Don't discourage strange or odd new users to use this site. I saw this question with a score of -8 and closed. (I've edited it recently) It was asking about filling some hotel rooms using cheats, without mentioning with what. People said that it's unclear, but I say that, because it is a hotel, to be filled with furniture.

Of course, instead of editing, they closed it and downvoted, and it's most likely that the user was discouraged and unlikely that it will post again.

So, please, don't discourage new users and try to edit their questions if they aren't okay.

  • 11
    It was closed as unclear. Which it was. Whether they're a new user or not matters not at all. It's all about the question quality. There was none there.
    – Frank
    Feb 21, 2016 at 1:37
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    Related: Let's be nice to each other
    – Robotnik Mod
    Feb 21, 2016 at 2:20
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    I think the question was answerable, and if the OP is a first and last time user who is too lazy to make a 16x16 building, let alone write a proper answer we can still edit the answer to be more succinct for future users, in stead of just voting to close. I didn't see the edit but I just mean in general as long as the question isn't completely overhauled.
    – Daedric
    Feb 21, 2016 at 18:50
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    Now it's at -10. I've been using SO and several other SE sites for years and rarely see less than a -1 unless the user is being completely belligerent. That alone tells me the community here is more like Shirley Jackson's "Lottery" than a healthy group of enthusiasts sharing a common interest.
    – labyrinth
    Mar 4, 2016 at 13:15

2 Answers 2



Let me preface this by saying that I disagree with your edit. It's a complete re-write of the question and you used too much guesswork to fill in the blanks for my taste.

I'm not saying small and medium-sized edits should not be done. They should, which is why we can. It's that to me (and presumably others), this particular question was unsalvagable without help from OP themselves, and this answer is based on this context.

Yes, this site does have fairly high standards for users both new and old alike, these standards are there for a reason, namely to ensure that we are a repository of gaming-related questions and answers.

A badly written question will attract downvotes, because it deserved downvotes for not showing any (research) effort, being unclear or not useful.

Furthermore, a question as unclear as this one is utterly useless. Questions like these are put on hold (and specifically not "closed") until we can figure out what exactly it is that OP is asking, using the comments (which are always available), like Studoku did:

Fill it with what? Lava? Copy-pasted rooms which you're too lazy too describe? TNT?

(Now, a point could be made to write a nice introductory text, but since OP did not put in any effort, it is absolutely understandable if someone else doesn't want to put in effort.)

OP can return to this site, notice that they did something wrong and try to improve their question, getting it re-opened as per standard procedure. If the question turns out good, it will attract upvotes for OP (which are worth much more reputation than downvotes partly for this exact reason!) and the site ends up with a good question with good answers that are good for everybody.

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    If you disapprove with my edit, why has it got accepted?
    – John
    Feb 21, 2016 at 12:13
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    @John Because an edit is accepted based on if two people approve it first, not if MrLemon personally approves it? Feb 21, 2016 at 13:05
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    And why those 2 people accepted it, if it was too massive? @Studoku
    – John
    Feb 21, 2016 at 13:22
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    @John Three people can all believe the same, incorrect, fact. Feb 21, 2016 at 13:24
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    @Studoku - I do agree with the overall point: we should not be using guesswork to fill in missing data. I just don't think the term 'incorrect' should apply when we're talking about people's reviews: they have the rep, it's ultimately up to them how they choose to review edits. The site is run by the community, which means the current consensus can shift day to day, and a lot of people don't frequent meta or chat. Therefore I think a better approximation of your sentence would be "Three people can all believe the same fact, even if it goes against the current consensus." :-)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Feb 22, 2016 at 2:27
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    Really, the only problem I have at all with how this question was handled was it would have been nice not to call the OP "lazy". We should be nice.
    – Sterno
    Feb 22, 2016 at 14:17
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    @Sterno OP referred to himself as lazy first. Feb 22, 2016 at 15:13
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    Could've been a nicer comment for sure, agree completely other than that. Would be nice if it wasn't labeled "close", since that's not what happens.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 1, 2016 at 18:02

As far as discouraging users goes, I can see how trying to maintain a certain standard can be a bit daunting. Initially, yes the system can be seen as a bit blunt, but that's where we come in. By simply explaining that a question is unclear, or perhaps off-topic, or whatever reason the question doesn't meet our standards, it can help the user understand what is required to meet the standard.

If we do keep up the standard, then we can become more useful to users who need help, finding a question that matches their problem, and hopefully a solution, rather than trying to wade through forums containing little else than "MINECRAFT CRASHED... HALP PLZ" and "F---in noobz. Just google it!"

I do agree with MrLemon about the editing, as too much can change the entire intention behind the question. For example, going back to my Minecraft example, if the user posts little else than a crash dump and "HALP PLZ", that's pretty much considered unclear. By editing that question on little other than guesswork to fill in the blanks makes it a completely different question, and is not helpful to the OP. In that situation, a better practice would be to post a separate, different question, rather than editing someone else's.

For example, this question about Rupoors in LoZ received some heat about the content of the question. However, the OP was pretty precise about the content of his question. At the time most people thought that it was off-topic, but instead of editing the question, which would have changed the content entirely, I asked a similar question (which I then self-answered).

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