Please refer to the following question:

I hate the users. Am I a sinner ?

As of now, 4 people have already voted to reopen it, without leaving any comments as to why. It would appear to me that the question fails on all counts:

  1. It does not appear to ask any serious "how" or "why" question.
  2. It doesn't call for detailed answers (there are some, but there are just as many one-liners).
  3. It most certainly does not have an impartial tone.
  4. It does not at any point ask for experiences, only opinions (and it barely even asks for those).
  5. It absolutely does not call for facts or evidence as backup.
  6. It may not exactly be mindless fun, but it's definitely mindless.

Aren't constructive questions supposed to meet at least 4 or 5 out of the 6? Why would a question that is so far off the mark (with respect to the 6 guidelines) be reopened, not to mention voted up 20 times?

Is this really even a question at all, and not just a rant?

Is it the kind of question that we want representing the community here?

  • It doesn't matter. Back to work. Forget the rep. Do the Physics.
    – user75253
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


While I don't think the question was worded quite right, I understand the sentiment. To me, the question seems more to be how to deal with "difficult" customers. And based on this, some of the answers to the question do see to be helpful.

  • Yes, I agree. Perhaps it could have been phrased differently (less of a rant, more of a 'how do I deal with...' question), but it is valid.
    – Michael K
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 14:33
  • 2
    Whether or not any of us "understand the sentiment" is entirely immaterial to whether or not it is a constructive question. There are already questions about how to deal with difficult customers, and if this was intended to be another one, then even after massive editing it would just be a duplicate of questions like How do you educate your customers? or even What was the worst experience you've had with a customer/user? which isn't really constructive by today's standards either.
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 15:47
  • @Aaronaught: If the question had been less of a rant and more of a how to deal with difficult customers, I think it would have reach the constructive question standard. Whether or not that is a duplicate question is a completely different story.
    – Jason
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 16:40
  • 2
    But the question wasn't about how to deal with difficult customers. It was a rant. If people think it could be constructive then aren't they supposed to edit before leaping to reopen?
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 16:47
  • I understand where you are coming from and I do agree. I was just giving my 2cents about why I thought it was reopened.
    – Jason
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 16:55

It shouldn't have been reopened, but there are more than enough people with 500+ rep that don't understand the guidelines of the site, or understand them and choose to ignore them for some concept of an "anything-goes" Stack Exchange where they can ask questions about why the world's against them (as a programmer), what everyone's hated language is (spoiler alert: it's PHP), and why do non-programmers believe in God when He's clearly a NP-solvable problem.

Every close question generally gets n reopen votes, where n is greater than or equal to one and directly related to how controversial the question is (controversial in the sense that the question is substantively similar to trolling). Questions that pick a fight are more likely to remain open because everyone likes a good argument.

This issue comes up frequently on Meta.Programmers.SE, and nothing gets done about it. The only thing one can do is to continue to vote to close and hope the anarcho-exchangers overlook the question when it gets closed. Ideally, our diamond moderators would step in and lock questions that clearly don't belong here.

  • 1
    I couldn't agree more. There are a ton of users who don't get or ignore the site's guidelines. I'm getting a bit tired of receiving comments on how militant we are when closing inane questions.
    – Walter
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 22:17
  • 1
    Sounds about right. Unfortunately, this just cements the image of Programmers.SE as a dumping ground for questions that aren't fit for Stack Overflow, which in all fairness is what it was originally proposed as. I guess the real question is, how are we supposed to reconcile the team's insistence on merging "business of software" and "software craftsmanship" topics into Programmers.SE against the puerile mob that wants to keep this as their dumping ground? Can this ever be a serious site?
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Dec 2, 2010 at 23:16
  • I have locked some questions. "I hate users" question has no votes to close again. I closed it but I think it's too much lock it now.
    – Maniero
    Commented Dec 3, 2010 at 10:34
  • @Aaronaught: Curious. Do you think it's the "insistence on merging" or the "puerile mob" that should be stopped? Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 19:12
  • Mark you should have used the !> Spoiler markup Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 19:54
  • 2
    @Robert: I don't believe that the latter can be stopped, even if it should be. And I supported (and still support) the team's decision to try to bring some semblance of maturity to this site, but of course that can only succeed when, as a previous commenter points out, members aren't free to pick and choose when to follow the guidelines. I see that a moderator has closed that question now, which IMO is what was needed here. But I wonder if it's truly possible to have a self-moderating community in that regard; and if not, then maybe it's better to just have a separate "serious" site.
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 20:05
  • 1
    Ultimately, @Robert, I think the team's and moderators' responsibilities for SE sites like this one very much mirror the responsibilities of any other software architect, and an important guiding principal for that profession is that the users don't know what they want. Wikipedia and Stack Overflow have shown that crowds can be pretty decent at disseminating and vetting information, but they (crowds) are still awful at making decisions, especially when those decisions involve design or policy - and what happened with the "I hate the users" question before bigown stepped in is the proof.
    – Aaronaught
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 20:13

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