6

We often close questions because they are "requests for free work". They're clearly not a good fit for the site and they benefit no one except the asker in the long run (or at all really). They should be closed (or maybe edited to e.g. ask about the techniques involved if possible); I'm pretty sure most will agree there...

This question is a perfect example. Then someone did the work and posted it as an answer. The answer has a bit of an explanation of the issues but is essentially "I did it, here's a link and a screenshot of what I did"...

I was going to comment on the answer. I was going to flag the answer. But I'm not entirely sure what to say or do. This has the same problem as the question, it has minimal value to anyone other than the person asking for the work and if left unchallenged just encourages the users to do the same again, I'm just not sure how to approach this (not just for the mentioned Q&A but in general too)...

So what do we do here?

10

Close the question, delete the answers. We don't want these Askers to get what they want, that will only attract more of them. Have them bug off to fiverrr, I say.

4

We did previously have a custom close reason for free work. It got axed because it was rarely used appropriately and was often misused. A lot of users misinterpreted it as a big hammer for all low effort questions, which was not the intended use and caused a lot of frustration for new users not familiar with the format.

Of course, the removal of the close reason didn't give these types of questions any legitimacy :). I think the best solution is to use the "roll your own" close reason, i.e. "Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)"

4

If the post is simply asking if someone can do {x} for them (e.g. free work), I will typically comment and close it as off topic.

But if there's an actual solicitation in the post (complete with contact information, etc), I will comment, close it, and delete it from the site (please flag these for Moderator attention to be removed) — solicitations for contact offline are not allowed on these sites.

And yes, if there are any answers that comply or enable further contact, I will delete those answers too. These are not simply answers to off topic questions; they are engaging in activities not allowed on these sites.

2
  1. Edit the request into a question: will you do X for me into: How do I do X?

  2. Answer the question and make it a teaching moment about the site: You can't just ask for X, but here is how you achieve X.

  • A way friendlier option than my 'get-off-my-lawn' solution. I'd invite you to try these, and will do so as well. I do have the fear that it will ask for edit wars, as the Asker will be of the opinion that 'that's not what I asked, let's reverse this edit'. – Vincent Jul 25 '18 at 8:40
  • 1
    I think that unfortunately that for many requests for free work this would not work so well, because the resulting question is too broad. But for those where it isn’t, this is a good approach. – Wrzlprmft Jul 25 '18 at 11:38

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