I read some people on stack exchange quoting from the FAQ

No question is too trivial or too "newbie"

However, that very clear statement is now gone (or I cannot find it anymore).

Is that just a diffused opinion (and therefore you can argue about), or a principle (something you can still argue about, but that you have to accept if you choose to participate) of this website?

Bonus question: :-)

Apart to this very question, where should I redirect/point to a user stating about a question only: "This question is too trivial/too easy to solve"? (We are not speaking about "lack of research", this is out of topic).


2 Answers 2


The question's difficulty is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how easy or hard of a problem it is to solve. What matters is whether the question is clear, appropriately scoped, on topic, has enough information to be answerable, isn't primarily opinion based, is useful to the community in general, is well researched, etc.

Now, there are a lot of beginners that have asked a lot of beginner questions, and a lot of people that have created a lot of quality resources all over the web to provide information to beginners and to help solve easy problems. As a result, most "easy" questions tend to be questions that the question author could have found on their own with a reasonable amount of research effort. It is these poorly researched questions that we don't want here, not just easy questions. Questions that are easy, but that don't already have readily accessible solutions for, are most certainly welcome here.

It's also important to note that many people are inexperienced at the act of asking questions, and misattribute the poor response to their question as being because of their poor programmings skills, rather than their poor question asking skills.

  • 2
    That's not what you asked though. You asked if it's a contested issue with large segments of the community disagreeing. It's not. Quality questions that meet all of the site's guidelines, but that just happen to be easy to solve, are fine, and are virtually always well received when they happen. The help center can't say everything about everything on the site. It needs to be there to have the most important information that new users need to see when starting out. The more info is put there, the less of it people read.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 14:56
  • 1
    I did, and I have. You asked if the statement, "No question is too trivial." is valid. It is. You're now asking a completely different question in comments; one that your actual question is not asking at all, namely why was the FAQ changed. That's a radically different question.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 15:02
  • Please check how it is asked at the end of the question description (from the beginning). Sorry for the ambiguity, my bad. I will now solve the ambiguity.
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 15:03
  • 1
    Again, I'm answering that question. Question difficultly is irrelevant in determining question quality on SO. This is not an opinion, it's policy, and it's not a topic that is hotly contested, it's just a policy that's often misunderstood by new users who get negative feedback that they misattribute to the difficulty of their question.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 15:09
  • So. I initially asked also/mainly about validity of the statement. But in fact I wanted to know if that is a principle or a diffused opinion, which was part of the question. Now, I cannot ask a new question. Can you please revise your answer to start, first of all, by answering to the current question? (The answer is either it is a principle (derived by so and so...) or a diffusion opinion) I hate to give you a moving target. But the point for me is there's a strong difference between a principle/policy/law and a diffused opinion.
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:30
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    @Antonio And I gave you your answer. There is nothing whatsoever prohibiting questions on the basis of their difficulty. If someone states that a question isn't welcome here because it's too easy, they're wrong. If someone is trying to assert that easy questions aren't welcome, the burden is on them to demonstrate a specific policy statement supporting them. SE doesn't explicitly state every policy it doesn't have; doing so would make no sense.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 17:39
  • If someone states that a question isn't welcome here because it's too easy, they're wrong Can you please add it in your answer?
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 17:47
  • @Antonio It's been there all along. It's stated in each of the two opening statements, and explained in the rest of the post.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 17:53
  • What harm would it make to your answer? I would really appreciate that.
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 18:01
  • @Antonio Why do you want me to add something to the answer that I've already stated several times in that answer?
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 18:03
  • Because it would be a much clearer statement on what this answer is trying to point out. A side note regarding It is useful to the community: I think, apart for very evident cases (question related to things not in the public domain), that the evaluation about that should be completely left to the number of upvotes the question gets. But no consideration about that should be made to close/downvote the question.
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 20:04
  • 1
    @Antonio Questions that are useful get upvotes, questions that aren't useful get downvotes. That's pretty much exactly what votes are for. The downvote tooltip specifically says it's there for posts that are not useful.
    – Servy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 20:27
  • That's what I meant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/195294/…
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 20:43
  • 1
    I agree with Servy. Let me supplement Servy's answer with some practical advice for question-askers. Empirically, when someone tells you your question is too easy, it's often the case that what they really meant to say is that your question was poorly researched. Therefore, if you ask a question and someone tells you that your question was too easy, you should first do a lot of soul-searching to check whether your question is as well-researched as it could have been. Only after you've done that soul-searching should you even begin to consider looking for something to point them to.
    – D.W.
    Mar 27, 2015 at 22:12

Is that just a diffused opinion (and therefore you can argue about), or a principle (something you can still argue about, but that you have to accept if you choose to participate) of this website?

If it were a "principle", then how would people concretely "have to accept" that "no question is too trivial or too newbie"?

Let's contrast it with the "principle" that downvoters do not have to explain their votes. People "have to accept" it, in these ways:

  1. If you ask for an SE employee to reverse an unexplained downvote, your request will be denied.

  2. If you go on meta asking for obligatory explanations on downvotes, your request will be downvoted into oblivion.

  3. If you pester people on meta over and over again about it because you just won't accept "no" for an answer, you'll be suspended.

At the end of the day, the person who asks for mandatory explanations can still "not accept" insofar as they raise their fists indignantly every time they get an unexplained downvote. Or I guess they could try to hack SE. But we could exclude futile gesticulations and extreme cases from consideration and agree that most people have to accept that downvotes do not have to be explained if they want to continue participating on SE sites.

Now, let's go back to "no question is too trivial or too newbie". What if Alice doesn't accept this "principle"? Well, she can still downvote a question for whatever reason she holds, including that the question is too trivial.

Is there anything that can make her "have to accept" the "principle"? It seems to me the only thing that could make her "have to accept" it would be if a downvote she cast because a question was too trivial could be annulled by an SE employee or a moderator. However, this is not something that SE employees or moderators do.

All this to say that to make "no question is too trival [...]" into what you call a "principle", then other aspects of SE's customs, which are "principles" (by your usage of the term) would have to be abandoned. For instance, the "principle" that downvoters are not required to explain their votes.

  • I don't want anybody to force anybody to accept anything. But If you can redirect somebody telling "this question is too trivial" to the FAQ of this very website it has a strong effect. As it is totally legitimate (because explained in the site guide), and done so often by so many users (experienced or not) to react indignant to an uncommented downvote. :)
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:53
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    I think you overestimate the effect it will have. I doubt people who post such comments will stop acting against questions they find "too trivial". If they don't want to deal with the reaction to their opinion, they'll just act silently to in concert with other users who agree with them (through chat or some other means).
    – Louis
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:55
  • Where do I redirect people telling "this question is too trivial"?
    – Antonio
    Mar 27, 2015 at 17:03

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