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What are the reasons why closed questions cannot be answered? (Particularly: closed as not a real question.)

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marked as duplicate by gnat, juergen d, Hugo Dozois, Martijn Pieters, ɥʇǝS May 15 '13 at 3:18

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Because it is closed? What other reasons do you need? And just because you may have an answer, that doesn't mean the question should have been asked in the first place here. –  Martijn Pieters May 14 '13 at 21:22
    
Why so many downvotes? –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:28
    
@TN because it's pretty much obvious.. –  Shadow Wizard May 14 '13 at 21:29
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See the faq; votes on MSO are different from the regular Stack Exchange websites. –  Martijn Pieters May 14 '13 at 21:31
    
@Martijn Pieters +1 Thanks for info:) –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:39
    
Btw. Why I can't click to see how many downvotes and upvotes as in StackOverflow? (Sorry, if it is also obvious, this is my first question here.) –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:45
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You don't have enough reputation for that privilege. –  Bart May 14 '13 at 21:50
    
+1 Oh, this is a privilege. I did not know that. –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

That's the purpose of closing a question - closed to answers.

A closed question indicates that a part of the community doesn't think it belongs on the site (for whatever reason) and should probably be removed later on completely.

Giving answers to closed questions would mean that askers would have no incentive to keeping on topic and post high quality content.

As for "Not a Real Question" - if it isn't a question, it can't have an answer, can it?

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For instance, I think I can provide an answer for this: stackoverflow.com/questions/16494932/… –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:27
    
+1 for successfully explaining the obvious and still be helpful all in a polite manner. :) –  Shadow Wizard May 14 '13 at 21:28
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@TN. - You need to understand that NARQ has a specific meaning on Stack Exchange. It is not well named (and we are working on changing that) - if you think of it as "not suitable for Stack Exchange sites", it will make more sense. In this case, the question is certainly not suitable. The only real answers would be "Yes, it is possible." or "No. It isn't". –  Oded May 14 '13 at 21:29
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@TN.: For that question, consider that it is very vague and broad, and doesn't show great research effort. But let's say you are able to provide a detailed answer that solves all of the asker's problems. Then future askers wouldn't be incentivized to be clear and specific in their own questions. –  David Robinson May 14 '13 at 21:42
    
@Oded I wanted to provide more hints, not just yes:) So would you suggest me to edit that question? "If possible, please provide me some hints how to do it?" - Or what do you suggest is the best way to improve that question to be answered? –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:43
    
@David Robinson +1 Thank you for explaining me the reasons. –  TN. May 14 '13 at 21:49
    
@TN you can leave a comment hint, even if it's not possible to reopen (I don't think it will be). –  hayd May 14 '13 at 22:12
    
@hayden Ok, added. –  TN. May 15 '13 at 11:29

Because a question which is not a real question

...cannot reasonably be answered in its current form.

and therefore the answer probably wouldn't be very useful. We close a question to signify that it isn't a good fit for StackOverflow. Allowing users to answer bad questions would mean two things in particular:

  • Users would have no penalty for posting bad questions, and therefore would have no pressure to post good questions
  • Answers would almost always be totally meaningless, or too broad
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