I know that we want to encourage people to do some research before asking their question, but what is the harm in allowing relatively easy to answer questions to be asked on here? It seems that would allow for: more questions; potentially more traffic; and possibly a more inclusive feel, because people might be less intimidated to ask "easy questions."

I mean it would seem that one of our goals should be to be among the first page of google search results, a la stackoverflow.com, but we won't necessarily get there if all we have are serious, and hard questions. Maybe that isn't a community goal though.

5 Answers 5


Generally, easy to answer questions should not be asked here. Ultimately it depends on the actual question, because something that seems easy for one person may be quite difficult for another. The rule of thumb I use is this: If you can find it yourself by doing a quick Google search, then it doesn't belong here. As @MichaelF mentioned, the community at large will help to determine whether or not the question gets any attention. I just don't want to suggest people should ask a lot of easy questions and then have them get discouraged if the community starts to challenge their "worthiness".

  • 1
    I disagree. Not everyone posesses expertise to tell a well documented and reliable source merely based on Google search results. Even the notoriously crappy General Reference policy on SFF wasn't based on simply "Google it" rule for that reason.
    – DVK
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 11:33

I don't think it's really harmful but personally I've avoided it because questions like that tend to me to be of low quality, but that's my own opinion. I've had doubts on many of the questions here but as I continually repeat "it's a Community site" if the question is of low quality it will be voted off.

On the dark side of easy questions is, if the question is that easy, why didn't the poster do some research on it? We do expect some context in a question which means someone has to have done some research on the question. If they missed something then I'd be surprised but being a History major I know it's sometimes hard to find the right source documents at times.

Although if the easy question spurs some useful answers then I think the question can be of good quality even if it's easy.

  • 1
    Couldn't the quality issue be addressed in many cases by editing the question?
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 13:07
  • @T.E.D. In some cases yes, but in a few cases I have dealt with no, the question could not have been saved. Again this will be dealt with by the community, there are a lot of questions that get edited by others and those often improve the quality so I think this is already happening. Being in SQA I tend to think of Quality as subjective anyway, even here, so I wouldn't want to debate the finer points of that. But in general I agree with you.
    – MichaelF
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 14:59

I don't think of whether there are easy questions or hard questions, only whether they are SE questions, (All right, I lifted that from the "Army" slogan.)

That is, if the question is reasonably "granular" and answerable using facts and opinions inferable from facts, and if they are on topic, without causing undue argument or discussion.


Maybe we can accept easy questions as long as they are not school homework. Because that might not only increase the amount of questions, but also participation, because people without knowledge can easily research a little to answer the question.


I would disagree. Questions that are considered easy and too obvious may actually be complicated.

If you live during Nazi era and someone ask, are jews inferior, those questions will be dismissed as being too easy, namely, of course yes.

Now, who won the nobel prices?

Often prejudices, rather than actual ease of the question that makes question looks obvious.

When everyone think of something, and they dismiss a question too quickly, usually the truth is the opposite.

Ask people, is marijuana dangerous? 10 years ago, of course yes. Now we know it's government rather than ganja that's dangerous.

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