Possible Duplicate:
Ban lmgtfy (let me google that for you) links

I have seen questions asked with answers or comments saying "Google it", "try Googling it" or "have you tried Google?".

These answers and comments do not help and I have seen a few questions that have no valid answers on the first page. An example is this but typically I don't see it downvoted.

Should this be discouraged? I would like a flag that says Not an answer (or comment) for these reasons. Similarly, I'd like a flag for answers and comments that are questions themselves.

  • 1
    Looks like the linked has been deleted.
    – random
    Dec 23 '09 at 14:52
  • nice corrections Ornithopter. I shouldnt while drowsy and need to sleep
    – user34537
    Dec 23 '09 at 15:02
  • 7
    This feature request is not a duplicate. Dec 23 '09 at 16:19
  • 1
    +1 lance, banning google links is not what i am requesting.
    – user34537
    Dec 24 '09 at 3:34

I think this could also extend to answers like "Thanks for the help" and "I'm having this problem, too!". Often times these get downvoted but never deleted (since many new users never return). It would be nice to be able to delete these via flags.

I would suggest, though, that the -100 penatly not apply with this flag.

  • 7
    If you flag these for moderator attention, we'll delete them with no penalty. Dec 23 '09 at 16:20

This is why Atwood's Angels have given you the ability to downvote answers. If an answer doesn't answer a question downvote it.

If an answer is itself a question, leave a comment stating this and flag it as spam or flag it for moderator attention. That's what I do with interrogative answers.

As for comments, I think that the "have you tried Googling this?" comment is valid most of the time that it's used. Especially for questions that have been asked many times before. We do want SOFU to have an answer to every possible question, but that's no excuse to not do your own research before asking a question.

  • So far when i seen them they were not justified. I seen one that said WHAT to google (op didnt know keywords) which i thought was a good answer.
    – user34537
    Dec 24 '09 at 3:36

I think a very important goal for stackoverflow is to be the first result hit in search engines for every possible programming question.

So it doesn't matter if the question has already been answered elsewhere; hell, even copy&paste it (without totally disregarding a possible copyright) but as long as it's not already been asked in stackoverflow/other_website then it's a valid question.

  • so do you think we should have not an answer flag?
    – user34537
    Dec 23 '09 at 14:59
  • 3
    hmm I'm saying that "Google it" should be VERY discouraged, so I'm not against the flag you are proposing. Dec 23 '09 at 15:01
  • 1
    You can always flag a post for the moderators Dec 23 '09 at 15:04

Would it be useful to have a moderator-only "turn this answer into a comment" option? The "thanks" and "me too" notes are not pointless; they just shouldn't be answers.

Even the "just google it" responses aren't generally offensive enough to merit being outright removed, so they could be demoted to comments as they should have been to begin with.