I have recently noticed a trend going around, and to be perfectly honest it's pissing me off. What new users (and some experience users,) do nowadays is go to the main page, find a question that's been getting lots of views, and from there do the following:
- Go to Google.
- Type in the issue or any outputs into the search bar
- Find any link that has anything to do with the issue (I've seen people link the asked question to itself)
- Paste this link into an answer and tell people to go this link to fix their issue
A great example can be found here. What you can see there is that there are two answers. One is only two lines, using a line of text and a link to provide the rest of the information for them. The other is a quality answer, that attempts to help the user fix what is wrong. Back to the use of links in this way. Not only is this completely unproductive, especially because of possible future deletion of the link, but also because of the fact that, usually what they paste a link to is not a valid or helpful answer. I get people citing links to find useful fixes. I do that. However having a 2 line answer that doesn't do anything to help the OP, that's different. So if somehow or someway this gets to the "Hot Questions Box" NEW USERS FOR GOD'S SAKE, if you know the fix to an issue, please feel free to help, and if you need to do some research, you can, but please, PLEASE do not answer a question with just a link.