I've noticed that a lot of questions about Go are getting downvotes, negative comments and general hostility. There is naturally going to be a ton of discussion when a new language by someone like Google. Is there any set of guidelines we can follow to avoid creating too large a backlash / flamewar over the language?

Suggestions for moderators / voters

  • Not down voting duplicate questions, flag them or vote to close them, but don't punish rep for something that may be a simple mistake or a race condition.

Suggestions for askers

  • Take extra care to make sure your question isn't a duplicate
  • 4
    BTW there's no need to mark every meta discussion post as CW. The CW police don't operate here. :)
    – Ether
    Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 20:25

4 Answers 4


How about nullifying all the reputation gained from a post when it is closed as a duplicate?

This could be handled using the existing SO functionality if dupe questions were merged with their original (which means that the question is lost and the questioner's rep would be adjusted during the mythical rep recalc), and answers would be transferred to the original question.

So I guess this makes me ask the question: why aren't moderators merging duplicate questions with their originals?

  • 1
    Because there can be very different wordings for the same question.
    – perbert
    Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 19:24
  • 1
    Hmm, in that case perhaps the wording of both questions should be combined (separated by a horizontal rule, perhaps)... it just seems inefficient to keep duplicated questions (and their answers) separate when they ought to be visible all in one location.
    – Ether
    Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 20:25

As I look at the current Go questions, the issues I'm seeing aren't so much dupes as they are a lot of subjective/argumentative questions, or questions which are unanswerable. Yes, there are dupes, but on top of those, a lot of the other closed Go questions seem to have been done correctly:

I don't see this as a backlash. I see this as the community doing its own, correct, policing. There are plenty of Go questions which are not being downvoted to oblivion and are being left open, and wisely so -- they are the valid questions.


It's very easy for someone to ask a duplicate question and get points for it. I bet the amount of reputation gained from a question closed as a duplicate is non-trivial.

For this reason, if I do a Stack Overflow search and I find the question, I will downvote the OP for not doing the same.

  • 7
    Do you take care to compare timestamps and make sure there's minimal chance the questions were being written at the same time?
    – Jherico
    Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 18:09
  • 2
    @Jherico : Yes; because when I vote to close as a duplicate, I have to see which one was asked 'first', otherwise I look like an idiot for not realizing the duplicate is actually the original. Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 19:28
  • 1
    @Jherico - you can check the question id's too. The lower the number the older the question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 19:53

the vast majority of the go-tagged questions should be downvoted, as they're idle gossip; only 2 or 3 of the go-tagged questions are real questions about some programming issue with the language

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