Our main site's 'What topics can I ask about here?' page, has this under the 'what not to ask' section:

Facts easily found on a reference site: Who played X in Y?

However, this line was from the early days of the site. Since then, we burninated General Reference, and we confirmed we don't close trivial questions.

And yet this line remains, causing conflict and confusion. So, should this line be removed?


I don't think that it should be completely removed. Asking questions of that type exhibits lack of research/effort on the part of the asker. This is grounds for being downvoted, and folks should understand that if they ask questions like that, they will get torn apart by vicious piranha, er I mean people who aren't big fans of that kind of question.


To the best of our ability, the FAQ should reflect the current policies of the site.

New users are more likely to read the FAQ and help pages than reading Meta. While we can help direct and advise users through comments, having the community standards being consistent in as many places as possible would make things a lot easier.

Since in-depth research of any sort is not required, we should not be telling users not to ask these questions.

However, it does make sense to advise people that while they are not banned or considered off-topic, that we're hoping for a little bit more. Moving this (possibly with a slight edit) to the How do I ask a good question? section seems like a suitable solution.

  • Impossible, as we mods cannot edit that page. We are able to edit the 'what to ask' page. – user1027 Apr 24 '14 at 23:56
  • @Keen Well, that's just prime. – phantom42 Apr 24 '14 at 23:58

As someone who's relatively new to the site (120 days and counting), I've not been privy to the more in-depth discussions that have been referenced above. That said, I honestly think that a question that shows zero research should be marked for closure and that the policy should be moved into line with the FAQ rather than the other way around.

Changing the FAQ to explicitly allow questions that show zero research effort is (IMHO) a wrong move. As was pointed out in the discussion about Answerama, low quality questions don't help to further the site's goals.

  • I personally pointed the policy and related discussions out to you a few weeks ago. Wikis and I mentioned those same questions again in the comments for the K-Pas question, which you also commented on. You may not have read them, but you were alerted to them. – phantom42 Apr 25 '14 at 18:34
  • This particular meta question is regarding what to do about the FAQ. If you disagree with the policy itself, it would be better to discuss that on any one of the specific meta questions regarding the policies themselves. – phantom42 Apr 25 '14 at 18:34

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