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OK, we've all seen it. User123LZ posts a 2-liner asking for something.

For example:

enter image description here

Then User1234 answers it. It's perfectly OK, but it makes me cringe a little. Does anybody else feel that this is an issue? That people are helping obviously lazy users? I get that it may be rep-farming, but still.

I just feel that certain questions degrade the overall quality of the site, yet still get attention and undeserved TLC .

Just tossing it out there, not quite sure if anything can be done, since the system does inherently address a lot of it already.

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Tobias Kienzler, Hugo Dozois, Aziz Shaikh, Azik Oct 7 '13 at 13:25

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Vote to close the question as 'demonstrates minimal understanding'? – Josh Crozier Oct 6 '13 at 21:12
This isn't a trivial question. In my experience most of the answers to this kind of question are critically flawed. This includes GGrec's answer which doesn't demonstrate the minimal understanding that you need to use a secure RNG to generate a password. – CodesInChaos Oct 6 '13 at 21:14
Not trivial, no. But absolutely zero effort. – Bart Oct 6 '13 at 21:16
Actually, that Google comment infuriates me more then the question and the answer. – Time Traveling Bobby Oct 7 '13 at 12:46
@TimeTravelingBobby: Flag the "google" comment if you think it's critically flawed. – Tom Au Oct 7 '13 at 12:52
@TomAu: It's not "critically flawed", it's stupid, not helpful and stupid...did I already mention stupid? On a more serious note, we agreed a long time ago that such comments are neither helpful nor welcome here. If you think that a question can be answered by a simple search in your favorite searchmachine, it should be downvoted and/or closed. – Time Traveling Bobby Oct 7 '13 at 12:56
@TimeTravelingBobby: I was giving you a "hypothetical." It's your call, based on your best judgment. I didn't want to do more because I didn't understand the whole exchange. – Tom Au Oct 7 '13 at 12:59
@TomAu: And I said that it's not hypothetical but needs to vanish. ;) If you're interested in that topic, I can suggest "Embrace the non-Googlers" and "Ban LMGTFY (let me google that for you) links" as a very good start into it. – Time Traveling Bobby Oct 7 '13 at 13:03
up vote 13 down vote accepted

...the system does inherently address a lot of it already.

Use the tools you have:

  • Downvote.
  • Vote to Close or Flag if you don't have Close Vote privileges yet.

In cases of obviously bad questions getting answered the best course is often just to get the question off the front page ASAP. Downvotes and close votes will both do that. If the question gathers 5 close votes it will be put on-hold, if it isn't salvaged after that, it will eventually be deleted. If it gets deleted, the rep awarded to the enabler will be removed and the enabler (hopefully) learns not to answer bad questions, problem solved.

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Ultimately there is little that can be done beyond what the system already allows. Restrictions on the front end (before posting) will only throw up roadblocks for users asking legitimate questions, so making the system harder to use for new users (while beneficial for question quality) will ultimately harm the site over the long run.

The best to handle this is to limit the opportunity for incentive for posting these kind of questions, and the best way to do that is to get the question closed quickly as possible so you hopefully do not get any answers. So downvote the question, vote/flag to close, and leave a comment explaining to the user why the question is inappropriate and what can be done to fix it.

There are some more extreme members of the community that advocate downvoting answers on posts like this, and while I see the point, this can be harmful as well. The idea behind downvoting is to get the attention of the answerer so they will delete the answer or move it to a more appropriate spot (like the potential duplicate). But if it isn't deleted, a correct answer with downvotes ultimately does not benefit the site, as users coming in via Google won't understand the "politics" behind a downvoted correct answer. They will just see a downvoted answer and assume it is wrong in some way, so that practice can be almost as harmful to the site as the bad questions.

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