Inspired by this question, which lay dormant since 2013 but was recently dug up and answered.

I feel like this question should have been closed, as the answer can totally be gotten by googling "dice/gaming shops in (wherever)". So, I tried to flag it for closing, but none of the criteria fit. I then scanned the relevant Help pages to see if such questions were off-topic here, and came up empty, and also checked here on Meta (cursorily searched for "Google") and came up with a related question that implied that while such questions were of poor quality, letting the user know that they could have Googled it was a sufficient answer. In the end I just downvoted it for "lack of research" as per the tooltip and left it at that.

Was that the proper response, or should such questions be closed? I feel like it's one thing if the user is looking for information that would be linked to via Google, like a gaming SRD, then the notion that the SE page on such a topic coming up first via Googling the topic is fine, but when the answer is literally a region-specific list of results gotten from Google itself, not so much.


1 Answer 1


We accept such questions. (That's a link to the Meta.SE FAQ entry on this subject.)

In part, we do because we are the content that Google serves up, and if we can provide better content or a better synthesis of content than what a current Google search turns up, we will have magically improved future Google results.

In part, we do because we also embrace the non-Googler. Google is a giant on the Internet, and so not everyone wants to put all their eggs in that one basket. Local, domain-specific knowledge-bases like RPG.se provide a way for knowledge to spread and be accessed without assuming everyone will/can/wants to rely on Google as their single choke-point to information.

As for how to answer such questions:

Either answer nothing, or give a correct answer.

There's no need to chastise the asker for not trying Google. (Note in particular that the network has banned LMGTFY links.) Of course, trivial questions might still earn downvotes for not showing any research effort, but warranting a downvote isn't the same thing as being closable. Your downvote-and-move-on response was exactly right.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Exactly. If you think someone's putting so little effort into it that it is not respectful of your time to answer them, then don't answer them. That's fine and I do it myself on egregious examples. No need to begrudge someone else doing so though. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 14:47
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ And if you still feel like you should do something, ask the OP in comments what they've tried searching so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roflo
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 17:36

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