When I saw this question, I was tempted to answer with answer along the lines of

Don't use GIMP, this would be the wrong tool for the job.

No one mentioned GIMP but, I felt a urge to encourage people away from the tool (I like gimp but it wasn't the answer)

However, I did not because that answer would not stand alone. If that was the only answer it wouldn't solve the question. It might help them if some of the other answers provided recommendations, however, it can not, itself, be accepted.

Does the community agree that anti-recommendations have no place here?

4 Answers 4


Anti-recommendations are definitely not acceptable answers, and I'm sure people would flag them as such.

If someone were to suggest GIMP (which someone now has done) then it would be perfectly acceptable for comments on the answer to provide reasons why this wouldn't be a good choice. If others agree with your recommendations it will be reflected in the voting on that answer.


I totally agree with winterblood, but just want to add this:

Let's say there is a question like "How to remove red eyes from pics?" and you add an anti-recommendation "Not with MS Paint!", then many people will agree with you and upvote your answer.
So your anti-recommendation might quickly climb to the top, and will be the first thing that readers see. Anti-recommendations should not be the first thing we show readers, we should first show good suggestions.

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    Furthermore anti-recommendations possibilities are infinite, if one's begins to accept some of them, we can't get out of them... Feb 7, 2014 at 8:20

An anti-recommendation is a down vote on a recommendation followed with a comment to explain why the recommendation isn't optimal for whatever reason.

If someone answers "Use GIMP" and you answer "Don't use GIMP" - and that's the extent of your answer, then it's technically a comment, not an answer, and should be removed.

If you have a better recommendation then make it, and within your recommendation you can indicate why what you're recommending is superior to a multitude of competitors.

Down voting on this site should probably be taken less personally than others. A down vote just means "I've used what you're recommending and didn't have a good experience" - it probably doesn't have anything to do with the quality of your recommendation.

Aside from encouraging substantive answers, down-voting sub optimal recommendations also helps prevent the long list of all the things that just got up-voted to various degrees like we saw on Stack Overflow.


I think the only situation where a anti recommendation may work is as a point of comparison - it may be kind of valuable to say why GIMP is unsuitable, and an alternative may work better, point by point.

It's about the same as having an answer that says something isn't possible - just saying that is a crappy answer. Explaining in depth turns it into something awesome - and even if it's incorrect, the process of it may help understand how to get what you want.

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