# Do we care if people reference their Quora answers in a Stack Answer?

Opening this Meta to solicit opinions. (I'll put my own in a separate answer.)

• Is referencing a Quora question materially different than referencing one's blog?
• Should this be addressed by voting, where the answer is judged on the strenght of the content, as opposed to the source?

My feeling is this should be addressed by voting since Quora is no more commercial than Stack (limited ads,) thus such links don't constitute spam.

I do see Stack & Quora in competition, although I hope Stack will ultimately prevail in terms of search rankings. (US Alexa ranking for Stack is 115 worldwide and 65 in the US, vs. 78/47, so we're not quite there yet.)

But, in some sense, both sites have the same mission, if Stack seems to to a better job because of our voting system.

• Quora has also a voting system, but it is "shallower". I would actually attribute the greater success of Quora with respect to SE to their more flexible and welcoming system. Furthermore, it is my impression that SE users are also known not to be very friendly. The introduction of warnings like "X is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct." is likely due to this known rude behaviour of SE users with respect to new users (that just need help and find themselves more desperate after having visited SE).
– nbro Mod
May 24 '19 at 21:59
• I don't see Quora as competition, and I don't see them having the same mission. Quora has even moved further away from Q&A by removing the question details (a few years ago). And the number characters for the title/question is quite limited. It is now much closer to what Joel Spolsky called "provoked blogging". Quora is closer than ever to Yahoo Answers (but with much better grammar - especially as editing is a possibility). May 31 '19 at 13:32
• @PeterMortensen I agree, and now find Quora even less useful and reliable than it was previously. (Essentially, people blogging and making claims with no real vetting or challenge--great way to confuse issues and introduce misleading information!) Stack can be an unfriendly place at time (although we are getting better,) but having to face challenges to questions and answers is a very good thing!
– DukeZhou Mod
May 31 '19 at 17:08
• @DukeZhou It might be true that Quora contains more misleading answers and, in general information. However, it contains a lot of questions. Sometimes, if I am lost or I want quickly an answer to my question, I look for an answer on Quora first, because it's likely someone has already asked it there. It is then a little the responsibility of the reader to also ensure the quality of the given answers there.
– nbro Mod
Jun 1 '19 at 10:49

I think it's fine, right? As long as it's not just a link, but there is some explanation surrounding it. Referencing things that have been written elsewhere seems to be very much preferable to... copying without attribution?

Sometimes in my answers I'll reference papers which I'm an author on myself. I don't think that's really different in any tangible way?

I raised the flag, since it was the second time OP posted link to quora answer written by the OP. IMO referring to one's blog is ok, but referring frequently is not ok. Also it is not much hard to copy paste from the blog and at the end attribute it to the blog (both the answers did not involve any technical or Math details), so it does not make sense not to do it.

Also since the user was new I did not want to comment wrongly on what's accepted and what's not in this stack, so I just thought moderators will do a better job.

• I respect your opinion, and am grateful for the flag, which brought it to my attention!
– DukeZhou Mod
May 24 '19 at 21:14
• @DukeZhou I am not offended or anything..I just think there is rules in SE to link own work even if it is attributed. The answers the person gave or the content of the link IMO really did not demand linking, but when the OP did it twice I thoughts moderators should better look into this.
– user9947
May 25 '19 at 8:57
• Your concern was prescient. I closed an answer today that was clearly a low effort attempt to drive traffic to a loosely related Quora answer. Definitely feel free to flag these--not all may warrant closure, but I appreciate the assist in identifying potential abuse!
– DukeZhou Mod
May 29 '19 at 19:05

Quora has login popup which often prevent reading answer. In my opinion it's definitely not OK to reference Quora.

• Very good point. I feel like this doesn't happen consistently, but any barrier to the information is suboptimal for an information sharing site (put the motive of mining user data over the mission of the site.) Kialo is trying to make inroads, but demands registration before even seeing what the site actually is.
– DukeZhou Mod
Jun 3 '19 at 16:48
• @DukeZhou the plagiarism in Quora is mind boggling. Unless the author is quite qualified, I have seen 90% cases it is copy paste job.
– user9947
Jun 5 '19 at 14:45
• @DuttaA You can bypass that login barrier by appending /? to the end of the URL. Jun 6 '19 at 6:49
• @DuttaA Yeah. This actually happened to me. I had asked a question on AI.SE and this question was copied and pasted on Quora. I had discussed this on the chat a while ago.
– nbro Mod
Jun 6 '19 at 16:37