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I've recently noticed a trend of users asking the most basic, low-effort questions only to be met with a ton of upvotes, often along with the subsequent answers. This question and subsequent answer was the most recent example and the catalyst for this post.

To me, this question is reminiscent of the kind of quality of question that would be seen on an average forum or Q&A site for the technically inexperienced, but it was asked on a site called Super User, and supposedly by a professional developer. It almost definitely took the developer little time for him to realise, as I suspect it would have for most technically capable users that ran into the same problem, who would have simply noted it down and gone about their day, yet for reasons perplexing to me: a) the question was asked, b) the subsequent answer to it posted, and c) both were upvoted at a considerable rate.

To my mind, these questions make a mockery of both the voting system and the question-asking system on a site dedicated to the somewhat technical. In the 8 years I've been on the SE network, I have almost exclusively asked questions since I've been on this site (unlike many, I don't believe in having separate accounts for asking and answering), and have continually tried my best to make the questions I ask good quality and well-researched where possible.

This has frequently led to me avoiding asking many questions that I deemed too basic, and it's frustrating to see much more basic questions gather so much upvotes while so many thought-out, higher quality questions I've both asked and come across go relatively unnoticed.

Is it possible to have a quality threshold for questions asked on this site, so as to at least make sure that the questions are keeping in line with the basic level of technical experience you would expect of a site called Super User?

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    The issue is fundamentally one related to the Hot Network Questions feature. If a question gets a certain number of hits organically, it automatically gets promoted across the Stack Exchange network and ends up going viral. I've had this happen myself: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/338283/… – bwDraco Feb 5 at 20:48
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To me, this question is reminiscent of the kind of quality of question that would be seen on an average forum or Q&A site for the technically inexperienced, but it was asked on a site called Super User, and supposedly by a professional developer.

I could list about 100 questions that are easier to answer then the example you provided. I think you overestimate the difficult of most computer problems. Take Windows 10 Search not loading, showing blank window as an example, I knew almost instantly, the problem was caused by the online search results. So disabling Bing search results within SearchUI.exe is an easy hack to stop the behavior.

It almost definitely took the developer little time for him to realise, as I suspect it would have for most technically capable users that ran into the same problem, who would have simply noted it down and gone about their day, yet for reasons perplexing to me: a) the question was asked, b) the subsequent answer to it posted, and c) both were upvoted at a considerable rate.

The question and answer was written by somebody who had a problem, figured out what the solution to that problem was, and simply wanted to share that solution with everyone. This desire to share knowledge is what Stack Exchange was designed to support.

In the 8 years I've been on the SE network, I have almost exclusively asked questions since I've been on this site (unlike many, I don't believe in having separate accounts for asking and answering), and have continually tried my best to make the questions I ask good quality and well-researched where possible.

We encourage the proper amount of research to be performed before asking a question. However, if that is preventing you from even asking the question, then perhaps you have performed to much research?

This has frequently led to me avoiding asking many questions that I deemed too basic, and it's frustrating to see much more basic questions gather so much upvotes while so many thought-out, higher quality questions I've both asked and come across go relatively unnoticed.

The question simply received enough attention that it got prompted, when that happens, everyone with enough reputation comes out of under the floorboards and issues votes. You should be happy that a user, submitted an answer, to a question other users thought was helpful.

Is it possible to have a quality threshold for questions asked on this site, so as to at least make sure that the questions are keeping in line with the basic level of technical experience you would expect of a site called Super User?

If you don't find a contribution helpful you should downvote it.

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  • You are comparing apples and oranges - a brand new bug introduced by the latest bleeding edge build of an operating system that made the news, versus a PEBKAC issue relating to how to use an interface that has existed in that form since the release of Windows 7. I believe some level of quality control and/or re-education of the site's users to favour upvoting questions above a certain threshold of technical experience (and let's not pretend that's a subjective thing) is necessary to avoid this site becoming clogged up with noise. – Prometheus Feb 6 at 0:16
  • @Hashim - I could have used other examples. However, I don't see how the rest of my answer doesn't have merit. A question was asked and answered by the author, a user which we must presume has good intentions, which means they wanted to share an answer to a legitimate question they had. I mean, there are questions that exist, which certainly should get more intention, despite it being a widespread problem. – Ramhound Feb 6 at 0:51
  • "Being clogged up with noise" isn't an issue that exists so long as the review queues and searches continue to exist. If someone asks a question with an easy answer, so much the better - the next person to come along will hopefully find it on Google. – Mikey T.K. Feb 6 at 21:55
  • What is that comment addressing? – Ramhound Feb 6 at 21:58
  • ...The last sentence of the first comment? – Mikey T.K. Feb 7 at 15:10

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