Today, we had a fairly new user asking how to get from Douala, Cameroon to Brazzaville, Congo by land transport. This is a good, interesting, off-the-beaten-track, non-Googlable and really quite specific question that's entirely the kind of thing Travel.SE is meant for, and a good answer to this would quickly become the canonical answer to the (admittedly limited) set of people traveling this route overland.
But, horrors of horrors, he makes the mistake of saying "fastest and cheapest" (ack! two different things!) and compounds his unforgivable error by also asking about the "safety" of places along the way (oh, the audacity!). So we're merciless: not only is the question closed in minutes for being "too broad" (srsly?), but the comments fill up with this sort of asshattery:
The fastest would be to charter a private stretch of railroad.
Tip: There are no railroads between Cameroon and Brazzaville.
The cheapest would be to walk.
Ha-ha! So funny!
The whole of the DR Congo and Kinshasa in particular are places to avoid if you can
I'm sure somebody contemplating an overland trip across Congo appreciates this gem of rare wisdom!
And what's worse, not only do we not flag these comments, but they get upvoted. What a lovely introduction to Travel.SE!
So, at long last, my questions:
- Do we intend to tolerate this kind of thing?
- Can we make it a policy to default to answering what the user is clearly asking (in this case and many others, a sane compromise between cost and speed, without killing yourself along the way), instead of closing questions just to make uppity noobs grovel?