I find that there are too many restrictions in formulating questions on Stack Overflow. This site is not very forgiving, at least for some (I think nervous) people who quickly take away our points. I'd like to remind all that Stack Overflow is advertised as "for professional and enthusiast programmers" so I think it sounds very universal. Maybe the idea with only a small number of moderators would be better?
What is meta?
- Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
- The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
- Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates
I agree the question closing that you are probably referring to (now deleted) was a bit harsh.
But generally, the narrow focus on objective, answerable questions is what makes Stack Overflow great. You will notice the site is still of decent quality despite 2.1 million questions. Strict quality control, and allowing users to vote and close questions, is an essential part of it.
Please note that the most important parts of the Stack Overflow FAQ related to asking questions are:
Note how all the rest of "What kind of questions can I ask here and should I not ask here" just adds more explanation; the main idea is a Q&A site where Programmers can actually learn about coding and so on.
If I randomly quote
As I noted in the previous part, our network is all about learning. One of the best ways to learn to use our site is from your own mistakes, we're not trying to punish you but we're instead trying to maintain quality. See it like a child touching something hot, he won't do it again and later learn that something is cooking...
So, it is best to just try it and you will learn in either way.
As Pekka mentioned, maintenance of our quality is essential or we wouldn't have such a big community. You can read more about moderators if you want to know why they exists, what they do and which people get chosen to be them. But also note that anyone from 2000 reputation can edit and anyone from 3000 reputation can vote to close a question, maintenance mostly happens collaboratively.
Don't underestimate this, a lot of not real questions are closed and even deleted. Due to the amount of moderators and high reputation units this kind of content is removed before you get to see it. This is not only about questions, but also about floods of answers that say "I have this problem too" as well as advertisements and what else. Sometimes, it's necessary to do some house cleaning...