  • That is indeed my concern (unfounded or not). I also worry that some of the people asking the questions aren't prompted enough to take a step back when then ask such a question. Dec 12, 2014 at 19:44
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    I think the concern is mostly unfounded. Very few times does someone persist on something which is known to be a bad idea.
    – Batman
    Dec 14, 2014 at 21:55
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    Also, who is to decide that it's a bad idea? It shouldn't be one person; it should be a community decision. So we would have a whole new voting mechanism. Let the current system do it's job. If somebody ignores all the down votes, and up voted negative comments, they'll ignore "Bad Idea" tags.
    – andy256
    Dec 16, 2014 at 4:52

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