Every so often I see a question that is simple, easy to search, etc. When I see these questions, they often times get downvoted, and quite a bit as well. Sometimes I've even seen them closed. Can I ask why it's a bad thing to close or downvote easily searchable questions? Sure it's kind of silly to ask here, since, most of the time, it'd be simpler to just type it into Google, but is it really hurting anyone to have these questions stay?

The more questions that are asked, the more activity goes on here, and even if it's easy, if someone later on down the line searches the easy question, they might stumble upon our site and use it, which in turn gives us a new user to ask, answer, and contribute to the site.

I guess if you get down to it, if you start allowing every question, maybe the site gets filled with silly questions that are easily searchable, but there is also a chance that the person asking has searched and is maybe just not searching the right terms or whatever, and is genuinely having a hard time finding an answer.

Any thoughts? Is this something covered in the rules that I missed?

  • 3
    Interesting question. As a first short response: "if you start allowing every question, maybe the site gets filled with silly questions" - BINGO! The problem is that we don't want activity only, but good, useful and interesting activity. And weeding out stuff like "who's this 'soup nazi' guy I forgot to google" is an important step towards this goal. It is not always easy to objectively assess what is 'trivia' and what isn't, that's true and an everlasting question here, but the site does have a stance against trivia and low-quality ID questions (to which that example applies both).
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Feb 19 '15 at 18:14
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    Look here for a start: movies.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Feb 19 '15 at 18:15
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    It's not so much about being easily answerable, but more about being in any way important/relevant/useful to the site. But I agree that's not always an easily/exactly definably characterization.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Feb 19 '15 at 18:17
  • Basically, Napoleon summed it up. If a good question is asked that isn't easily searchable it certainly won't be closed. Out of curiosity, do you have any examples of questions that you felt were closed too soon? Feb 19 '15 at 19:06
  • Not off the top of my head, the one Napoleon referred to was one I figured would get closed, I answered anyway, but that's not the point. I'm just asking in general, because I've avoided answering some questions I figured would be deemed too easy to answer and therefore closed. I'm just more asking a generalized question on why they are closed or at least downvoted so quickly.
    – New-To-IT
    Feb 19 '15 at 19:09

As the tooltip text says when you hover over the "downvote" button:

This question does not show any research effort. It is unclear or not useful

With this in mind, for easily searchable questions, they're getting downvoted because they haven't shown any research effort - the answer that they're after is easily searchable and they could have found it themselves with very little effort.

Posting the question essentially leads to duplication of content with other websites, this goes against Stack Exchange's overall goal of making the internet a better place and thus the question is not useful, either.

The reason that these sort of questions will usually be closed is covered on the "What topics can I ask about here?" page, a question that is easily searchable will normally fall into one of these categories, thus meeting the requirement for closure:

Locating or purchasing Movies or TV content
Technology questions about playing content
Unimportant trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title.
TV news, sports and current affairs
A title's release date or rumors about a specific title or series.
Opinions about or recommendations for a movie or TV show

We shouldn't be closing questions just because they're easily searchable - I myself (on other SE sites, anyway) sometimes ask questions because the answer I found while searching was several pages deep in searches I performed - making an easy answer easier to find is useful - closing a question for being off topic, unclear, etc is perfectly acceptable.

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