I am still pretty new to SE, but across the SE websites, it seems a lot of people with very high reputation and moderator capabilities enter a lot of faulty code... but the code is only faulty by a misspelling or a closing bracket or something pretty simple, that a complete noob may not be able to pick up on, but someone slightly more advanced would.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I have to ask - Is this intentional? Are Mods trying to passive aggressively "teach a lesson" to noobs? Or maybe I'm off and there really are that many subtle errors from the experts...

Just an observation.

  • 1
    A vote down on this question... Nice... Does that mean I should vote down any answer that I don't believe? Because at least one of the answers is from a person who ALWAYS leaves passive aggressive answers. Apr 20, 2012 at 15:59
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    A downvote in meta is simply a statement of disagreement with the premise of the question. You're taking offense at a downvote, when the very premise of your question is offensive to the good-faith efforts of the volunteers who contribute to WPSE. Apr 20, 2012 at 16:50
  • My point exactly... I am asking if I should take offense to the vote, since others have to the question. Apr 20, 2012 at 16:54
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    It's only human nature to take offense to a downvote to a question or answer, in meta or WPSE proper. It's a gut emotional response to a perceived slight. I especially dislike downvoting answers, for this very reason. But it is important to remember (and this is something I have to remind myself, also) that a downvote is simply a tool, not a moral valuation. It is important, for community vetting of questions and answers, to use these tools (especially for answers that may not only be wrong, but harmful). Apr 20, 2012 at 17:10
  • +1 on the comment, Chip. Apr 20, 2012 at 17:13
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    On Meta, up/down votes are more a way to demonstrate agreement/disagreement with a question or answer ... not whether or not you "believe" the statement. That's an entirely different issue and really is best handled privately.
    – EAMann
    Apr 20, 2012 at 19:36
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    Ai sbeek mi ahnswers indo mi mycrofone and let ze computa write sem dawn, so there mej bee som errohrs some dimes.
    – fuxia Mod
    Apr 22, 2012 at 9:15

6 Answers 6


I've been guilty of it, and I'll say it now, it's not intentional.

For example I found code that did everything I neede dit ot for an answer on Net tuts. I assumed since there were comments pointing out flaws and syntax errors followed by "thanks I updated the post" and that it was severla months old, that it would be fixed. This was not the case.

It can be embarassing and damaging, and it's not desirable but it does happen, much to our displeasure


We're volunteers, offering help in our free time. We make mistakes.

There are no ulterior motives or collusion. We're simply fallible humans.


You are Way off, mods and reputable members are humans just like any other member here and being such we Do make mistakes just like anyone else.

but if you see something wrong make sure to edit it with a fix to help out fellow members such as yourself.


There are many questions that are about logic and not specifics, we aren't here in many cases to do your work for you.

So a question gets asked where the problem is logic and I might just write something like;

if ( is_home() ) {
    // do something
} else {
    // do something else

It the proper code that you can paste into your .php file? Nope, but part of learning is figuring out the logical sequence and then getting your own hands dirty.


The majority of the time, our answers incorporate or call custom code or functions listed in a question or a pastebin. Much of the rest of the time, we just check the source of a referenced plugin in the repository or on GitHub and write our code recommendations on the fly.

This means that, while the code is empirically sound, we probably haven't had the time to test it on a server - this is almost always the case when writing a response to a custom function that we just don't have on our server.

It's impossible to test code that references custom DB tables or other custom functions that we don't have. So the typos you see are just that, typos. If they're obvious, either make an edit yourself or leave a comment and they'll get fixed eventually.


I can say that, personally, I write the VAST majority of my answer directly into the answer box...as in I don't even open an IDE to write them, let alone test them on a server (local or otherwise). I try to mention as such when I do that, but it doesn't always come to mind. At the end of the day, the guys who are here with high rep like @ChipBennet, @toscho, @EAMann, and @Rarst (just to name a few) are not here (primarily at least) to help out the other high rep users and be in a chummy club with them, they are here to help out the new guys and improve the community...the chumminess just sorta comes with that.

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