So a few days ago, a question about Bash popped up, asking for a definition for it.
The question seemed rather unclear, and a little lazy, but I decided to answer it. (I didn't realize it was a duplicate, and I didn't really think it would be one.) I looked up the word
bash, and Google gave me a nice definition, which I copied and pasted into an answer, with a suggestion to Google what something is before asking a question about it.
A few minutes after I posted it, a user (I wont say their name) commented saying they had downvoted my answer because, as they (somewhat) put it, "a 5k user should know better." I asked about what they meant, and they said that I shouldn't "encourage this type of question" by answering it, and that was the reason for the downvote.
The rest of the discussion (I felt) was mostly aggressive messages from this user to me, and me trying to respond without losing it. (There was another user, but they were much calmer about their shared opinion.) I know I handled this badly, and should definitely have pointed this out to a mod. If any mod decides to look at this question, take a look at the deleted comments (that's possible I hope). However, this question isn't about who was the meanest person.
The OP later commented and said that they hadn't understood the definition given by Google, and that was their reason for asking. So at least they had done some research. I feel this somewhat invalidates the unnamed users' argument that the OP was lazy about research, but again, that isn't so much the question (sorry for the long-windedness of this). I edited my answer and the question so that the Q&A resembled what it was supposed to be.
Now, finally, the question. If someone asks a question that is very easily searchable with Google, and doesn't seem to have done any research, should this question be "encouraged" (answered)? Should I avoid this in the future? Should I be a little more careful? I know most answers I have made are based on research, so I'm not completely sure. Or, Should I answer but suggest that, in the future, the OP actually does a little research before asking?