I often answer questions and wait to see if it meets the OP's requirements. Sometimes, it seems people will ask a question and not check on it until the next day.

Am I wrong to expect OPs to check on their questions when they just asked it?

Mmm... I should have left the question alone for a day or so, just for the fun of it :p

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    This doesn't bother me so much with answers. But, it does drive me crazy when you comment on a question asking the OP to clarify something and they log off. Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:05
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    New users coming over from forums or mailing lists might even have the expectation that they won't get a reply for the first n minutes or hours after they ask.
    – Pops
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:25
  • How long do you expect them to sit around waiting exactly?
    – Dason
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 4:30
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    @Dason at least the first five minutes after you ask the question Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 3:00
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    Why not the first 10? Or the the first hour? I disagree with you and don't expect that the OP should have to stick around for any amount of time. It is certainly nicer when they do so they can provide clarification but if it takes them a day to get back to the question what is wrong with that? They're the ones hoping for help so they'll get better responses if they're around to answer questions for a short while. But there is no reason to expect that. What if they had a question right before going to sleep? Or they had a meeting right away but wanted to get their question in first?
    – Dason
    Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 3:04
  • @Dason Because most questions get answers within the first 5 minutes. With me, what happens is that if a person doesn't get back to it and I'm trying to help, I just won't help next time. Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 3:06
  • The question is unclear as it doesn't define in the question body the period to qualify a question as a hit-and-run. The public Q&A platform is no intended to have real-time or immediate interactions; the term hit-and-run questions are from people who do not return in a reasonable time in terms of days, not in terms of minutes.
    – Rubén
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 18:40

4 Answers 4


While many users will hang out after asking a question to address anything that might come up or provide clarifications (and probably get better answers because of it), many will not.

Questions on Stack Exchange are not the same as questions in chat. It's not an immediate medium. This is why there's a notification system to let you know when someone's commented on your post.

It's not unreasonable to want posters to keep tabs on everything happening with their question immediately after asking, but you'll be happier if you do what you can and don't worry about it.

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    Very true, I shouldn't get ticked off because of it, but dang... I do! It's not chat, but most questions get answers within a few minutes. Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:13
  • @JuanMendes You never know. Maybe some users are purposely trying to give everyone time to write long detailed answers instead of worrying about being first. Can be damned annoying though.
    – blahdiblah
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:19

There is nothing in the FAQ that states that you have to answer/comment/accept anything within a certain limit. Thus, it should be an acceptable behavior. It is probably prune to kick back on the OP as the questions attract more attention when it's newly asked.

Also consider that this may not be intentional, many users are busy at work and may be caught up in something out of their control right after the post is made.

That said, I find this behavior it incredibly annoying too. But not much to do.

  • I'm not going to downvote it if it's acceptable, I wish it weren't acceptable, then I would gladly do it. Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:12
  • True that. Removed downvoting comment.. Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:13

You need to consider that some people (like myself) are hobbyist programmers with jobs that don't have access to a computer. I will sometimes ask a question and then have to leave for work before there is any response.

I cerainly wouldn't want to be punished (via downvotes) because I have a life outside of SO.

I will reply to comments when I get the opportunity, but there may be a reason I don't respond immediately... have some patience.


Are you wrong to expect it, no, you can expect whatever you want. It may or may not be met (in this particular case, regardless of what you do this is something that you will run into often).

Are the wrong to do it, no. The're much less likely to get an answer to their question, and annoying people considering answering you is only making it that much less likely, but it's not like they're violating the site rules or anything. If the clarifications are there because the question itself is overload broad, vague, or in some other way unanswerable then they could be violating the rules in that regard though.

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    I think you're saying, if it's a bad question, comment on it, if they don't get back to you within an hour or so, downvote it? Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:15
  • @JuanMendes I'm more saying don't let it bother you. If they don't answer comments they won't get helped. That's the consequence of not responding. There is no need to punish them further (although you are free to downvote). Not getting a [good] answer is punishment enough. If they are getting good answers anyway then it means that the clarifying comments aren't needed; enough information was already there to provide a good answer.
    – Servy
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 20:29

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