When you search question page, on every page there is at least one or two questions like: "My wifi is not working, please help!"

People just state there, that their wifi is not working, without showing ANY effort. There are literally hundreds of those topics, one little search on site would be enough, because those issues are covered greatly.

When they type their question title, it suggests them another topics already answered, often with steps applicable to their problem as well!

That doesn't apply to wifi issues only...

I must say that it's driving me mad :D, because I can't stand that laziness (and yes, I see there are already similar questions on meta.askubuntu)

EDIT: Pointing them to right direction (providing link), doesn't help in many cases. Am I authorized to down vote them (or make them at least try in the future somehow)? It can't be probably marked as Duplicate in many cases...because, for example notebook models can vary, even tough WIFI chipset is the same among wide variety of models.

I am always telling my self that they are newcomers, not to be hard on them - but that way,they won't change their attitude.

  • 1
    Yes, so what is your question? Are you asking what you should do about it (close as a duplicate)? Are you asking what we can do to avoid it (not much)? Do you just want to have a chat about it (wrong place, see Ask Ubuntu Chat)?
    – terdon
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 9:52
  • Sorry I will make it more clear! Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 9:54
  • 2
    In many cases it's not laziness, but rather lack of knowledge. Users come from Windows world where fixing something is "click there, click here, and you're done", and they don't have any clue of cmd (on Windows) or terminal. Among other things, duplicates of the questions sometimes don't work. Out of the many I've marked as duplicate, about half seem to come back and say "I tried everything, but it didn't work" Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 10:15
  • I just flag them as duplicates.
    – Carl H
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 11:05

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can downvote (but I suggest you don't). If you hover over the downvote link, you will see

downvote tooltip popup

So, yes, lack of research is a valid reason for downvoting.

However, remember that the SE search is, well, let's say not very good. It is entirely possible that the OP did search for a dupe and failed to find it. In general, I don't feel that penalizing dupes by downvoting is fair. Finding the duplicate is rarely easy. Especially for new users.

Also, if it is a duplicate--and same chipset on a different model is a duplicate, as long as the same answer applies, it's a dupe--just close it as such or flag it if you don't have the rep to close.

So, while you are within your rights to vote down, remember that a) the OP may well have tried and failed to find the dupe and b) the OP is not the same person as the last one to post a similar question. It's not their fault that they have a common problem.

Finally, if the question is just "HALP wifi not working on ubantu", just downvote and close as "too broad" That's not a question. Duplicates are OK though.

  • That's exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks. Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 11:14
  • Excellent answer friend. Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 15:19

Just as an extension of the existing answer(s):

If you are visiting AU on a daily base, it is easy to forget that the "language" and rules here are not the average, and the perspective of an answerer is quite different from an incidental user, having an incidental problem. A misconception on what makes sense and what doesn't is therefore easily made by new users.

What would you do if you were a newby on an OS you were not familiar with? Used to Facebook- like sites, you run into a site that seems to answer questions. Would you read the whole introduction on how to behave? I wouldn't, and actually I didn't.

The main reason why I didn't post duplicate questions in the beginning was the fact that I found it easier to find an answer than taking the effort to subscribe and ask. The whole concept of (avoiding) duplicates, the voting system, privileges (many times people think editors are moderators), it all starts making sense over time.

That doesn't mean posting duplicates (or neglecting the voting/accepting system, posting "thank you" as an answer etc, etc) should be accepted, but

...sigh... you do WRONG [downvote, downvote]

Is rarely the shortest way to achieve what you want: people to understand what is the "accepted" procedure here.


I would just add that sometimes the problem is burn out. If all the questions look like duplicates, or if you are getting frustrated, well both are good indications you need a break.

BUT ...

I would agree with the suggestion to improve the site.

Some method to have users easily submit hardware information.

Feature Request: Section with reference to manpages, official documentation

Request for a new feature: output of relevant commands

And you may wish to look at some sort of automation for comments -

Suggestion - Add a request for additional hardware information to close votes

See also What prewritten Pro-forma (aka AutoReviewComments) userscript comments can we use and share?

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