I have seen many stupid questions on Stack Overflow, some of them asked by moderators! And they are up-voted many times, while questions which are really very important are sometimes down voted!

Due to this, sometimes I feel that Stack Overflow has issues with internal politics. Even now, when I try to point this out, this question might be down voted and/or closed.


  • 2
    Doubtless this is a dupe somewhere...
    – Pollyanna
    Dec 4, 2009 at 18:26
  • 9
    Jealous much? :-)
    – ChssPly76
    Dec 4, 2009 at 18:43
  • 6
    Be careful about insulting "the Turtle"... you should check who the original author is. ;) Dec 4, 2009 at 18:47
  • 7
    @gnostranovice: That was sort of the point of his question, I think...
    – mmyers
    Dec 4, 2009 at 18:52
  • @mmyers: I skipped right over that "some asked by moderators" part. ;) Dec 4, 2009 at 19:09
  • 2
    Who defines which questions are "really very important?"
    – John Rudy
    Dec 4, 2009 at 19:14
  • 1
    Yes I am much Jealous. Dec 4, 2009 at 19:24
  • 2
    Come on, this is classic! meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22795/…
    – Troggy
    Dec 4, 2009 at 19:56
  • I love some of these questions! But on the point, if you don't like them, ignore them. It's what I do with the pony jokes.
    – C. Ross
    Dec 4, 2009 at 20:59
  • 2
    Why do intelligent people re-tweet stupid questions on stackOverflow? :)
    – Xencor
    Dec 5, 2009 at 5:57
  • Because, most of us are studpids :P
    – Anwar
    Sep 14, 2012 at 9:48
  • If they are moderators, it's probably doble standard. Because "What is your best programming joke", this kind of questions are regularly heavily downvoted and closed when a beginner on StackExchange dare to ask it. They say "No opinion-based question" here. The friendliness on this site is near zero. I would be shocked by the fact to judge whether a question is stupid, but in this case, they exaggerate with their doble standard.
    – Quidam
    May 2, 2017 at 16:32

6 Answers 6


There are no stupid questions, there are only stupid people...and they can vote.

  • 1
    you actually made me lol. Fortunately only stupid people with at least a small amount of reputation can vote...
    – Pollyanna
    Dec 4, 2009 at 19:12
  • Stupid people upvoted your answer.. Sep 24, 2017 at 14:58

Please note that many (most) of these were created in the very early days of SO while the community was still defining what it felt was acceptable and what was not.

If you feel a post is so bad that it should be taken care of immediately, flag it for moderator attention.

Otherwise I suggest you answer questions, gain rep, and start closing questions yourself - the community is self-defining, and you can be a part of that process as soon as the community gives you the votes that will allow you to participate.


As I mentioned in the last podcast, I'm still bitter about that LOGO "question" Joel added.

In my not-so-humble opinion, unless we encourage questions that are actually interesting, at least a little, to skilled questioners -- then we're squarely in Yahoo Answers! territory.

And that's not a good place to be.

  • 4
    Nobody told you? Stupid questions are the new Hello World.
    – waffles
    Dec 5, 2009 at 10:45

Every question you link to is a bit special in some way.

The first two were contributions from the Co-creators of the site. They tend to get more upvotes than a regular contributor.

The last few are very old questions. They would probably not be allowed these days, but they have been grandfathered in.


Early on questions didn't come in as quickly as they do now and there was less activity in general. Idle hands...you know. Also, early on the lack of questions to answer made asking questions, even if you didn't really have any pressing problems, more profitable with respect to reputation gain. I've asked a few questions myself in the past -- most since moved to meta -- that I probably wouldn't ask today out of boredom, a drive to get rep in the absence of questions to answer, etc.


These are questions the community has accepted as part of the StackOverflow repertoire. If you find they are not to your taste you can ignore their tags, minimizing the chances one will float by. For each user there will be some sort of signal/noise ratio with what is posted on the site, it's just that "signal" and "noise" are defined differently for each person. It comes with the territory of a community driven and managed site.

  • Doble standard is not good however.
    – Quidam
    May 2, 2017 at 19:16

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