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Building on Embrace the Non-Googlers and How should you respond to “Give me a fish” / RTFM questions? I'm curious as to what acts as a disincentive for those who choose to ignore the manual and can't be bothered to Google.

Downvoting a question comes at a cost to those who do the downvoting (whereas finding another way to ask the same question - but hopefully avoid downvotes - is free) ... perhaps there could be a threshold to allow question downvoting without penalty if a user has asked X questions with a zero upvoted:downvoted ratio over the life of his or her account?

It seems like there should be a disincentive which avoids creating an unanswered questions graveyard/moderation tarpit and gives those doing the asking a reason to consider cracking a book before firing off another question.

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Why do you assume an RTFM question is typically unanswered? They very rarely are and draw lots of votes. – Uphill Luge Oct 22 '10 at 19:35
@Hans_Passant - Perhaps that should be "read the (introduction of) the manual" - random examples from unanswered: stackoverflow.com/questions/1878482/… stackoverflow.com/questions/1787385/sub-query-in-protege-4 stackoverflow.com/questions/1880303/… – danlefree Oct 22 '10 at 20:17

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