In "What have you tried" epidemic, a rule was established that short comments such as "what have you tried" (and similar) are banned.

Does this rule apply to all Stack Exchange sites, or just Stack Overflow?

I ask because this is a controversial subject on the Mathematics Stack Exchange, and some clarification would be helpful.

  • 1
    I think that this should be tagged (support) rather than (discussion) (and I have also made a suggested edit to this end.) The reason is that you are asking how the site works. If your intention is to ask how the site should work - i.e. whether the comments of this type should be banned on the whole SE network, then the tag (discussion) fits better. But if this is the case, I think you should make this clear also in the formulation of your question. – Martin May 7 '16 at 7:06
  • This is an interesting question. There are a number of sites where using this comment wouldn't make any sense, such as World building, Law, etc. It's probably not an epidemic there. – Laurel May 7 '16 at 15:58

I thought that Q&A was discussing Stack Overflow prior to the Meta SO/SE split but I also think that "What have you tried?" can often be a useful comment on many sites.

For me it is a wooden cross that can be held against (potential) Help Vampires who invest little time in writing their question(s) and are looking for a community to do their work for them.

Questions from such users can be simply downvoted, but the user may not have seen the tooltip that says this can be due to a lack of research, so adding this brief comment can be more helpful.

Ideally, a longer comment that gives more detailed advice would be given but, particularly on a one line question, I think this four word comment is often all a potential answerer may be able to find in their budget of time to volunteer.

I use it judiciously on the GIS Stack Exchange where there appears to be no automated removal triggered.

@Meta kindly experimented with flagging one such comment at GIS Stack Exchange as obsolete, and that single flag deleted it. I think this is good because a "What have you tried?" comment probably only needs to be available for viewing by the question asker for a relatively short time.

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