I am referencing this question Python Interview Questions

This question showed zero research effort, so in one of my comments I used a "Let me google that for you" link. Is that over the top for this type of question? Is the use of these links allowed under any circumstances?

Update: I agree with this comment

Questions with an answer that is trivial to find on Google are not helping the SO community. They are generating superfluous reputation, lowering the bar for asking genuine questions, and generally wasting people's time. Furthermore, the answers to these questions are almost always summarized, plagiarized or synthesized from the Google search results. Posting a LGTFY link is like tough love. It points the user to the right answer and does it in such a way that they will hopefully turn to Google for simple questions and SO for their more difficult questions.

by @Eric on this Post

  • 4
    This might help -- lmgtfy.com/?q=stack+exchange+%22Let+me+google+that+for+you%22 ;-) – enderland Jul 5 '17 at 14:59
  • @enderland I love a good sense of humor. :-) – Neo Jul 5 '17 at 15:06
  • It was cool the first few times someone did it, just like disguising a strength as a weakness in an interview. With overuse, it has become tiring and annoying. Besides, you typically have to put more effort than necessary to tell the other guy that he did not put in enough effort. – Masked Man Jul 10 '17 at 13:55

I've always found them to be on the needlessly rude side. You can get the same message across by linking to an actual google search, rather than going through lmgtfy. I would say the use of lmgtfy violates Rule #1 of the Be nice policy.

Rudeness and belittling language are not okay. Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.

  • appreciate the answer, curious to see some others. – Neo Jul 5 '17 at 14:46
  • Other SE sites have banned them, The Workplace should as well IMO – SaggingRufus Jul 6 '17 at 21:04

I agree with David's take on this. While I can get behind the "tough love" angle, ultimately you're expending some extra effort on crafting and copying a LMGTFY link when you could have just commented "Did you try [Google / searching the web / researching the topic yourself]?" That's much more direct and clear and also won't confuse people who would genuinely benefit from being pointed to online search results.

If you look at it like that, I feel like that extra little jab at the user's expense pushes this just barely into "harsh for the sake of being harsh" territory. Which means that I'd probably leave your comment alone if I happened to see it, but that I'd likely delete it if it was flagged.

However, context matters here. If the OP put obvious effort into his question, as seemed to be the case here, it takes very little effort to try and be helpful instead of dismissive. Only JaneS bothered to tell the user why he was getting downvoted. Everyone else started a meta discussion which included another mention that the OP was wasting everyone's time. I'm not surprised he deleted his question. If it was someone new to the site I imagine we wouldn't be seeing him again.

  • 2
    I will use your suggestion for questions in the future that in my opinion show no research effort. "Did you try [Google / searching the web / researching the topic yourself]?" Slightly more polite than mine ;-) – Neo Jul 5 '17 at 15:43
  • On hacker sites, you'll typically get GIYF (google is your friend) when no effort has been shown. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 6 '17 at 13:00

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