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I frequently notice questions which are actually multiple questions circling around a specific problem in one. These usually appear as an introductory-paragraph followed by a numbered list of questions.

  1. Is this behavior really constructive?
  2. Isn't it better to open multiple questions in this case?
  3. Doesn't it go against the stackexchange concept of one-question-one-answer?
  4. Don't they discourage people from answering when they can say something interesting about one sub-questions but not about the others because their answer would be incomplete?
  5. Won't that mean that people won't answer at all?
  6. Or does it on the other hand cause people to write answers which only address one of the points of the question while ignoring others, hoping that others will provide answers for other points?
  7. When that happens, which answer should be accepted?
  8. When I consider them bad, should I close them as too broad or some other close-reason?
  9. Should I downvote them?
  10. Should I ask these people in a comment to split the question into multiple ones?
  11. Would there be a way to discourage people from opening such questions?

And then they usually end with a paragraph asking the audience to answer all of these questions at once. What do you think about them?

  • 9
    +1 for writing an example into the question itself. – Andrew Cheong Nov 25 '13 at 9:57
  • 2
    If I downvote this for being a poor question, would that answer it as well? – Bart Nov 25 '13 at 9:57
  • @Bart you can downvote and answer – John Dvorak Nov 25 '13 at 9:58
  • 7
    @JanDvorak we all know by now that downvotes without an explanation are the most fun. – Bart Nov 25 '13 at 9:58
  • Such questions are known as FAQ in Meta. – hims056 Nov 25 '13 at 10:01
  • @Bart except for the receiver ;-) – John Dvorak Nov 25 '13 at 10:01
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    In my opinion: Multi-question questions are not bad an sich. If the questions are closely related, it would seem silly and incomplete to ask them all in seperate questions. It is also a major timewaste for people that can actually answer the question, as they have to re-read every question. On the other hand, if there are multiple questions that are not closely related, I think "too broad" is a valid close reason. – Sumurai8 Nov 25 '13 at 10:23