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Is it really frowned upon to answer a question that is a bit vague? Do we do more harm than good or does providing an answer do no harm?

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  • Are you just asking about questions with close votes? Or are you asking about questions that you think meet the criteria for one of the close reasons (e.g. the question is too broad, or needs more details/info, or the question is primarily opinion-based)? – What you "should" do may depend on whether you think (a) the question is high-quality and properly answerable (i.e. a high-quality answer can be provided) as is; or (b) it has issues but you can edit it to fix those issues; or (c) you think it needs to be edited (and you can't fix those issues yourself) and so it should be closed first.
    – V2Blast
    Mar 25, 2022 at 18:02
  • I guess one could answer as best as one could and vote close to ask for more information…
    – Squirrel
    Mar 27, 2022 at 13:04
  • That's not really what I'm saying. If a question can't be meaningfully answered/can't receive a good answer as is, then it probably shouldn't be answered yet. What I'm talking about is whether the problem with the question (if there is one) is easily fixable yourself, or whether it's something that only the original author of the post can address.
    – V2Blast
    Mar 28, 2022 at 21:16
  • (For instance, if there are key details missing from the post that are necessary to answer it without guessing/speculation, then generally only the author can provide that information; if so, the question should be closed until the author provides that info. However, if it's just that the question is too broad because it asks multiple distinct questions in one post, then other users besides the author might be able to edit out the additional questions and narrow it down to just one good question, in which case you can edit the post (to show by example) rather than closing the post.)
    – V2Blast
    Mar 28, 2022 at 21:17

1 Answer 1

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I don't see an issue with providing an answer to a vague question. Your personal experience might give more context than the question provides. The person who has voted to close it may retract their vote if the answer contains valuable information.

That said, if the question is really vague then it would be better to ask the poster to provide more details.

Use your judgement to decide which approach is best.

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