Periodically, someone on Programmers.SE gets the "clever" idea to post a LMGTFY link to a question that they don't care to answer for real. It's a silly practice and terrible for all the reasons already pointed out on the Meta Stack Overflow topic, Ban lmgtfy (let me google that for you) links.

A question was posted on our meta-discussion site asking if we should ban the practice on Programmers.SE where Robert Cartaino said if we wanted to add it to the network-wide blacklist (the aforementioned question about banning them only applied to Stack Overflow, it seems), a should be made on Meta Stack Overflow.

So here is that . Please add LMGTFY links to the blacklist across all Stack Exchange sites. There isn't a context or topic scope where it's even remotely helpful.

  • 11
    Or at least give moderators the ability to set the banned content for their site.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:10
  • 1
    Voting to ban useless [tag:whatever] links as well! ;-)
    – Arjan
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:21
  • @Arjan This is a [meta-tag:whatever], so it's fine ;) Feb 1, 2011 at 16:26
  • @Arjan [meta-tag:whatever] everything or death! It was referred to as [feature-request] in the linked question on Programmers.SE; I figured actually using the tag system was a better alternative to the pseudo-tag.
    – user149432
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:27
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    It would also be nice to ban "short" links to lmgtfy as well. I believe there are web services that can "unshorten" any link (so you can see whether it goes to lmgtfy or not). Feb 1, 2011 at 20:45
  • Why not just a flag? Spam/offensive/LMGTFY
    – J. Win.
    Feb 1, 2011 at 21:46
  • @jonw If there's a technical way to blacklist the URL (which there is), that's one less flag moderators have to deal with.
    – user149432
    Feb 1, 2011 at 21:48
  • I think it's a terrible thing it got banned from SO in the first place. The post gives no good reason besides "it's rude." No, it's not rude to post that as a comment. What is rude is to ask a question that could be answered with 5 seconds of Googling. Oct 10, 2011 at 5:13
  • @NullUserExceptionஇ_இ The issue was hashed out in great detail in the linked question. This was a request to get the results of that discussion applied to sites other than Stack Overflow. Voice your complaint on that question.
    – user149432
    Oct 10, 2011 at 5:15
  • @MarkTrapp I don't have to. There is a ton of comments and answers on that question that say exactly what I just said. From the upvotes in the comments and the answers it seemed like the general consensus was that the ban was a bad idea. I don't know how to explain the upvotes to the question itself. Oct 10, 2011 at 5:18
  • @NullUserExceptionஇ_இ Then I'm not really sure why you think complaining here is going to be productive. This specific request was about sites other than Stack Overflow and it was already resolved. You complaining about the general issue on Stack Overflow in the comments here is just noise: the linked question was for the request on Stack Overflow.
    – user149432
    Oct 10, 2011 at 5:22
  • I am arguing that your argument for banning LMGTFY is invalid. You are said "It's a silly practice and terrible for all the reasons already pointed out..." No it's not. The only "valid reason" pointed out there was that it was "rude." It isn't. Oct 10, 2011 at 5:23
  • @NullUserExceptionஇ_இ "It's a silly practice and terrible for all the reasons already pointed out on the Meta Stack Overflow topic, Ban lmgtfy (let me google that for you) links." The rationale for the request is in the other discussion. If you have a problem with the rationale presented there as it applies to Stack Overflow, voice it there.
    – user149432
    Oct 10, 2011 at 5:25
  • "The rationale for the request is in the other discussion" Which is, as I just argued, invalid. You are basing your request on an invalid rationale. Thus, this request is just as invalid as the other one. I am complaining here because I don't want a mistake to be extended to the rest of the network. Oct 10, 2011 at 5:32
  • If I could, I would give this -19199194 downvotes. Nov 16, 2011 at 0:12

2 Answers 2


While I appreciate the sentiment, we have no provision (yet..) for network-wide blacklists.

Also, I would prefer to blacklist on a per-site basis since it is such a 'big stick' solution, unless there is overwhelming evidence that it is a problem on all sites.

That said I can certainly institute it on programmers right now.

  • Fair enough, banning it on Programmers.SE at least would still be great.
    – user149432
    Feb 1, 2011 at 21:35

If you do this, you would need to add one exception where lmgtfy is actually a correct and accepted answer...

  • Aw, I was just going to suggest that it might be a legit topic on Web Apps. Nice work!
    – Pops
    Oct 14, 2011 at 14:03
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    That question is closed, however.
    – ale
    Feb 6, 2013 at 14:33

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