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To me a good question shows some level of research done before asking the question. However, I have noticed that naive questions where the answer is obvious to the vast majority of us, quickly become "Hot Questions" when in reality, if the questioner had done a little bit of reading, and research on their own, would quickly find the answer on their own.

I understand that questions with obvious answers are OK on Stack Exchange. My qualm is that these questions seem to show little research effort and are still highly upvoted;

Example 1: Can I stop a fellow passenger from using their cell phone during take off?

Example 2: Can I trust Apple support and share my password?

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  • 3
    Because it is easy to tell the answer is correct.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    @Oded if you posted that as an answer, it would have been the obvious correct one...
    – user213963
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:00
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    @Oded That seems like a reason for the answers to be highly upvoted, not the question.
    – Shelvacu
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:38
  • Generally it's because too many people just don't care how poorly researched a question is. They can earn more rep answering a question that already has 1000 great answers when searched via google than they'd get by trying to answer a question that nobody has ever published a solution for on the internet. If you care more about your rep than site quality, then you should upvote even the most poorly researched question, so that you can answer it and get all the repz.
    – Servy
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:38
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    @shelvacu Note that, quite often, when there's a good answer it will attract upvotes to the question it's posted to, regardless of the quality of the question. Part of this is that good answers attract views, and people are more likely to upvote content than downvote it in general (regardless of quality).
    – Servy
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:40

1 Answer 1

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First off, obvious is subjective. Also, although the simple answer may be obvious, other details may not be. For example, on Can I stop a fellow passenger from using their cell phone during take off? the obvious answer to make is "don't worry about it". To others, the answer is "tell the cabin crew". But interesting details also come out from this answer:

...you are still required to turn off all electronics during takeoff and landing, for your own safety. In case your airplane has to make an RTO maneuver or catches fire, you won't see it coming if you're concentrated on your phone or laptop. You may get hurt (especially if your laptop/phone is on the unfolded tray table) or lose precious time during evacuation.
Dmitry Grigoryev

Emphasis mine.

This is new information to me! Although not explicitly stated, the implication is perhaps to not worry about other passengers, since it's their own safety at risk and not yours.

To take an answer from Can I trust Apple support and share my password?, there is an answer which goes against the 'obvious' answer (no), and provides a very specific case where yes, they sometimes need to know the password to your account.

Sometiems even, the 'obvious' answer is wrong, and that may be why the question was asked in the first place. Unfortunately I can't think of any questions like this off the top of my head, but I know I've seen them before.

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