There has been several questions recently that appear to be extreme example of confusion on the part of the poster about what they want to find out about.

I do understand the rules of: Be tolerant, Be nice, Not everyone is a native English speaker.

But can we at least impose some requirement on the clarity of one's questions?

The unfortunate reality is that these questions do get upvoted even though they are not answerable or sometimes even comprehensible.

Here we go again:

2 Answers 2


I see no point in imposing this extra requirements. This site has some democratic flavour. The users have several tools at their disposal

  • Every user can vote for (+1) or against (-1) a question. It is true that the latter option is frowned upon by some influential users. However if we want to prune the list of questions, we should use it more consequently.

  • Users with a high karma can vote to close a question.

  • Every user can flag questions for moderation. Users with lower karma can use this facility to signal posts they would like to see closed. I imagine that if there are enough flags on one post, the moderators feel more comfortable to take the appropriate action.

As a corollary of this I would say that if a post has positive votes or even a positive balance it cannot be that bad or off the mark. The same is true for closing votes. If there are not enough of them, there must be a reason.


The answer you got several months ago still seems completely valid: There are several mechanisms to take care of that, first and foremost the voting system. I would add that they seem to be working well. One of your recent example was closed after I commented on it and the OP failed to address the issue and the other two received useful, interesting answers. If a question has several upvotes and informative upvoted answers maybe it isn't all that “unanswerable” and that fact alone shows that it cannot be quickly dismissed as incomprehensible or totally confused. Really, if other people find it possible to provide meaningful answers, it does not help anybody to vote “unclear what you are asking”.

On a user-contributed website, it's quite normal to come across things we don't know well or don't find interesting. The reality is that you can't possibly manage such a site “against” its own users. Either people are on the whole reasonable and that means that upvotes are evidence that those questions are not that bad or we are assailed by an army of idiots and the site is doomed. In any case, there is no need to feel personally responsible for each and every question.

  • Really, if other people find it possible to provide meaningful answers - If I can provide a meaningful answer to the question: "Where should I go on vacation?" should I provide one? The quality of the site in this case will go south real quick!
    – Karlson
    Jan 17, 2014 at 20:44
  • From the past 2 years and especially when site gradutated from beta we seem to get more and more people that will upvote answers and questions for the simple reason that language doesn't offend them. Other then that for a lot of people anything goes, which presents a big quality control problem.
    – Karlson
    Jan 17, 2014 at 20:52
  • I don't think so but my larger point is that you have to contemplate the possibility that there could be some legitimate disagreement and make an honest effort at understanding people. Pretending questions that many regular users with voting rights (and not merely the odd newcomer) find useful are worthless or incomprehensible (and not merely perfectible or lacking in some way) will lead nowhere.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 17, 2014 at 21:12

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