While browsing other SE website, I check the popular questions across SE network section, where I found this question.

Maybe I am a bit skeptical or paranoid, but I believe the purpose of this question is not to 'find a friend', but something more towards stalking someone or worse.

This person might have taken a picture of someone and now he/she wants to find him/her for whatever reason.

Note: I would not post this if maybe the OP of the question had a valid profile with a picture, bio, etc.


2 Answers 2


Generally, no.

Could that be the goal? Possibly. Is it necessarily? No. Why couldn't it be exactly what the Asker said?

There are many useful answers here that could also be used nefariously. I am quite sure that many of the questions asking how to recover a Gmail account aren't actually from the people who hold the account, but someone trying to find a back door to snoop. That doesn't mean that explaining how to recover one's own account shouldn't be here.

Many of the answers on Stack Overflow would be useful to people building malware. Should we remove those? Have you any idea how much content that would be?

Frankly, while my answer has the highest score on that question, have you tried it? Even the best image matching in the world is hardly up to the task. If this is the way a stalker is trying to track someone down, they're going to be pretty ineffectual.

  • 1
    But certainly we can't be completely blind to the intent of a question, in the thinking that "maybe" it's useful for a good purpose.
    – bmende
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 17:23

I agree with you here.

If I saw a question that I believed is most likely to be used immorally, I wouldn't answer it.

And maybe I even leave a comment to explain my concerns, maybe I flag it too. I guess it depends on how serious or sure I am about the situation.

However, although the question you cited is a good example, perhaps you could paraphrase the question, rather than link it. I wouldn't want to publicly accuse a user of something, without knowing for sure the details (but maybe you are more convinced than I), even if the user doesn't have a pro pic / bio.

A similar idea is also expressed in 2 John 1 (nasb version):

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

  • If I knew I could accuse someone, I would have paraphrased. But his name is the same as John Doe. Commented May 17, 2016 at 23:50

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