I downvoted and flagged this question, because the user was asking the typical "what technology should I use" stuff, and it was fairly obvious that he didn't read or that he didn't understand the FAQ. But, should I answer these questions with what I think he should use, or suggest something? Or does that belong to the comments? Also, about people who do answer the question, do the answers deserve a downvote (there is no way to be both objective and actually answer the question)?

Also, please not that the question I linked to was edited to refer only to HTML5, but it was very broad and vague at the time (and it still is).


1 Answer 1


No, I don't think one should answer questions that don't belong, because all it does it set or reinforce the precedent that it's okay to ask inappropriate questions because we'll still answer them anyway.

Now, if a question can be edited or otherwise improved so as to become answerable, I'd say one should absolutely make the edit or suggest the improvement via a comment. But until the question meets the criteria for a good question for the site, I think that answering it only helps to contribute to the problem.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What about dealing with existing answers? Leave them be? Down vote? Maybe upvote if its useful (useful, but not objective)? \$\endgroup\$
    – jcora
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 19:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know how I feel about existing answers; downvoting them seems harsh but it's probably the right solution. The answer is not "useful" in the sense that it doesn't contribute to a good question/answer culture matching the guidelines for appropriate questions on the site, I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bane, Once a question is edited to a valid and the answer suits, it will be awkward if down-voted. I would leave it be as the answer can be valid, i.e. if OP edits the question, the answers should still fit. \$\endgroup\$
    – user18479
    Commented Aug 11, 2012 at 10:03

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