I know I'm new to this site, but I frequently find myself looking at questions such as this one: https://serverfault.com/questions/354940/sudo-selectively-using-nopasswd

It has no possible answer, the OP already found a solution and it really wasn't a question after all.

I feel it's wrong to just leave it alone. Am I correct?

What should happen to such no-questions? Should they be downvoted? Kind of feels wrong too.

2 Answers 2


My own feeling is that for questions where the problem turned out to be a simple typo, and from which this could not be discerned from the question itself, should just be deleted outright, as they offer no value to anyone.

By contrast questions should be kept even if it was a simple typo, if this was present in the question, as the question is answerable and will be of use to others.

In this case, according to the user's comment, the problem was not with his sudoers configuration, which he asked about, but with the script being run, which wasn't provided. There was no way for anyone to know this by reading the question, and no way for anyone to arrive at the answer.

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    +1 I agree, questions which are clearly of no value and have no reasonable hope of being turned into something of value should just be discarded.
    – Chris S
    Mar 3, 2014 at 2:46

In general I would ignore the question, as you cannot possibly hope to understand all questions. Many times I've asked forum questions and got silly answers like "Why would you do that" or "no that won't work" etc, plainly the answerer cannot understand the question - but this does not mean it is an invalid question, it is just a communication problem.

Some people are fantastic at divining the true nature of the OP.

If you have trouble understanding the question or think its invalid, it should be left to the moderator to decide.

Over fastidiousness is rank in places like stackoverflow.com (seems nicer here for some reason), there should be a greater awareness of people who don't speak English natively, or are just young or not very literate, or in-fact are just having a bad brain day. It doesn't detract from the fact the OP has a problem that they feel needs solving.

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    I'd agree (I'm already perfectly happy to ignore questions I've got no interest in, and I suspect most others too), with the caveat that sometimes I/we understand what someone is asking for perfectly well, sometimes we understand the implications better than the person asking the question, and in that case its perfectly valid to vote to close a question or to answer it in a way that points out potential flaws, etc.
    – Rob Moir
    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:52
  • I agree with your caveat's
    – ChrisAdmin
    Mar 5, 2014 at 17:14
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    Asking 'why' is perfectly reasonable as many people get stuck in x/y when there may be other better solutions they just aren't aware of. The community are the moderators. The Moderators are the exception handlers - that's the way things are on SE. Not all problems have solutions (at least not from a free service).
    – user9517
    Mar 6, 2014 at 7:19
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    When you're beating your own head with a hammer, "stop doing that" may well be a reasonable answer. I can't speak to other "forums" but around here we ask for context in part in order to determine if someone actually is in such a situation and a better way can be found to solve the underlying problem. Mar 9, 2014 at 6:25

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