Earlier today I noticed a comment that had a "lmgtfy" (Let me Google that for you) link in a comment (now deleted).

Such links have been blacklisted on Stack Overflow and Software Engineering mainly because they are condescending and insulting to the OP. See all the questions that include "lmgtfy" on Meta Stack Overflow for more information.

Can we have this added to the Super User blacklist?

As of 15th December 2012 lmgtfy is not blacklisted. Here's the evidence (10k only). However, there are only 5 posts that contain the string and 20 posts that contain it as a URL. So it might not be such a big problem after all.

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    I don't know why they didn't apply this to all sites, but yes please. – slhck Sep 27 '12 at 10:53
  • @slhck - there's no provision for network wide bans at the moment - meta.stackexchange.com/a/77422/59303 – ChrisF Sep 27 '12 at 10:54
  • @ChrisF If you say so, but can't they put things like that into the blacklist by default? I mean, run some kind of script when a new site is created, that inserts certain values into certain database fields? – Mr Lister Sep 29 '12 at 13:28
  • @MrLister - that would be a suggestion for MSO I think. – ChrisF Sep 29 '12 at 13:33
  • @ChrisF Sorry, but I'm a bit weary of posting feature suggestions on MSO. If not everybody agrees, those things tend to get downvoted rather heavily, and I'd lose a lot of rep, not to mention the increased risk of getting banned. – Mr Lister Sep 29 '12 at 13:37
  • @MrLister that in itself suggests another problem that needs addressing :) Anyway to the original question, yes absolutely. – Mr. Boy Sep 30 '12 at 19:32
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  • there are actually 20 posts containing lmgtfy in URL – Sathya Dec 15 '12 at 12:40
  • @Sathya - how come my search didn't find them? Because I was using the wrong search term. – ChrisF Dec 15 '12 at 12:47

I have to say, I don't remember any instance of LMGTFY that uses that exact website/term. So I'm having a hard time seeing the problem.

However, I fully agree that the site/the phenomenon are a rude and condescending response in the context of our site. So I would approve of a ban.

When I see people being referred to Google, it's usually in a different form though, like here: Why did dialup modems make noise? comment delted :(

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    I'd say that even links to normal Google search results could be construed as rude. – ChrisF Sep 27 '12 at 14:37
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    I dunno. Sometimes, it helps knowing what precise query led to the answer. – Luk Sep 27 '12 at 16:22
  • @Luk more often than not, you'll run into the your Google comment few days later. – Sathya Sep 28 '12 at 4:59
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    The problem is that Stack Exchange has such strong Googlejuice that very quickly that self-same Google Search will simply refer back to the Super User post. Not very helpful. – ale Sep 28 '12 at 15:35
  • If someone did a specific search, knowing the string is useful but it'sa good point that links to Google searches are bad because the results are changeable which means the future validity of the link is dubious. – Mr. Boy Sep 30 '12 at 19:36

LMGTFY is as condescending and rude as troll. Both should be banned if they are not already.

I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't blacklist LMGTFY.

If you take offense from a LMGTFY link posted then you're being really far too serious about the whole thing. It also shows you definitely didn't do much research about your problem before coming to post a question.

This comment from MSO sums it up honestly:

Questions with an answer that is trivial to find on Google are not helping the SO community. They are generating superfluous reputation, lowering the bar for asking genuine questions, and generally wasting people's time. Furthermore, the answers to these questions are almost always summarized, plagiarized or synthesized from the Google search results. Posting a LGTFY link is like tough love. It points the user to the right answer and does it in such a way that they will hopefully turn to Google for simple questions and SO for their more difficult questions. – Eric Aug 30 '09 at 17:36

Yes a LMGTFY link is somewhat condescending (and on occasions rude), but as long as it's accurate it can quickly supply the OP with the information they require. Ideally the information should be quoted and used to answer the question, but if a question has 61,000,000 answers already online, does it need another from SU?

  • Are you aware that it is blacklisted on Stack Overflow? – ChrisF Oct 1 '12 at 7:55
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    Or perhaps you are far too non serious about the whole thing; if you need a LMGTFY link to make a point, you're doing it wrong because you yourself aren't identifying whether the link you give actually results in useful results. Why link to a query if you can link to the result? Why be condescending or rude when you can help out the person while telling him we expect some prior research. We have the low quality filter in place for people that decide to repeat asking such questions, we should have a filter in place for people that post careless LMGTFY links everywhere as well... – Tom Wijsman Oct 1 '12 at 15:30
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    If the OP's answer is easily found by googling (usually with multiple thousands of results) then why does that OP deserve a full and concise reply regurgitating all the information they could have easily found themselves with a little research? The majority of the time these 'drop in' OP's do not return, do not do any basic research and do not conform to or read the FAQ/guidelines. Shouldn't we save our time and resources for the loyal returning user who asks complete, concise and researched questions? – HaydnWVN Oct 2 '12 at 10:38
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    I've seen 4 LMGTFYs in the wild. None of the linked search results contained the answer to the question. In 3 of the 4, it turned out the OP had done research, and good googleable content simply didn't exist (they just forgot to say so). In one case, result #2 in the LMGTFY page was the person's own question!! People who LMGTFY rarely bother to check that the question is actually googlable. Worse: in all cases after the LMGTFY, the questions got heaps of downvotes from people who assumed from the fact a LMGTFY link had been posted that the question must be googleable. Ugly. – user568458 Oct 3 '12 at 22:42

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