I understand - as it was discussed plenty before - that list questions, as long as they are concrete and limited, are ok to ask. I am wondering however when the border is crossed on the length of the list.

There have been plenty of questions that ask about a specific feature for every country in the EU and in Europe, which I would think is already a lot since it involves technically around 27 to 45 countries.

Some other questions asked about "which cities in Europe offer"... where the list can go into the hundreds or even more.

Even if the asking person does not require an exhaustive answer, should we encourage people to ask a more concrete question? Should we make a difference between practical questions for actual, planned travel and questions that rather border on research papers?

If we stick for simplicity's sake with the questions of the type "what are the driving rules for each country in Europe...": While I can understand why the asking person would like to compile a list for future use, I would doubt that anyone will be planning a drive through all 45+ countries in Europe (including Zyprus and Malta) in one go and therefore needs such a broad list answered in one go for a practical use.

Would we mind if someone asked "Name me every city in the world that offers vegan restaurants?", expecting a complete list to be compiled? Where is the line? Do we want one? Do we make a difference between practical use and more research type questions?

I would think that instead of answering questions of the above type, we should encourage people to ask questions about actually planned destinations or inquire which destination are fit for a certain purpose or requirement.


1 Answer 1


The mission of Stack Exchange is not only to be helpful to the particular user that asked a question, but also to future visitors to the site and the Internet at large. A significant portion of the traffic to some SE sites (Travel-SE included) comes from search engines, and some questions already have inordinate amounts of views with respect to their age and votes. Thus, an exhausting collection of information is going to be helpful to a lot of people, even if a single person is not likely to benefit from all of it.

This doesn't mean that any list-like question should be accepted -- on the contrary, you give some good examples of bad questions. It all boils down to a judgement call depending on the subject matter. A question requiring yes/no answers could probably have a few dozen answers and still be okay, while more elaborate questions wouldn't (from your examples: driving rules in Europe, vegan restaurants).

For example, the daytime running lights question is very helpful -- it puts all the information in one convenient place, is reasonably restricted in scope (Europe and EU tend to have similar laws), has a yes/no answer for each country, and people travelling to various countries could easily find what they are looking for. It's a much more useful than a bunch of similar questions for each particular country, which would have one-line answers.

So, to summarize, it's subjective. And that's good. There are questions on the site from the olden days which are not going to fly today, but the community evolves and becomes more strict and self-censoring about what is allowed and what not.

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