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Was the Answer Fairy out today?

Has anyone else noticed today that many of their older answers were marked correct today? I do appreciate it, but I find it hard to believe that everyone woke up today and said ‘I really need to mark those questions I asked about (fill in the blank) as correct. ‘

I do know the Answers system will send out emails, but I as I remember those emails are sent out around a 1 month window or less. I had answers from June being marked as correct. Was the Answers system broken and not sending out those email previously or was it really the Answer Fairy?

2 answers

1 accepted

4 votes
Answer accepted

Atlassian did sent out reminder emails today multiple times (just recieved one for myself) asking the authors, to pick correct answers. Its been a while since I recieved those mail the last time though, unsure if that's been a bug.

Thanks for responding and letting me know it was real people marking those answers as correct. That does add to my motivation factor to answer more questions in the future.

Yes, that's the answer. But a bit of care would be nice cause I received this mail for a DELETED question :

(was not applicable anymore, so I deleted it)

Whee! I got a nice spike in my karma :-)

Shame I can't mark my two open questions as answered yet. (Although Joe at Atlassian is definitely working on one of them...)

I've got a dedicated email account for lists like Answers. It was ok this morning before I left to get on a train, but I'm dreading clearing it out tonight! Good to know it's responses and not spam though :-)

Whee! I got a nice spike in my karma :-)

me too.

However I ended up deleting 500+ emails without even checking. I was fearing spam but good to know people are taking time to accept answers!

Hello there, please put your karma to work: check 705 and 706, please...

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Oct 10, 2012

Uh-oh, Nic... sounds like I'm on the hook!

Which question is it that you think I'm looking at? I just had a quick look at your profile page and I can't see any questions that you've asked which are on my radar :-)

Can you clarify?

PS. I received a nice bump in my karma today, too :-) I might even catch Dave Simpson on the leader-board!

Joe Clark Atlassian Team Oct 10, 2012

@Radu - I raised for your problem with receiving emails about deleted questions.

@Joseph Clark - sounds like I'm on the hook!

Yup, is the one I was thinking of here

Hey all, I guess I didn't do the best job at announcing this new release, or announcing myself as a matter of fact. I've been hired some time ago by Jeremy Largman to become part of the new Developer Community Champion team. So far, this consists of me, Jeremy and Joe Clark.

One of my responsibilities is to take over the maintenance and development of from Jeremy. I got my first release pushed out the door yesterday, which consists of bug fixes and a couple of new features: 2.10 release changes

To summarize:

  • Email reminders were broken for a long time, this has now been fixed.
  • Implemented email notifications for serial non-accepters, this should increase the answer rate, which it obviously did :)
  • Search was horribly broken, you can now search again using "Download" or "OnDemand". In addition, search should now be a bit better -- we're continuing to improve Answers search
  • You can now search based on date
  • Daily digest is now working and is firing off emails based on your favorite tags
  • Team Calendars now shows up in the tag wizard

One of the big changes in this release is that if you are a user with over 3000 karma, you can now instaban spammers. You can do this from the user profile and choosing "instaban". This will block the user and remove all questions/answers/comments. However, with great power comes great responsibility so we expect everyone to use it carefully.

I'm excited to work on Answers and we have a lot of awesome things in store for the next couple of months. For future release we'll be be sure to be more transparent of what's going on. We'll put up a maintenance header in advance so you'll be aware if the site goes down. In addition, I'll be updating the Atlassian twitter account in case of downtime, maintenance or releases, feel free to follow it here: @Atlassian

Keep on raising bug/feature requests on the Answers project on, and feel free to contact me personally at

So you are the person behind the curtain creating all that Answer fairy dust today!. :>)

I will be presumptuous and say from all the people who answer questions;

Thank You

I look forward to trying out that new Istaban feature when those two spammers show up this weekend.

Thanks for the help in moving answers forward too. I was wondering how questions I've answered months ago was suddenly getting replies.

Hey Dennis, great job :)

One more quick fix, if you can really get it quick: can we prevent the email being fired from accounts which are banned. I receive emails which are spam, but when I click on them it is already removed. I guess it is from a blocked account.

Most likely someone used the instaban power after the mail was sent out. You will only find deleted post if you click on them afterwards ;)

I am not sure you will be able to stop those emails since the volume of activity is low and it is those emails that informs us that spam was done except in those rare cases when you answer a question and the spam shows up after saving.

I can only think that emails can be delayed for a short period of time and some heuristisics are done on new users and their comments or answers. It is definitely not a quick change and the heuristics will constantly need tweaking once spammers figure out the heuristics.

Now lets say we have the algorithm and it has identified potential spam, now what do you want to do with it? You still need to the attention of one of the >= 3000 group to instaban it. So instead of getting the spam mail, we would get another email that states please check the spam queue or the subject line is changed to denote spam potential. So there would no email saved. At least with the spam email, we humans can make the judgement call right away and any heuristic adjustments are done by us.

If the system instantly bans and it was a false positive, Atlassian could lose a customer., so I am not a fan of this idea. Someone at Atlassian (or at least people responsible for Answers) would need to keep constant watch and then be able to undo things which is probably not a simple thing to do either.

Maybe an opt-in or out can be done if the >3000 group person does not want the responsibility. Maybe another email that instaban was done, but now we will receive two emails instead of one. Maybe the subject line is modified to denote that spam was detected if that makes the > 3000 group feel better. In any case, an email is sent if you have anti-spam responsibility.

The nice thing about instaban is spammers cannot workaround it. Yes, the smaller group of people who answers questions will see the spam, but the majority of readers will most likey not.

Ah that explains. But I was receiving emails a yesterday evening as well, I am not sure whether the account got blocked so fast.

What stops spammers is making it more difficult to get an account which we are told Atlassian is working on. It will not stop the rogue spammer that writes a manifesto, but we will not receive emails on these.

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