Just a reminder: "easy" questions are not to be downvoted. I know that as it stands this is just a claim about "easy" questions currently being downvoted, but I think (and I'm pretty sure) I've noticed a tendency to downvote those, also when well explained and potentially useful.

"Easy" questions are not to be downvoted as per how "easy" they could be as that's nothing about their usefulness;

Edit: this is a good example of what I'm talking about: executable running without sudo but not with sudo.

Indeed for someone this might look like a pretty trivial question, but I think is not really that trivial, expecially for someone without experience; the question itself was well explained and the related duplicate couldn't have been found easily without knowing what to search for; in my opinion it didn't deserve a downvote.

Edit 2: the downvote has been casted after OP refused to acknowledge that the related duplicate could have solved its problem, so waiting to find a better example (or to debunk my own conviction if I don't find any).

2 Answers 2


I think the opposite is often in effect. Easy questions, especially if they have catchy titles, tend to get a lot of answers, become hot questions, get a bunch of upvotes from users who aren't usually of this site (and therefore have no idea of the standards (or lack thereof) of our site) and so on.

I have actually seen this happen quite recently on another site, to an answer by a moderator of that site, who simply quoted an external source (but not a primary one), which is not upto their usual standards and still get 40+ upvotes.

Huh, even my own top voted answer is to an easy question.

And while we're at it, I'd like to point out that upvoting to correct downvotes isn't all that welcome either.

  • Sorry but possibly the language barrier prevented me to explain this well here; I meant "easy" rather than "trivial".
    – kos
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:25
  • @kos Ah, but the linked post is neither easy nor trivial, but when I simply Googled "Ubuntu reset password", Google actually showed me a card with some of the steps. That question, IMO, deserved its downvote. Maybe you need a better example?
    – muru
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:30
  • Although your answer might apply to them as well; do you consider not researching on Google or elsewhere lack of research? And if so, should questions not be posted in spite of the fact that they could be answered searching Google?
    – kos
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:31
  • @kos Yes, I do consider not searching lack of research if no other indications are available (say the user said the read manpages but didn't Google, then I'd definitely upvote them). This case was answered trivially by Google. It even presented some of the steps. It's one thing if the answer is buried in a corner of the second result, but this IMO...
    – muru
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:35
  • Ok, that was not really what my post was about tough (and indeed I need a better example), however since we're talking about this, I'm not sure. Indeed the user didn't search Google for that but what are we here for then? Google often indexes answers from here. Shouldn't question be asked anyway, for the sake of building a solid "internal" knowledge base?
    – kos
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:41
  • @kos I wrote about that elsewhere: meta.vi.stackexchange.com/a/1268/205. They can ask whatever they want, but we, or at least I, can expect them to put in a minimum of effort. (Also answer updated to deal with easy vs trivial).
    – muru
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:43
  • 1
    Ok, thanks, maybe we'll get to this in an appropriate post, maybe I'll post such post myself to see what people think. Mainly I want to understand what this site is all about a little better then. I tought it was about solving users' problems, but also, in the mean time, about building some kind of knowledge base (hence not excluding questions easily answerable through Google)
    – kos
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:49
  • However yes, I agree my upvote was inappropriate in this case, and I removed it.
    – kos
    Jul 20, 2015 at 11:57
  • Whether a question is easy or not depends on the person reading it. From this comment askubuntu.com/questions/650658/… on my own quesion, I guess the commenter thinks I should be able to solve it myself.
    – Carl H
    Jul 21, 2015 at 7:42

One thing is "easy" questions and another is "crappy unresearched questions, which I put the title in google and get the answer in the first result". I've had a simple question and fairly uncommon ones, which both are "easy" to answer, yet the answer is not readily available elsewhere.

Remember, that the downvote tool-tip says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful.

I find pretty rude that someone makes me waste my time answering their question, when the answer is in the firsts positions of any search engine.

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