Over on stack overflow the consensus seems to be that you don't upvote an answer for a topic you're not proficient in - see this meta question where this answer with 160 votes and the "accepted" checkmark says:

Please do not vote -- in either direction -- without being a confident judge of the contents of the answer. This doesn't mean you have to be an expert, but you do have to be able to understand what the answer is saying, how it applies to the problem (though not necessarily the problem in the question -- you might have a slightly different problem), and whether it's a good or bad contribution to solving the problem*

But on this site I frequently run across answers that sound right and sound useful but in fact: what the hell do I know? For example here it is pointed out don't use silicone caulk in the bathroom because it is organic and will degrade. Sounds good to me but what the hell do I know? And I'm not going to go out and run an experiment, nor am I going to google around to see if other sites on the web agree (if I was going to do that then why am I here?).

So, what's the rule for Home Improvement: Can I upvote answers that sound useful and helpful and that'll stick in my mind (for when I eventually get around to regrouting my tub) even though I don't really know if they'll work?

1 Answer 1


I believe the same policy is best applied here, if you have no knowledge of whether an answer is right, then avoid up voting it just because it sounds good, or is formatted nicely. If you have some practical experience of your own or are in some way educated on the topic, that's the best time to vote. As an unfortunate result, you'll often find the answers that everyone knows will be the ones that often get the most up votes.

  • 1
    Agreed. Sounding right (or even being backed up by unreliable internet sources), is not the same as being right. That's how misinformation is propagated.
    – Tester101
    May 20, 2016 at 12:21

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