Graphical Answerathon v1.0

Building on the success of previous Answerathon competitions, here is a new competition idea which rewards the most visually creative answer. For every competition week (7 24h days, beginning each Monday of the week at UTC+00:00) participants should write one or more answers including a picture that best represents the question scope. The original idea for this competition comes from Gayot Fow.

So here is the question: what does the community (i.e. you) think about this idea?


Competition Rules

  1. To stay in the competition, you must answer an unanswered question not asked by you AND receive at least one upvote for your answer. For the purposes of this competition, an unanswered question is any question where no image has been previously submitted in an answer.

  2. The answer must contain a picture, be it a photo, a diagram, a screenshot, a still-frame from a movie, a drawing, a painting, etc.

  3. The pictures must be freely linkable, and necessarily respect the usual StackExchange copyright rules. Most licenses allow them to be linkable.

  4. The provenance of the pictures must be stated and linked-to, and the copyright (if any) should be rendered explicit

  5. Alteration of an image by Photoshop or other software is forbidden. Exceptionally, an image can be altered by software so long as every pixel is uniformly treated (as in resizing an image).

  6. The image must be unused by other competitors. If two competitors post the same image FGITW (i.e. first one to post it) wins.

  7. Each competition will last for a full week i.e 168 hours, using the UTC+00:00 time, for start and end days, common to all StackExchange sites. Therefore June 15st-21nd inclusive is a week, June 22rd-28th is a week, and so on.

  8. The competition re-starts at the end of each week, meaning that there are no elimination rounds. Hence everyone is welcome to participate during each week.

Answering Rules

  1. Once the upvote has occurred (and not earlier)), edit the latest answer on this page for the date in question, and someone else can review and confirm.

  2. IF there are no unanswered questions at all (hah), then and only then can you answer a previously-answered question for your week.

  3. IF the question you answer is marked as a duplicate on the same week, your answer is invalidated.

  4. IF the question you answered is put on hold by the community on the same week, your answer is invalidated.

  5. IF you are part of a previous ongoing Answerathon, and it's still going, you CANNOT use the same answer to enter more than one competition. You'll have to answer a new question for each.

However, please - if we finally hit a week where you can't answer something with a proper answer, i.e. with a citation or evidence or something useful to the author, don't post a weak answer on a question.

Scoring Rules

  1. Competitors (and neutral observers) vote on the answer based upon its quality. The image must be thematically precise, not just any crap image that appears in an image search.
    The image must lend weight to the answer.
    For example: Is it possible to visit the Parthenon at night? An image that shows people roaming about the ruins at night wins. Upvote it. An image that shows the Parthenon lit up at night loses because it does not lend weight to the answer. Downvote it. Unlike other competitions, this one has reputation risk to spice things up a bit.

  2. Finally, competitors (and neutral observers) are required to acquit themselves of good sportsmanship and fair play. It might mean upvoting a better answer than yours. It also means playing on if you get a downvote (no sulking!).

Formatting a picture

One way to include a picture is to use the share button of your source, if there is one.

On Stack Exchange, in posts, you can use the markdown syntax. So another way is to format picture using the following code, which includes a caption-like text underneath the image, using <sup> tags:

![description, author, license](link to the original image) <br /><sup>*description, author, license*</sup>

For example:

![Mimosa Yellow butterfly - Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l., by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0](https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8853/17336008490_f4239a2814_m_d.jpg) <br /><sup>*Mimosa Yellow butterfly - Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l., by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0*</sup>

which renders as:

Mimosa Yellow butterfly - Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l., by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Mimosa Yellow butterfly - Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l., by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • 2
    Can we add a stipulation that the images be properly tagged with description text, for the multiple purposes of accessibility, searchability, and search engine optimization? Related project at EL&U.SE.
    – choster
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:01
  • 1
    @choster Yes most definitely. I hate empty/meaningless alternate texts.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 19:43
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, I think any image at all posted to Twitter is usable. "This license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets on the Twitter Services available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same" Am I right?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 20:12
  • A linked picture is quite different to including a picture. All pictures MUST have the appropriate rights.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 2:03
  • @MarkMayo Of course. But very much like SE, we can't check every single image. Therefore we'll use the same rules as SE and assume the poster checked for copyright infringement.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 9:12

3 Answers 3


This sounds like a great idea, however one point sounds too restrictive to me.

  1. The pictures should be freely accessible.

According to the linked definition, we have the restrictions:

the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

While the two first points are interesting, the two last sound too restrictive, as referencing a picture from a third-party does not require it to be modified or redistributed.

The Stack Exchange content policy might be too lax, only stating "users should be careful when using copyrighted content without the permission of those who created it".

I think the middle ground could be to properly reference a picture and make sure you are allowed to reference it (most licenses allow it, as far as I know, as long as it is properly referenced). Using the "share" button of the source website is usually the way to go.

Also, I think it is interesting to give an example of what is expected to insert a picture :

Mimosa Yellow butterfly (Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l.) (?), by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Mimosa Yellow butterfly (Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l.) (?), by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

which is given by the code ![description](link) description, author:

![Mimosa Yellow butterfly (Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l.) (?), by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0](https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8853/17336008490_f4239a2814_m_d.jpg)
Mimosa Yellow butterfly (Pyrisitia nise larae syn. Eurema n. l.) (?), by Alan Hopkins, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • 1
    I converted the description into a caption-like text using <sup> tags. Is this too complicated for the average user?
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 20:39
  • @JoErNanO looks good to me, if people find it too complicated they can keep regular syntax
    – Vince
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 20:42

To date, we have two entries of high calibre.

How to make change (to get coins from a banknote) in Italy?

This entry nails it with a photo of the Comestero coin validator/dispenser as found all over Italy (possibly a monopoly?). The OP will be able to immediately recognize what they are looking for.

Berlin to Göttingen by train - which Berlin station to use?

This entry nails it with an image of the ICE in the Berlin Hbf. It's an absolute augmentation to the OP's question, and the OP will be able to recognize Track G when they arrive in the station.

I see both of these entries as exemplary (and well above expectations). The bar has been raised!

Neutral observers are invited to check these out. Vote both, vote one, or abstain.


My own attempt is here British citizen, why does my South-African wife need a visa to visit me in the UK?

This image is thematically on target because it demonstrates the sort of performance issues that led to South Africa's exclusion from trusted status (in this case overstay and illegal working). But it doesn't match the calibre of the previous two examples because there's nothing definitive to indicate that the persons getting busted are South Africans. If they were identified as South African nationals, it would be perfect. The image itself comes from the Home Office library and they fed it to Twitter, from there nearly every major news outlet ran it along with a story.


Rather than running an elimination-based competition lasting indefinitely in 48h bursts, some people suggested running the competition for a week, at the end of which a winner is nominated between the participants, and a whole new week-long competition can start again. Seeing as the purpose of this answerathon is to push quality content, as opposed to quantity, this might make sense. Upvote if you like this idea.

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