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This question already has an answer here:

Here's my beef. I've noticed over the past couple of days, and even before I joined this (the StackExchange) community that most of you aren't kind to your fellow user. I'm not trying to get up on a soap-box here, I'm just calling things how I see them.

For instance (and this is an issue throughout the various communities here, not just one particular one) - you all seem to be trigger happy when it comes to flagging duplicates. I think this practice is wrong, not to mention unethical. Here's why:

I speak Spanish as a second language and know that the words 'por' and 'para' are very hard for Spanish learners to understand and grasp, due to their variant meanings, sometimes by the sentence, sometimes by the word pair, and sometimes by the country in which they are used. So it's very important that a variety of examples are given to help teach students of the language what they mean, when, and how.

This means that no question is a stupid question, and no question is a duplicate question, necessarily. For example, in the two sentences below, the word 'por' means virtually the same thing, but without the context, word pairs, or phrasing, it changes completely.

  • Anya nadó por el canal en junio.
    • Translates to: Anya swam the canal in June. (As in, she swam through it.)
  • Anya nadó por el canal en junio.
    • Translates to: Anya swam by the canal in June. (As in, she swam near it, but not in it.)

The two sentences are completely different, but also completely the same. If the reader of the question doesn't pay attention to context (like they say they do, and as they seem to put so much emphasis on), you might end up with a wrong translation to English or whatever language it is they [the asker] speak fluently and understand best.

For instance, in some languages, 'where' is a place, more so than it is in English as it is currently used. In some languages, the word 'it' is part of other words or implied from context, so English learners may not write them out since it makes sense not to in their language. Other times, they just have a bad teacher who they themself doesn't understand the language they're teaching, and thus gives them bad translations from the get-go.

If you want real-life examples from StackExchange, you can search for such things as 'the difference between' and 'how to say this ...?' on the appropriate forums. There are about ten or so more different variations for each question, but they are just that - variation. They are not the same question. Each question should be handled individually based on the phrasing, not the content.

  • In other words, you need to analyze how how is being used, because it has a lot of different meanings, and what you think the asker means may not be what they mean at all.

This also happens with StackOverflow, for example. I'm not the best coder, so I often want to ask the reason why something is done, but I avoid doing so at the risk that my question might be closed, neglected, or made fun of by more experienced (even professional) coders who might go, "Well, duh. Of course you should put "" after div, it just makes sense. It's what you do." Well, why? Don't just tell me it's how the computer reads it. I don't care about that, really. I know the computer reads it because it's code, duh! Why does it read it that way? Why not another? How is it useful?

The snarky comments don't make it any fun or more helpful than say, Yahoo!Answers with its simplistic format and network. Don't people come to SE for more information, preferably high-quality?

So my question is thus: How can we improve site features and user etiquette among other things to make the experience better for everyone?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Ward, rene, S.L. Barth, M.A.R. Aug 8 '16 at 17:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    After one sees an off topic or duplicate question or one that shows zero effort for the hundredth time, you kinda lose patience. – Oded Aug 8 '16 at 15:16
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    Don't people come to SE for more information, preferably high-quality? Yes, they do. That's why we have high quality standards for questions. You may not think there's such a thing as a bad question, and that's fine if you're okay producing bad answers, but if you want to produce quality answers you need to have quality questions. – Servy Aug 8 '16 at 15:19
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    Could you please tell us, exactly, what you find offending and unethical about duplicates? – M.A.R. Aug 8 '16 at 17:33
  • Yeah, please don't ask why a syntax takes a particular form, why a framework is designed a certain way, why a method is implemented the way it is, etc. That's often only answerable by the people involved in its creation, or by a link to a website someone found by using a search engine. – Won't Aug 8 '16 at 17:33
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For instance (and this is an issue throughout the various communities here, not just one particular one) - you all seem to be trigger happy when it comes to flagging duplicates. I think this practice is wrong, not to mention unethical.

I think you have a few misconceptions on flagging as a duplicate.

  • Flagging a duplicate shows you a questions you may have missed in your search (you did research before posting, right?), which may already answer your question (what could be better than a great existing answer?). It does say "possible duplicate", it's possible the flag may be wrong, and hopefully you will clarify it.
  • If you see the accompanying comment, you can read the question, and give feedback on if it is a duplicate, either by accepting the duplicate, or editing your question to be more-clear. Usually with less-clear dupes, you will have some time to do this before closing.
  • If a question is mistakenly closed as a duplicate, it can be re-opened. If you edit your question, to make it clear why it is not a duplicate, it will be put in a review queue for possible re-opening.

This means that no question is a stupid question, and no question is a duplicate question, necessarily.

Whoever told you there are no stupid questions lied to you I'm afraid, but nobody said all duplicates are stupid questions. On the contrary, there are many good duplicates serving as sign-posts for even-better duplicates. However there are many other duplicates, some all-too-common, like NullPointerException, returning from asynchronous call, etc.

For example, in the two sentences below, the word 'por' means virtually the same thing, but without the context, word pairs, or phrasing, it changes completely.

...

I've never seen a duplicate closed over a few mistaken words, but even so, closing until the question can be clarified seems an appropriate solution. Wrong answers are frustrating for the ask-er, answer-er, and everyone else.

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There can be done a lot. Since I am a high-rep user on two sites I will give my point-of-view to counter yours.

Most of the questions asked could have been solved by typing the exact question title or error message into Google. This clearly demonstrates a 0-effort from quite some users.

Some of the remaining questions are simply unanswerable: they lack all information that is necessary to answer the question. "It doesn't work" usually isn't the best description. (Your question on SO demonstrates the same: "it it comes back to me with plain text" is hard to understand. An image would have helped.)

A few other questions are of reasonable to excellent quality. Those questions are appreciated with upvotes and excellent answers since they represent what we want: good, well-researched and clear questions, excellent and useful answers.

If you can get your question in the last category, you are set to have a nice experience here. If you fail to, usually you will end up without a warm reception, since you are the 100th that day that failed to show appreciation for the hard work and spare time professionals invest in this site.

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When a question is put on hold as a duplicate, the message makes it very clear that it doesn't have to be a permanent state of affairs.

In fact there are a few questions every week which are clarified after initially being closed and then reopened. The askers put in the effort to understand and differentiate the question - editing is as neeeded

That said, the vast majority are duplicates - where the answers on the duplicate posts give all the info needed. And where this happens, we absolutely want them closed as duplicates as fast as possible so people don't waste effort trying to pop answers on a new post.

The idea is to have answers that are easy to find, and that won't happen if they are scattered across multiple questions that all ask the same thing.

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