I have seen that many people down vote those questions which are very basic or easy. Is this website only meant for asking difficult questions or can I clear my some basic doubts and problems without getting downvoted?

  • How can I be assured that the question I ask is not down voted ,because as soon as I asked this question someone downvoted it ,with unknown reason. – Atharva Kathale Oct 27 at 15:54
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    No, this isn't a site for only difficult questions. Indeed, it seems that most often, comparatively straightforward questions at the level of an early undergraduate are most common. But there are many successful questions even at a high school level (though perhaps fewer for earlier levels). – davidlowryduda Oct 27 at 16:08
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    Is your question "are only difficult questions upvoted" or is your question "why aren't my questions upvoted"? At a glance, you have a few posts of the type that is little more than a problem statement. These are usually disliked here. A good post (at most levels!) includes thought on the problem, and usually a specific place you got stuck. If your goal is to get help, then this is essential. If you haven't gotten stuck somewhere specific, that should be your first move. – Mike Miller Oct 27 at 16:54
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    Have you searched the site for the highest upvoted questions? Do so. Had you done so, you would not be asking this question. Case in point: the third most highly upvoted question. Here is a sorted list, from highest voted to lowest, of all questions on MSE.. – amWhy Oct 27 at 19:01
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    Atharva Kathale I'd suggest that you do a bit more work in the way of learning about this site, prior to posting your rather inaccurate "theories" about this site, or about the motivations of all the users of this site, all volunteers, including moderators. – amWhy Oct 27 at 19:09
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    Sometimes (rarely) it can happen but in many cases (very often) the motivation is that the question does not fulfill the standard requirements to ask a good question. You need to understand why you get downvoted and if necessary improve the question,otherwise if you think that the downvoting is unfair you can flag the issue to moderator teams. It would be useful if you give some example of the question which were downvoted in taht way we could give you some more specific suggestions. Could you please link here the question you are referring to? – gimusi Oct 28 at 11:59

No. We don't have rules against easy questions. However, we do have a rule that askers are supposed to search first, and ask only if it happens that there are no answers. You may have seen a reaction to this. Basic doubts have been covered here already (and some of them could be better answered by chatting with a teacher who can, socratically, identify the pieces missing from your background and fill them in).

See this recent blog from the founder of StackExchange. Quoting a few highlights I find relevant here. Jeff Atwood speaks mostly about StackOverflow - the oldest and biggest component of the SE network, we need to port the philosophy to math (and that is where room for differences of opinions emerges):

  • StackOverflow is a Wiki first.
  • If SO is working like it is supposed to, 98% of programmers should get all the answers they need from reading search result pages and wouldn't need to ask or answer a single question in their entire careers. This is a good thing! Great, even! My attempt to translate this to Math is that 98% of a new users questions have already been answered. Math.SE is a bit younger than SO, so the percentage may be a bit lower, but you get the idea. Also, IM(NS)HO a new user should spend 98% of their time here searching.
  • Over time, duplicates become vast landmine fields.
  • Indeed I think that in his article JA is referring and thinking mostly to SO but of course the "Wiki" project is also declared in the SE tour page: "We build libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on each community's area of expertise". I think also that it could be useful give here as a reference also this previous article by JA: Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication. – gimusi Oct 29 at 14:55
  • With reference to your claim: “we do have a rule that askers are supposed to search first, and ask only if it happens that there are no answers”, I only partially agree with that. Indeed it may happens in some cases that an user can ask a question also when duplicates of the same question already exist when he/she is for example looking simply for a hint to start with or to overcome a particular step he/she is stucked with or since he/she need some interaction with others users, etc. – gimusi Oct 29 at 14:55
  • I fully agree with you that when the aim for the asker is simply to get an answer to a specific question a good rule is to search throughout the site for possible duplicates and that this procedure should be enforced and ecouraged by the system in order to reduce the number of useless questions. – gimusi Oct 29 at 14:56
  • Here we could open another issue and ask to ourself if creating a wiki repository of Q/A, MSE does not run the risk of becoming a resource of “please solve my problem” without any contribution by the users which gain solved problems for free, but it would be material for another kind of discussion. – gimusi Oct 29 at 14:57
  • Details. Details. :-) From the point of view of StackExchange the real question is whether this vision from Jeff Atwood will generate enough traffic to keep the advertisers happy, and, consequently, lets the company remain solvent. – Jyrki Lahtonen Oct 29 at 15:02
  • Indeed, that's exactly the point, it could be that a community with more live interaction between users could be more convenient to keep the advertisers happy! I'm not sure that a wiki like repository would satisfactory for that goal, at least for MSE. I mean that the wiki like repository is ok but massive partecipation needs also to stay hight for the pourpose. – gimusi Oct 29 at 15:06

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