Should a question like https://askubuntu.com/questions/710588/running-open-hardware-monitor-on-ubuntu-linux be flagged(no research effort) or answered? The top result on Google is the mono project(see question).

On the one hand, it's extremely ignorant of people to not simply Google the question, but then again, it's sometimes understandable(see Should questions that ask easily Google-able question be closed ). The last answer on the last link does however reference closing the question.

I've noticed that LMGTFY links are banned, so one is not allowed to troll people with that either.

  • If there's a clear duplicate that answers it, then I'd likely flag it as a duplicate, rather than answer it.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Dec 17, 2015 at 19:23
  • I don't really mean duplicates. Just like if a simple web search would easily answer it. @ThomasW. Dec 17, 2015 at 19:25
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    In my opinion, if there is no duplicate, you should answer it :) Sure it can be frustrating that someone did not do any research, but are we not here to help and answer questions ? Also bringing in more content for the site, even if it is available easily elsewhere, is never a bad thing. Look around you will see many answers quoting the man pages or other stack exchange sites. As for closing the question, only if it is badly written but not just because the information is available elsewhere.
    – Mark Kirby
    Dec 17, 2015 at 19:31
  • IMHO, that could be an answer @markkirby . Thanks Dec 17, 2015 at 19:35
  • Thanks, but I think I should let a mod give you an answer on the official stance on it, this is what I would do, plus you can make some rep too :)
    – Mark Kirby
    Dec 17, 2015 at 19:38
  • @markkirby that's the main reason I answer them Dec 17, 2015 at 19:41
  • @markkirby most of the time, mods alone don't dictate policy. Some of it is determined by user-base, and consensus agreements. Typically, though, if there's a duplicate then mark it as a dupe. If the user could find it on the 'net with a simple google search, but it doesn't have a duplicate here on Ask ubuntu, go ahead and answer it. (Don't tell the user they could have simply 'googled for abc' and found it)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Dec 17, 2015 at 20:33
  • From my experiences with Ubuntu and my various problems (most caused by me), I think it's best when you answer the question, unless there's a duplicate already on AskUbuntu. For every problem I've ever had, AskUbuntu has always had the cleanest, simplest, most explanatory answers. Other websites I've found are more like forums, and the solutions are more like "try this," rather than answering the question. Jan 5, 2016 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


From what I've found so far, this is how we handle this type of situation:

  • If there is a duplicate here for it, mark it as a duplicate (with a flag, or a close vote if you have that much reputation)
  • If there is not a duplicate for it, just answer the user's question. Just because they failed to search doesn't mean it's not a good thing to add the information you do know/find to help them out. (It may help someone else in the future!)
  • If neither of these apply, then the question probably has no answer, at all. :P

Whether the user did research or not, that's less up to us and moreso a case of the user having their own failings. We see a lot of questions posted here that would have been solved by a quick google search, and usually they're duplicates of other posts here on Ask Ubuntu, since they're so commonly asked.

It's not up to us, however, to adhere to the policy with 100% rigidity, so if users ask questions, just answer it (even if they could have solved with a simple google themseves), provided there's not a dupe of it already on the site (and there probably is, if it's that simple to solve)

Downvotes are a different story, and we discuss that elsewhere...

Basically, downvoting is your choice - you can either downvote such questions, or you don't down vote. It's really your choice , and there's no real policy for or against downvoting such questions. Just, don't abuse it.

  • But why is the flag for no research there then? Dec 17, 2015 at 20:50
  • @WilhelmErasmus Maybe I have way too much rep to see that flag, but I don't see that in my list of flags. Screenshots may be useful to prove existence of said flag. :P
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Dec 17, 2015 at 20:52
  • sorry, I meant the downvote tooltip. meta.askubuntu.com/a/10410/195381 Dec 17, 2015 at 20:59
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    @WilhelmErasmus that's different than a flag, lol. Downvoting is a personal choice, there's no policy connected to it. Either downvote, or don't.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Dec 17, 2015 at 21:02
  • Ah okay. Thanks Dec 17, 2015 at 21:03

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