I seriously think we need this choice under the close flags...

enter image description here

There are just so many questions that obviously fit this category and need to be marked for closure, example, but simply do not fit under the other options.

What is the general consensus of which of the others is most appropriate?


Question was marked as a duplicate of the LMGTFY question....

This question has NOTHING to do with allowing LMGTFY links.

Despite my attempt at humor in the image...

THIS QUESION has to do with adding a close reason "User obviously did no research or demonstrated no reasonable effort to answer their question."

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting reading: mattgemmell.com/hindsight \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Nov 22 '17 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @clabacchio it is interesting indeed. However, I am not in any way being rude with this close reason, my point is, WITHOUT JUDGING the OP, the question is low quality, and can be answered with a simple google search. None of the other flags fit. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 22 '17 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor Read the mouseover text of the "downvote" button on a question: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful." \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 22 '17 at 18:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ This would be more of a global suggestion on the entire Stackexchange website, wouldn't it? \$\endgroup\$ – user103380 Nov 22 '17 at 20:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem is, sometimes, the OP doesn't even know the proper search terms to use, even though they would be obvious to most people answering here. Also, if OP knows the search terms, maybe what Google returns is too obscure for him to comprehend, or OP is missing some other prerequisite, and that thing needs to be explained in a different way here. And this could benefit others. My advice: if the question fits within the scope of the site, but seems way too basic to you, just move on (eventually, downvote). Somebody else will be happy to answer. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Nov 22 '17 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dim yes I understand that and I have no qualms with helping them in that case. And as always, discretion is advised on behalf of the voter. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 22 '17 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO maybe I just don't understand the whole flagging vs down voting thing and why we need both... \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 22 '17 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor want me to google that for you? ;) \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Nov 22 '17 at 22:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO har-d-har-har \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 23 '17 at 2:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dim "Avoid answering questions in comments" also goes for meta :) \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Nov 24 '17 at 9:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pip You know I like to do this, even on meta. No, more seriously, I consider my comment as just a general feeling I have about that problem, not really a fully-justified answer. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Nov 24 '17 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Circular logic. SE is often a first page result for these things, and the things that aren't, will be after being asked. That's the general idea of SE's policy on accepting pretty much all questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Should we allow LMGTFY links? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Nov 24 '17 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby it's not a duplicate at all. Ignore the wording in my image,,, that was tongue in cheek.. The point is ..closed because "better answers are easily found elsewhere! if the OP were just to take the time to look" \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 24 '17 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby see EDIT! \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 24 '17 at 18:05

I know I come late to this.
I had the same experience with members of my family. The say they can't find anything on Google and are astonished when I can find it immediately.
I have come to the conclusion that searching on Google requires a certain mindset which I (and probably you) have, but a lot of people lack.

Just to remind you of what kind of questions people ask: "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?"

Having written all that: Yes on several occasions I have put in the comments: "use Google with <.....>"

  • \$\begingroup\$ Read this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/15650/… \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Feb 15 '18 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d: I also don't like the "Let me ..." phrase. I prefer to write: "Use google with ....." I hope it: 1/Offends less. (But some people are offended by anything) 2/ Shows which search terms to use on google which match the subject. 3/ Provides a series of websites with the answer(s) so they may choose. \$\endgroup\$ – Oldfart Feb 15 '18 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The thing is that being unable to craft a proper web search is heavily correlated with being unable to post a rule-compliant question on a stack exchange site. Both require a kind of organized thinking about a problem. Frankly there's also a fair degree of correlation with being able to solve the problem oneself - so SE sorts of belongs to truly challenging problems, and an intermediate band where the owner of the issue can state it well, but not find the resources (including among existing questions) to solve it themselves. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Feb 17 '18 at 21:46

LTGTFY comments are rude in my opinion, and I'm not the only one. In a lot of cases it would take just as much time to point the OP in the right direction than to scoff at them so why not help people out?

Give people a chance, at least one. Direct them to resources that are helpful to improve the quality of the questions.

By giving people a chance, I don't mean posting a link for them. It would be better to show them how the site works (especially if they have below 50 or so rep) and help them improve their question. If the question can't be improved, or if they are not compliant and can't figure things out then close their question.

Secondly, this has already been discussed at length on Meta Stackexchange

  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem is that that efficient answers to LTGTFY-eligible questions would be link-only answers and thus prohibited. Re-summarizing search results tends towards one or more of wasting time, presenting a woefully incomplete impression, and/or nearing the verge of infringement. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Feb 17 '18 at 21:50

Trevor, your sentiment is well understood and shared by a large portion of the users around the network. There is a dedicated meta question about the topic.

However, the general direction is to try to avoid LMGTFY and instead downvote and try to give the user a general direction. You can even drop a one-line answer or comment with what to google for, for instance.

If you don't feel like, just downvote and move on (my opinion).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer instead of a nasty-gram. I'm surprised my Q, had the reaction it did. It really was just a suggestion for a missing close reason, since none of the others fit. But apparently I touched a tender spot. And yes, down-vote is always an option, but I have always disliked the lack of feedback to the OP in the way the DV works. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 23 '17 at 13:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor, I understand and partially share your point of view. Anyways, DV+comment is always better than just DV, just closing or just deleting \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Nov 23 '17 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yessir, again, thanks for taking the time to answer ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 23 '17 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. Lack of research is a valid reason for a downvote, but it is not a close reason for an otherwise on-topic question. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Feb 1 '18 at 20:01

Yes, I think most users, like yourself, that spend way more time answering questions than asking them get frustrated with poor quality questions. We want a way to dismiss poor questions so that the OP feels kicked in the butt. People that come here, don't bother reading the rules, and just blurt out their question without proper thought are not who we want to attract. In fact the opposite. We want to actively make them feel not welcome. If we don't, they'll just be back doing it again.

Unfortunately, those that run the site feel differently. They want to be "nice" to everyone, even those that should be actively discouraged. That is a misguided short-sighted view, but nonetheless, they are sticking to it. There is a clear history of internet forums, lists, and the like being drivelled to oblivion by the Nice Police.

However, there is a way. Note the "other" close reason. You can write whatever you want there. The text you write also shows up as a comment. If you were going to write a comment anyway, then it's only a little more work to write it as the other close reason instead of a comment directly. That posts a comment and votes to close all in one.

Unfortunately, lazy people who have no respect for, probably not even any thoughts towards, how the free help they are demanding is supposed to be provided will always be with us. We need to use the tools given us to deal with them as best we can.

That said, we need to be careful to distinguish between stupid and ignorant. It's hard to write formal rules to classify the two, but it's pretty easy to tell the difference when you see it. The level of a question is by itself not a problem. Honest and innocent low level questions are fine, and are generally received well here. It's the lazy ones where the asker really should have known how to easily find the answer that we don't want here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Olin, yup the trouble is.. with the " "other" close reason.", by the time I do that I could have just googled it and posted the link in a comment. Which is the part that really irks me... My easiest solution just encourages the OP... Hence my suggestion for a quick pick, and as I said elsewhere.. I do not feel right just down-voting.. \$\endgroup\$ – Trevor_G Nov 23 '17 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevor: I understand. I wish there was a better answer that doesn't require wasting as much of my volunteer time to make lazy users feel thrown out, not just denied. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Nov 23 '17 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unclear what you're asking is my fallback when a user don't even deserve the time it takes to write an Other reason. If someone asks a completely trivial question that can be answered with the first sentence on Wikipedia, then it is actually unclear what the problem really is. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Nov 24 '17 at 9:07

If it were a serious offer, I would support it. Quite often googling is a bit of an art in which careful use of search terms or specific technical words is needed, especially if the O/P does not have English as a first language.


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