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Some people ask questions that are against the Stack Exchange rules, like asking for touristic information, hotel prices and recommendations for whatever. We can and should close the questions as they do not meet our rules (and those are Stack Exchange wide, we can not chose to ignore those.)
Someone commented on a related question on the main site that they always post an answer under the question as soon as possible,or if an answer no longer possible, post a comment with the information asked.

I feel that those answers and comments, while helping OP, do not meet the SE rules and should not become the rule here.

Should we point those OP who fail to understand our rules to sites where their questions are welcome?

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  • I agree off-topic questions shouldn't be answered, but what's the point in issuing a ban on "Sorry, we can't help you with this question, try Reddit?" Dec 30, 2022 at 20:58
  • @AzorAhai-him-, can you make that in an answer? You will need to fill it out to do that.
    – Willeke Mod
    Dec 30, 2022 at 20:59
  • Your comment on Franck's answer seems to suggest there's a rule against suggesting people go to a different site to find their answers, what rule is that? Dec 30, 2022 at 21:01
  • @AzorAhai-him-, I do not think there are rules about sending people on. If there are fitting SE sites we can send the question on, if it fits, or send people there to write a question that fits there, but in the cases I am talking about the question does not fit the Stack Exchange network rules and I feel Franck's answer did not fit that.
    – Willeke Mod
    Dec 31, 2022 at 15:14
  • If a question is really against the rules, let the asker do his own research to find another site. But if not, AND there exists a really good site for it, why not say so?
    – WGroleau
    Dec 31, 2022 at 19:57
  • This is a Q/A site. There are many questions where a longer back-and-forth kind of discussion is more appropriate to get to a solution. I don't mind pointing people to such sites. Those questions get closed and people hopefully get to where they can get a solution.
    – ouflak
    Jan 4, 2023 at 10:57

3 Answers 3

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On Physics Stackexchange, there is an explicit page providing a list of non-SE sites that might be useful to people whose questions are closed. Creating a similar "useful resources" page on Travel.Meta and pointing people towards it might be a compromise between "allow individual answers that point people elsewhere" and "never mention other sites ever".

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Should we point those OP who fail to understand our rules to sites where their questions are welcome?

Great idea. It's difficult to know exactly the rules and closing habits of all the ~180 SE websites, so if a site a better suited for a question, let's inform the OP. This way, they'll be more likely to know what the proper site is for their future questions.

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    The kind of questions I am aiming at in OP is not suitable for Stack Exchange sites, so the askers will have to be pointed to non SE sites.
    – Willeke Mod
    Dec 30, 2022 at 14:11
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No. We are not "Find A Better Site For Me Then" Stack Exchange.

The purpose of this website is to form a repository of high-quality Questions and Answers. Comments exist solely for the purpose of improving those first two categories, and chat exists because people need space to have discussions that don't fit elsewhere.

When an off-topic question is posted, it is not contributing to that goal. It takes away effort, time and attention from posts that are on topic, and reduces the quality of the content.

"Oh, but I just want to help! What harm does it do, the post will be deleted anyway.."

When users ignore the quality and topicality requirements, and either post an Answer or provide a solution (complete or otherwise) in comments, it is actively incentivising the user to make such posts again, and it disincentives the user to either fix the post or to find a better place for asking it. Others see this and they wonder why they shouldn't do it for themselves - and naturally, some do try.

After all, worked for the last guy, why shouldn't they just stick whatever junk in?

That means more reduction in quality in the future, and a reputation for not following our own rules. There are already people arguing that they can ignore policy P because "that other post did the same thing and it's open and it has upvotes". Just as those policies are established for good reason, so are the basic principles of the site. Ignoring those principles, going against those policies, means going against the entire purpose of the site.

If you don't want to use this site for its intended purpose, cool! That's your choice. But the consequence is that you just don't use it. Go to Reddit or Quora, Twitter or Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to discuss and ask and answer anything and everything and not have to worry about quality.

But please, don't bring the Helpfulâ„¢ attitude here. There is enough work to do without tidying up after your "help".

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    Because it is a separate point and should not directly affected voting on the answer: if someone is consistently responding to Questions that are off-topic, and/or repeatedly responding to Questions with comments instead of Answers, they should be getting a warning and eventually prevented from doing so. Use the privileges positively or don't use them at all.
    – Nij
    Dec 23, 2022 at 5:49

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