7

What should we do with "questions" such as this, that are really two questions disguised as one? Flag them? Edit them? Close as "not a real question"?

5

It depends on if it's two questions that go hand in hand or really have nothing to do with each other. In the first case, leave it alone. In the second case, try to split it up.

Often, when this happens, you have to be quick. Once there are answers, there's rarely a point in editing the question – in that case, vote to close or flag as not a real question.

But, if there aren't answers yet, I'd propose to make a bold move and edit the question for the OP, so that the post contains only one question. For example, remove all additional unrelated questions. Show the OP how it's done, and if they really want to ask their second (or third, or fourth, …) question, they'll just post another one. Of course this is a radical change, so make sure you know what you're doing – and it might be that edits like these are not accepted when suggested by users below 2k reputation.

In any case, leave a comment telling them that questions should be reasonably scoped. Point them to the FAQ where it says that. Ask them to post another question, but mention that they should link back to the original post just in case. Maybe something like this:

Please only ask one question at a time. According to the [FAQ#dontask], questions should be reasonably scoped. This will get you more precise answers and makes it easier for others to find the topics later on. I've edited your post to remove additional questions – feel free to ask them as separate posts, and link back to this question. Thanks!

  • 1
    When editing out and leaving a comment I would be careful to be polite in what you say as this is a radical change to the OP's question. Could you perhaps place a sample comment for users to use as a template? – James Mertz Jul 14 '12 at 14:26
  • Done – let me know if you think this can be improved! – slhck Jul 14 '12 at 18:19
  • Perfect! Thank you. – James Mertz Jul 14 '12 at 18:21
2

Ask the user to separate the questions out - as there are no answers this should be easy enough.

EDIT: I misunderstood - mods cannot move some answers ony al of them - so the following can't apply unfortunately - we can only ask people to duplicate them and makes it more important to catch these questions early.
If there were answers then after the questions were rewritten then you would have to flag for a moderator to migrate some answers to the new question

  • You cannot selectively migrate answers. – slhck Jul 14 '12 at 12:05
  • @slhck A moderator can - which is what I tried to say – user151019 Jul 14 '12 at 12:06
  • Not even a moderator can migrate selected answers. Questions can be migrated. Answers can only be locked or deleted. Feel free to prove me otherwise, but I'm 99% sure that it's not possible without needing a developer. – slhck Jul 14 '12 at 12:08
  • @slhck - the non homebrew answers on stackoverflow.com/questions/9070074/… were merged from another question (Imy answer was the accepted one on the other) – user151019 Jul 14 '12 at 12:11
  • Hm.. Merging is different. When merging, you can more or less select what gets "migrated" by deleting answers – but in the case kinokijuf mentioned, there is no merging process, because you would keep both questions open and not merge the first one into the later posted one. – slhck Jul 14 '12 at 12:15
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    @Mark Mods can't migrate/move specific or only answers. It's all or none. When we do a merge, it moves all answers from question A to B, and locks question A – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 14 '12 at 13:01

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