A bit earlier, I posted this question :

Has "Using the inappropriate technology bias" an official name?

It has been down voted and closed for being opinion-based. I don't understand why since the only thing I am asking is there is a name for the bias consisting in not choosing the right technologies to solve a problem, the same we can have "don't repeat yourself", "reinventing the wheel", etc. This is no matter of opinion.

Can someone please explain we what's wrong with my question ?

  • 7
    Wondering what's the point of downvoting this meta question, without leaving any trace for the reason. It gives me the impression certain community members have completely lost any sense of how to communicate with new members.
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 4, 2021 at 11:45
  • 3
    @DocBrown, it's a problem on all SE sites. I personally like the rule that any down vote requires either an explanatory comment or a vote to an existing comment. Too bad it's not enforced. Jun 4, 2021 at 13:26
  • 4
    @RayButterworth: I know all this debate, and I am not a fan of mandatory comments in general. In fact, downvoting without a comment is IMHO very acceptable for many crap questions. And here on Meta, downvoting can simply mean "I disagree" (for example, to a feature request)- no explanation required. But when here someone asks about their own question politely, without any accusations or ranting, and then gets a downvote for their meta question without any explanation, then this could be read as "go away, I don't like it when you reflect about your question".
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 4, 2021 at 14:13
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    @RayButterworth: I have twice received death threats from the OP after explaining a downvote. In one of those two cases, I didn't even downvote, I just explained why someone might have downvoted. Votes are anonymous for a reason; people don't vote honestly on the content, if they have to fear for their lives. Jun 7, 2021 at 15:26
  • @JörgWMittag: if someone asks me politely about potential or actual reasons for a downvote, I would feel myself pretty uncomfortable not to give them an honest (but also polite!) answer. And the number of harsh or emotional reactions against my person has heavily reduced over the years since I have learned to choose my words more carefully when writing a comment. And death threats - well, I never got one, and when, my only reaction to them would be to flag the OPs account for mod attention, and wait until the account gets blocked. ...
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 8, 2021 at 5:05
  • ... If I think I had to take them seriously, I would stay away from being active in the SE network at all, and don't contribute at all.
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 8, 2021 at 5:07
  • Does this answer your question? On the troubles of naming and terminology
    – gnat
    Jun 8, 2021 at 9:44
  • @Jorg W Mittag Imagine a situation where a competent person asks a question and two incompenent users anonymously downvote it due to their incompetency. A competent person will go to other site and you will remain with two incompetent ones. I have seen such situation on other sites.
    – Al Berger
    Jun 9, 2021 at 14:27
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    @AlBerger if there are no 2-3 other competent users around to correct this by more appropriate voting then moving to a different site with more of coptent users would be the right to do, wouldn't it
    – gnat
    Jun 13, 2021 at 14:23
  • 1
    There's already a site for this. Note that even that site has rules for how you can ask such questions. Jun 16, 2021 at 23:45

3 Answers 3


I cannot speak for the other close voters, but I voted to close it because of two things:

  • the question does not ask for a name for a well-known software engineering concept, it asks for a social phenomenon, and

  • it is very vague, which makes it prone to starting a guessing game.

I am happy you found a term at Wikipedia that seems to describe what you were looking for, but I don't think the description in the question was unequivocal enough to narrow it down to that term.

Related meta question: On the troubles of naming and terminology


Often, there is not an "official name" or even a singular common name for concepts. Asking for one invites people to share their opinions on what they call it or believe it should be called. Such questions aren't a good fit for this format.

  • That doesn't mean he can't be helped with those question. Sometimes these forums here are too strict. I thought we are here to help each other.
    – Jesse
    Jun 18, 2021 at 11:22
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    @Jesse This is a common misconception, but Stack Exchange does not exist to help a particular person solve their problem. The purpose is to build a library of questions and answers that serves a broader audience. A common side effect is that individuals get answers to their questions, but questions that aren't generally findable or useful to the broader community get closed because they aren't a good fit.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Jun 19, 2021 at 1:15
  • seems a little odd. Have seen plenty of examples around here that are person specific. If you only accept questions that can be helpful for everyone, then you have a finite pool of questions, unless something new comes out. This elitism is a bit misplaced in my opinion.
    – Jesse
    Jun 21, 2021 at 18:26
  • @ThomasOwens: "The purpose is to build a library of questions and answers that serves a broader audience" - not that I disagree, but wasn't there a lot of discussion last year if Stack Exchange Inc still has this goal, especially with Stack Overflow?
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 23, 2021 at 7:24
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    @Jesse: please don't play with words, Thomas did not write "everyone", he wrote "a broader audience". And though the frequency of Q&As here on this site has reduced to some degree over the years, I am not under the impression we are at the danger of running out of questions suitable for this site.
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 23, 2021 at 7:27
  • @Jesse Stack Exchange had a very specific closing reason, for questions that were relevant only to the OP: This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. It's impossible to have a question that is useful for everybody, but a question that is useful to a broader audience is possible.
    – apaderno
    Aug 21, 2021 at 7:28

Personally, I like these sorts of questions. Knowing the official name of something can unlock a huge trove of resources for learning more about it. Yes, sometimes, there doesn't happen to be a good name. There are two problems with penalizing a question in that case:

  1. The asker has no way of knowing there isn't an official name when they ask the question.
  2. The voter has no way of knowing there isn't an official name when they vote.

All you can say is you don't know the name. There has been more than one occasion where people said there isn't a name and someone else provided it. Even if there isn't a single canonical answer, knowing what experienced developers might search for to gain more information is very valuable. This isn't the kind of field where we can eliminate all questions where there isn't a single canonical answer. Those are all the most interesting and useful questions.

  • Thank you for understanding and sharing my point of view. I think knowing the name of things is the most efficient way to get knowledge about them, because naming concepts is the way we organise knowledge. Sometimes concepts don't have a name, but naming ensures everyone talks about the same concept, and seems essential when doing research on a topic.
    – ibi0tux
    Jun 16, 2021 at 13:10
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    I agree we should not close-vote every "is there a name for it" question categorically (as it seems some community members do here). However, that does not mean we should allow all of them. I described my point of view on the particular case in my answer, if your personal "threshold" for closing a question is different, that's fine.
    – Doc Brown
    Jun 16, 2021 at 14:50

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