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I've seen a lot of questions on stackoverflow that will have what is basically the same correct answer all posted within minutes of each other. Example: Date / Timestamp to record when a record was added to the table?. The reason why this happens is the answer is OBVIOUS, and the questioner could have found the answer by doing 10 seconds of googling. It seems to me these questions simply clutter up stackoverflow and add little if any value. I think it would be useful if the system automatically flagged questions that had more than X# of answers in Y# of minutes for moderator review. A moderator could then mark the answer as "does not show sufficient research effort."

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If the answer is that obvious, the right course of action is to downvote, comment, and vote to close. I don't think it's feasible to try and auto-detect those kinds of questions, though - what about answers that come quickly simply because the answerer happened to be quick? It's an interesting idea, +1 for that, but SO is so quick even on good questions, I don't think it would work as a good metric to recognize low quality questions. – Pëkka May 23 '12 at 15:35
I answered this question in less than half of a minute. Without looking at the answer, tell me if it's obvious to you what the answer should be. – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 23 '12 at 15:46
Right. If only users were as good about downvoting on stackoverflow as they appear to be on meta. -6 downvotes? Wow. Why don't you all also go downvote the question I linked to also? :) – aquinas May 23 '12 at 15:48
aquinas - Downvotes on Meta are different – Pëkka May 23 '12 at 15:48
Because we see no reason to downvote that question? – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 23 '12 at 15:48
@BoltClock'saUnicorn, That's not what I was suggesting. I was saying if you have 4 or 5 answers that are posted within 2 minutes of the question being asked, that the answer is probably obvious. I'm not saying one or two answers, but 4,5,6,7. I've seen this happen quite a bit, and the questions don't (seem to) get downvoted. – aquinas May 23 '12 at 15:50
"Because we see no reason to downvote that question?" OK. Well, you are supposed to downvote if "this question does not show any research effort." And the question says: "Does anyone know of a function as such that i can use to add an automatic date and timestamp in a colum for when a user add a record to the database table?" If I type into google: add an automatic date and timestamp sql server. The first hit is the answer. I guess I don't understand the idea behind downvotes then. – aquinas May 23 '12 at 15:54
The reasons that you give for downvoting are not obligations. I personally don't see anything wrong with having the information in that question here on SO. In general, the fact that a question is easy doesn't necessarily make it bad. Also, as the answer points out, LMGTFY is pretty rude, and it's unsurprising to me that a suggestion that we be deliberately rude to people who ask easy questions is pretty unpopular here. – murgatroid99 May 23 '12 at 16:02
LMGTFY was meant to be a joke. Edited to: "does not show sufficient research effort." My goal was to allow moderators to be automatically alerted to questions that are of EXTREMELY limited usefulness to the SF community. I would assume that we don't want a TON of questions that pose little value, because it simply clutters up the search results. This isn't a huge problem now, but how about 5 years from now? The other reason why I think this is useful is because these questions probably won't get closed or downvoted, because users' want their answer to be accepted. Anyway, looks like I'm wrong. – aquinas May 23 '12 at 16:10
@aquinas you might want to look at the [faq question embrace the non-googlers] ( – Some Helpful Commenter May 23 '12 at 16:53
OK cool. So, I was under the impression that answers showing a lack of research should be downvoted (per the instructions on the site), but now it looks like that is not the idea. So questions like: "How do I create a trigger in sql server" are legitimate. Cool by me. – aquinas May 23 '12 at 17:31
@aquinas no, overly lazy questions are not legitimate. Downvote, comment, and closevote them. As said, I think your idea is interesting (and I support auto-flagging crap) but it would yield too many false positives. – Pëkka May 23 '12 at 18:15
@Pekka, so do you agree or disagree with: – aquinas May 23 '12 at 18:34
@aquinas re the lmgtfy discussion, I agree with Bill The Lizard's answer given there. Other than that, I think that questions that are exceedingly trivial need to be downvoted and closed. With 2 million+ questions, there's a limit to "embracing non-Googlers". – Pëkka May 23 '12 at 18:58
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm going to agree with Pekka on this one - if the quality of the question is bad, then downvote, comment, and vote/flag to close.

There doesn't need to be anything extra in the system to point out that this question is obvious (and I personally feel that someone saying "LMGTFY" is a bit rude and means someone is trying to attack them personally). We have the ability to express our views on the quality of the post by voting and commenting (and for 3K+, voting to close).

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