I saw an answer recently which was very different from all the other answers. It had downvotes, but the author had said someone was deliberately targeting him and downvoting his answers. I looked into his profile and saw multiple such answers which were very debated upon and also some questions where the comments were full of conflicts.

Seeing all this, I am quite tempted to ask for the user's credentials as he doesn't mention anything in his profile and has answered one of my questions.

Is this allowed?

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    $\begingroup$ How does knowing their credentials actually help you determine if their answer is right, wrong, or somewhat off? $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 4 '20 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ at least i'll be sure they are not someone with no experience in that field and simply babbling out whatever they read or heard online. From the answers the person seems to oppose conventional theories which many people accept @JonCuster $\endgroup$ – FoundABetterName Nov 4 '20 at 14:22
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    $\begingroup$ while perhaps a data point, lack of credentials (or, more properly lack of credentials that meet your standards) is not a way to be "sure" - there are plenty of smart people out there who don't have a particular credential, and plenty of people with a credential who don't know what they are doing. Evaluate on the answer. If in doubt ask for clarification. If still in doubt, well, being in doubt is OK. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 4 '20 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ understood thanks @JonCuster $\endgroup$ – FoundABetterName Nov 4 '20 at 14:35

The Stack Exchange isn't intended to be a social networking site and doesn't provide features aimed at social networking. However there is a physics chat room, The h Bar, where site members can chat to each other. You could try and contact the user there, or ask there if anyone knows how to contact them.

If you start a post in the chat room with @username it will send a notification to the user. e.g. @JohnRennie would send me a notification. However this only works if the user has used the chat room recently.


Is this allowed?

It's not not allowed, I suppose. As John Rennie points out the best place to do this would be chat rooms.

Where you shouldn't do it is the comments on one of their answers. Comments should only be used to ask clarifying questions about the post or to suggest post improvements. Asking for personal information in the comments doesn't fall under these two categories.

In my opinion SE is set up so that credentials aren't as important. When I read a post, I don't really care what the background of the OP is. I mainly just judge the content itself as well as the votes on the content (unless that content is HNQ). If other users do not think the content of the user is valid (indicated by down votes) then I tend to believe them. The likelihood that a group of users is explicitly targeting a single user is low, so a user with many highly down voted answers might not be very believable, or at the very least they are consistently posting poor quality content despite it being correct.

  • $\begingroup$ That's what I thought too $\endgroup$ – FoundABetterName Nov 4 '20 at 14:36

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