It's not an epidemic yet, but we've had two questions in two days about that suggest the asker hasn't read anything about the subject. I mean, if they typed the word into any browser bar and clicked on any result in the first 100 links they would either find their answer or be able to ask a more substantial question.

Many answerers have essentially (and graciously) done a "Let-me-google-that-for-you," and provided a synopsis of the first link. That might be the most beneficial thing for this site/community.

Or maybe answerers' time is more valuable, in which case: Should we add a Close Reason along the lines of, "UTFSE?"

Or, as gracey put it more eloquently:

I think it would be beneficial to set a requisite similar to stack exchange or ask different, where it is incumbent upon the asker to do some modicum of due diligence relating to their Q - like researching the issue at least a bit, before asking the Q.

A network-wide close reason along these lines was considered, tested, and ultimately rejected, but it is still implemented on some sites, and we are free to do it here.

1 Answer 1


I think part of the problem is they did UTFSE and it led them here.

Another part is that it is possible to live your entire life without needing any understanding of even the most basic legal principles that underlie society; cultural norms and taboos are way more effective than the law in guiding behaviour. A person asking a question on Stack Exchange will know something about programming in general and their problem in particular; a poster here may not know where to start at all.

It is difficult to wrap your head around intellectual property rights if you don't have a clue about personal property rights and how to use the law to defend them from which to start.

I think we can help a bit more by putting links to the basic (Wikipedia) info actually in the tag description - I have just done this for the copyright tag. This probably wont help much though; since no one read these anyway.

I think that it can be left to the community to close these as "too broad" or answer them as they see fit.

  • Good answer. Perhaps some answers using a copy/paste of the first few (non-ad) google responses might be acceptable, though they would not be on some other sites. Apr 19, 2016 at 12:49

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