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As was mentioned in this Meta question recently, comments that post a "lmgtfy" link can be seen as insulting. Other sites, like Stack Overflow, have already blacklisted this domain.

Before we take action on ELU, I wanted to get a general feel for the opinions the community might have on this. So, should links with the "lmgtfy" domain be blacklisted?

Note that this doesn't mean comments that show a question is general reference will be blacklisted; only that this particular domain can be seen as insulting.

  • Also, Google is your Friend. Same premise. – Mr Lister Dec 27 '12 at 21:29
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    No question. Not merely dismissive but gratuitously rude. And Google is your Friend is even worse. – StoneyB Dec 27 '12 at 21:45
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    Might it not be better to merge this question with the other one? They basically address the same issue and will elicit similar answers. Reg's answer there would fit here just as well. – Cerberus Dec 27 '12 at 21:56
  • @cerb in essence this needs to serve as a poll before talking to TPTB if needed. Even if someone doesn't think the links are insulting, I'd still like the barometer of yes/no strictly on this question – simchona Dec 27 '12 at 21:59
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Such comments should probably be flagged and deleted by moderators instead.

I am against blacklisting anything unless there is a real problem, there is no other solution, blacklisting will really work, and adverse effects are certainly and far outweighed by benefits.

I have doubts regarding several of these conditions, mainly "does it really work, if you can simply use Bit.ly?", and "is this a real problem, that is, do people often post such links?".

It would also be inconvenient if we couldn't use LMGTFY in good-natured jokes, either in comments to friends or in chat. Or even in a question about the way LMGTFY works: it is a popular subject of discussion all over the Internet, after all.

For those reasons I would vote against, at least for now. See also Reg's answer to a similar question.

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No, we should not blacklist the lmgtfy site.

Being rude is... well, rude...and hurtful, but using lmgtfy is only rude in a very slight intellectual manner. Blacklisting is a bit heavy hammer to deal with something so mundane.

lmgtfy is not inherently rude and can be helpful. It is no different from give a google search with the same search terms. That might also be considered rude, but being told the easy way to do something can be helpful too.

Legislating rudeness by blacklisting is overkill.

(I don't encourage commenting by lmgtfy.com at all or even a google search or even the link that a google search gives in the first hit, but it is very annoying to see a question, google for the obvious, and find that first-link answer, a rudeness in itself for the OP to not have done that minimal research)

  • Not doing research is not rude at all. How can you say that? LMGTFY is rude towards strangers, more so than Google, which can indeed be somewhat rude too, depending on circumstances. I agree with the rest of what you say. – Cerberus Dec 28 '12 at 15:37
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    "Not doing research is not rude at all": Sure it is. We have lots of initial comments saying 'Do your research first'. Pointing out to the OP that they need to do research can also sound rude (any kind of suggestion to do something is like that), but also helpful to everyone. – Mitch Dec 28 '12 at 15:46
  • Pointing out that someone "needs" to do research can be rude or not. Not doing research is by no means rude. – Cerberus Dec 28 '12 at 15:49
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    Not doing research is rude. Stack Exchange is intended to be a place to get expert answers when answers are not easily accessible. That doesn't mean that every question has to be Ph.D. thesis-worthy, but when answering simple questions is as straightforward as typing a phrase into a search engine, then that should be the first step. This basic step will answer many questions, and prompt more sophisticated questions where they don't answer the question completely. This helps keep SE free of clutter and makes it a more valuable resource for finding thoughtful questions and answers. – KDN Dec 29 '12 at 1:16
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    @KDN: I disagree. There is no reasonable expectation for new users that a question that is fine on other websites should insult people on our website. Frankly I find the notion ridiculous. If you want people to behave in a certain way, you guide or force them, but you don't call them rude out of the blue for what does not violate common etiquette. – Cerberus Dec 29 '12 at 3:35
  • @Cerberus: We may have a rather more fundamental level of disagreement here. I see the SE sites as a place to find a higher-level, more curated, and more carefully (emph. care) answered set of questions. You are right that it isn't reasonable to expect new users to know the etiquette of the website a priori. However, they would know it if they read some background on the sites, which is something we can expect someone to do out of common etiquette. An alternative might be to immediately close such questions, but this doesn't let novices know about the appropriate tools to use. – KDN Dec 29 '12 at 13:27
  • @KDN: I agree about our fundamental disagreement. I think people can be undesirable but blameless; I'm not a huge fan of labelling every user as either "rude" or "complying with local regulations" and punishing the former. Do you always read policy documents on every website you post something on? And if you forget to do so, do you think of yourself as "rude"? And does anyone ever read EULAs and the like? I really don't think rude is the right qualification, nor do I think that it should even matter: what matters is getting users to do what you want, not distributing blame. – Cerberus Dec 29 '12 at 17:23
  • @Cerberus: You make good points. I don't think, however, that blacklisting LMGTFY is a particularly productive solution. Certainly, such a response could be taken as rude. But it is not such a different level of request to ask people not to be rude about addressing lazy questions than it is to ask people not to ask lazy questions. I don't think that removing LMGTFY is an appropriate measure, although perhaps, lacking access to the tool, some posters will simply lose interest in posting their disdain. Ultimately, if you feel strongly that it will improve SE, I have no intense opposition. – KDN Dec 30 '12 at 20:27
  • @KDN: Oh, no, I oppose blacklisting it. See my answer below. – Cerberus Dec 30 '12 at 20:47

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