I see it quite often on Workspace, the questions that are missing the crucial details (country), which makes the question unanswerable. People answer making some guesses that the OP is located somewhere in the Western Europe, USA or Canada, and if they guess correctly, or the labour laws are similar in that point, the answers make actually sense for the OP.

However, actually the answer valid for any country on the world should be correct, which means, that the question is too broad. At least in my opinion, because on any other stackexchange site I know, if a question can have at least 2 contradicting answers, that are valid, there's something wrong with the question.

Is this a moderation failure? Or the Workspace encourage list questions of the type: (example) what is my notice period with 2 years of experience, with 190+ different answers stating with "In country X"?

I understand that some people might be ignorant of the fact, that most topics about workspace are regulated, and the regulations strongly differ between countries, but if they persist on ignoring comments stating that, the question should be closed until the relevant details are provided.

If the community prefer Quora-like open questions, then excuse me for mentioning the issue.

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    To be clear by moderation failure you refer to community moderation? Or do you see a particular failing on part of the mod team here? If the latter I'd like to ask what specific action you'd expect us to take here. Either way, I'd sooner say this is the key issue with HNQ. Close votes don't matter when selecting for HNQ. If they did, questions that are controversial or need more info would never reach it. That being said, I don't expect the example you give to be very representative. Such straightforward questions are usually quickly closed or clarified, unlike ones open to interpretation. – Lilienthal May 29 at 21:01

Many of the questions here aren't country-specific - they can relate to workplace interpersonal relationships, communication, process, interview techniques, etc. Questions that obviously do involve legality quickly gain comments asking for location information.

People, of course, make educated assumptions on location based on the questions content, spelling, the user's name, and the location indicated in the users network profile (if given).

The Workplace isn't a site where there can only be one "correct" answer - people offer answers that can be of use to the OP and are marked as answers if they're more appropriate to their own situation than other answers. Contradictory answers can be good as they can open up a more holistic view on the situation, viewed from various different viewpoints.


Yes, it's a failure of community moderation. The Workspace community doesn't have a real high bar for making people get a specific question, and folks just rush to answer anyway. I often VtC or comment but usually things stall out at ~3 votes to close and folks just go ahead and discuss quora style anyway. But if the community doesn't agree they need to adhere more to the SE Q&A format there's really nothing to do.

  • Can you elaborate why having multiple independent answers is not inside the SE Q&A format? Or do you have an example where answers where not independent answers to the question, but used as a discussion? – nvoigt Jun 24 at 6:55
  • @nvoigt is your comment on the right question and answer? I don’t understand its relation to this topic (people guessing country etc.). – mxyzplk Jun 24 at 13:18
  • Well, you said people just go ahead and discuss. That would assume that answers are used for discussion and not as independent answers. Maybe I misunderstood your sentence? – nvoigt Jun 24 at 13:19
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    It means that answers should be answers that address the needs of the OP, which still leaves plenty of room for multiple answers. They shouldn't take random stabs in the dark without enough context or be effectively a comment asking for clarification, no. You know this, you spent a lot of time on RPG.SE. If someone asks "how do I do X" and you don't know what game it's for, do you answer it or ask what game they're playing? The latter, so you don't end up with a bunch of terrible answers once they do clarify. Same thing here. – mxyzplk Jun 24 at 16:56
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    If someone is in India but someone assumes America and gives them ineffectual legal advice, you've wasted the questioner's time, the answerer's time, and the time of everyone who clicks into that question hoping for information. Nothing about that is good. "Multiple answers" are good but "wildly off target answers because there's not enough detail/detail was assumed incorrectly" are bad. – mxyzplk Jun 24 at 16:57
  • Well, I guess you are part of that community. If you take this workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/173958/… question and answer, you answered with just a hint of where the person is located with an answer that is correct for your guess of their location, but 180° wrong for the others. I tagged it US so at least now it's visible. By your own standards though, I should probably not have made that guess (maybe there's other countries with federal states abbreviated CA...) and you should not have answered. – nvoigt Jun 26 at 8:19
  • I like that answer btw, I think it's a good answer for the US, but it does exactly what you are criticizing. – nvoigt Jun 26 at 8:19
  • He implied the US clearly, and I was careful to specify the context of the specific quote in my answer to California but it’s similar in other states (as opposed to the usual practice of answering for a context but not specifying what it is). And if this community doesn’t care to make people specify more information I’m not going to just hold my breath and refuse to answer questions until they decide to do it that way, so “you got me?” – mxyzplk Jun 26 at 20:21

Let's face it, the concept of accepted answers absolutely sucks for The Workplace, as I'd argue that the goal for The Workplace content isn't to give absolute answers.

You mention that various regulations around the world influence (or should influence) answers on The Workplace, which is absolutely correct, but in addition to that the specifics of contracts at play can significantly alter the playing field. Analyzing contracts is something that I've never seen done in The Workplace.

I would also close by saying that there are seeming two goals for The Workplace, that being giving specific advice for specific issues, and the other giving general advice for common problems (that may be prompted by a question). I'd probably say that different users have a different understanding on what The Workplace is meant to be.

  • Yep, it's the internet, everyone does whatever they want within the wider framework – Kilisi Jun 9 at 10:00
  • The goal for SO, the OG of SE sites, was never to give "absolute" answers either. That's why there can be many upvoted answers and they are not deleted when the OP accepts one as helping them most. The next guy searching might have a slightly different case and find one of the other answers more helpful. That's perfectly normal on the network. – nvoigt Jun 24 at 6:44
  • @nvoigt "the OP accepts one as helping them most". More like the OP accepts one that THEY THINK helped them the most. Often it's not the best answer. It's just the one that resonates with the OP in some way. – Gregory Currie Jun 24 at 6:47
  • Yes, indeed. And that's the point. The OP does not decide what the best answer is. Or even whether there is an absolute best answer. None of the SE sites have the goal of giving a single, absolute best answer. As an indicator, acceptance of an answer does not get you any of the bronze/silver/gold tag badges, only voting on your answers does. The fact that the OP accepted an answer does not mean it's good, it only means the OP liked it best. On all SE sites. – nvoigt Jun 24 at 6:52
  • @nvoigt The difference between this, and say, Stack Overflow, is on SO, you check the answer, and you can verify it works. So the accepted answer in a way is verification that the answer is correct. – Gregory Currie Jun 24 at 7:10
  • I have seen answers on SO being accepted that were blatantly incorrect. The checkmark is just a checkmark. I would hope it means the OP compiled it and it worked for them as I hope here that it means the OP used the advice and it worked for them, but in reality, we have no idea what happened on the other side of the screen :( – nvoigt Jun 24 at 7:17

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