There are sometimes questions that come to mind, to ask on the site. They could be very general, or relate to common examples. However, I personally may not be interested in knowing the answer, or I myself may know that the answer is beyond my scope of understanding. Nevertheless, they would benefit others on the site.

Is it okay to ask such questions, and then ignore any answers that do come?

  • So you'll ask, but when someone who really wants to know has to deal with your question being there collecting answers that you can't be bothered to verify? – random Jan 20 '15 at 15:16

Yes, you can ask a question even if you don't have a compelling need to know the answer right now. This, by itself, doesn't automatically make the question inappropriate.

That said, it is a bit of a red flag. To your statement:

They could be very general

This is quite a bit more concerning. It's a sign that the question is likely to be Too Broad. Questions on SO need to be specific and quite narrow in scope. Questions shouldn't be just throwing out some topic and trying to spark a large discussion about it.

Even if you don't need to know the answer to this particular question, it should be reasonable for someone else to be in the same situation, and to have a specific answer to that specific question that can be answered by any answers to this question.


Yes and No.

Yes, it's OK to ask a question that is on topic and can draw good and helpful answers, since the main focus of Stack Exchange sites is the content.

No, it's not OK to just ignore all the answers that might come.

At the very least, you should:

  1. Indicate in the question itself that you're not asking this for your personal gain and that you would not be able to judge given answers yourself. This can come in the end of the question in small text, e.g.

    Disclaimer: ...

  2. Flag your own question asking to make it CW so that you won't gain reputation you don't really deserve as you won't put any further efforts into this.
  3. At least review given answers to see if they somehow fit, edit bad grammar and syntax etc.
  • I don't see any real reason for the question to state that the author doesn't need to use the answers. It doesn't really change the question or how it's answered. And making the question (and as a consequence, every answer) CW is most certainly not appropriate here. Nothing about this situation is cause for CW. – Servy Jan 20 '15 at 15:21
  • @Servy forgot that CW question means CW answers only. But still, doesn't feel right to have the OP gain reputation for this. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Jan 20 '15 at 15:25
  • CW is not a "remove reputation" tool. It's a tool to indicate that content is collaborative (this is not), its effects on reputation are a side effect, not the goal. That said, why in the world should the votes not affect his reputation just because he doesn't have the problem he describes? Either the question is a good question, and it'll be able to help other people who do have that problem, and he'll have earned any rep he gets, or it's not a good question, it wouldn't help others, etc. and the votes should reflect that, affecting his reputation negatively. – Servy Jan 20 '15 at 15:27

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