On numerous occasions till now, i have found posts (questions to be precise) containing unnecessary baggage at the start.

There is absolutely no need for those passages to be added. Without them being added, the question still remains very much clear and understandable. What it does is just makes the question's body very long.

If i am not wrong, questions here should precise and to the point without giving too much unwanted details.

For, example, if the post is about a Shaivite scholar's quote about Lord Shiva's various forms, then why not simply start the question from there?

Why bother to explain who the Iyers are, for example, and how they are just pseudo-Shaivites or how the word it self (viz-Shaivite) is overused nowadays?



If we keep encountering such posts again and again, can we lodge complaints for their (the unwanted portions') removal? If not, why should they be allowed?

NOTE: If someone suggests "It is not required of you to read everything that's being posted here" then that's not quite a wise suggestion.

Because one may know an answer to the question. And, from the start one can not really decide which part of the question can be avoided without missing anything relevant to the discussion. So, by default, he is being forced to read the whole stuff, however unnecessary he might feel some of it's part to be.

  • Introducing relevant points may be useful for readers; can you specify what is the actual problem or can you add some example.
    – Pandya Mod
    Dec 16, 2017 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


If I am not wrong, questions here should precise and to the point without giving too much unwanted details.

Not necessarily. In fact, questions should be long enough to show what research you have already done on this topic. This is what the Help article How do I ask a good question? says:

Search, and research

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Make it relevant to others

We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

If you find posts containing unnecessary details personally annoying, just use your voting power. Leave a comment explaining why you downvoted.

If your comment explaining the downvote is removed, then report it on meta. In the past I've noticed this trend on this site where one moderator enthusiastically removed such comments to prevent further downvotes.

Otherwise, voting is the way to go for such things. No need for a policy change or enforcement.

  • " In fact, questions should be long enough to show what research you have already done on this topic." --- Questions should be long for including unwanted stuffs? Can't agree. Here the key is unwanted material. I think some kind of violations of rights are happening when we are being forced to do so, but can't exactly say what.
    – Rickross
    Dec 18, 2017 at 17:22
  • Also down voting all such posts would have been a solution if say the no. of such posts is 10 or so. Not possible when there are plenty of such posts.
    – Rickross
    Dec 18, 2017 at 17:24
  • "Questions should be long for including unwanted stuffs" - I think it's a very subjective thing. What you see as unwanted (because you already know it as a fact?) may not be "unwanted" for another. I'd ignore the 'unwanted' stuff and focus on the question. Dec 18, 2017 at 17:39
  • What you see as unwanted (because you already know it as a fact?) " --- No i don't know it as a fact, i rather know that it is irrelevant to the current question. That's how it is unwanted and not because i already know about it.
    – Rickross
    Dec 18, 2017 at 17:41
  • "irrelevant to the current question" - Ok, in that case, downvoting is the way to go. You can even flag the question. Since you have not given specific examples in your Qn so I had to make some assumptions. Dec 18, 2017 at 17:44
  • 1
    Personal Annoyment shouldn't be the reason for a downvote. It should be due to lack of research effort or unclear posts. Will we get a downvote if someone doesn't like a post? Votes should not be given for Like or disliking the post either. We can skip the details which we know already. Dec 18, 2017 at 18:37
  • 2
    @NogShine "Personal Annoyment shouldn't be the reason for a downvote" - agree. I did not recommend downvoting. But only suggested it as a alternative to enforcing a site wide policy on what statements can be made in a question. If you find a user is repeatedly asserting his observations as facts, then a user who disagrees with those assertions may take offense to them and downvote it. If you downvote and leave a comment, maybe the user will stop making such assertions. Now it's also possible that the reader/downvoter is the one who's wrong. Not OP. Dec 18, 2017 at 20:08
  • 2
    @NogShine "Will we get a downvote if someone doesn't like a post?" - absolutely, it all depends on why a particular user doesn't like someone's post. If someone starts proselytizing in an answer to an objective question, that's a good reason to downvote. Dec 18, 2017 at 20:15
  • 1
    "If you find posts containing unnecessary details personally annoying, just use your voting power" You said to use your voting power. Aren't you suggesting downvote? DV is for wronginfo in the post. Unnecessary details depend on the user who are reading it. It seems unnecessary to one but for a new user who knows nothing about the question, they know nothing and that info would be useful. So, downvoting on one's like or dislike is not right one. hinduism.meta.stackexchange.com/a/104/5212 Dec 19, 2017 at 3:49
  • @NogShine, "Downvote" is not only for the wrong info. If a Qn or answer is badly formatted with right info or too much less or too much in excess, even in that case the post should be voted down. Once the post is formatted to proper version, the DV can be removed. Though I don't use this strategy personally, I have seen at many SE networks, and it's fair.
    – iammilind
    Dec 20, 2017 at 7:07
  • @iammilind Downvote is for unclear info and wrong information. I never know that giving excess information is a bad thing. SE actually allows us to share all the effort done. If there is a formatting problem or lack of info, they are downvoted but not for long answers or long questions. If we are downvoting them because the content is more, then there's nothing wring in the post. Long is not the same as unnecessary. Dec 20, 2017 at 7:14

I agree with the other answer, that long posts are not necessarily bad, if the content is relevant.
Below points are for the irrelevant information.

  • When the posts are too long, but discussing a very specific aspect, which will not be useful to the future visitors in general, then such posts should be voted for closure as "off topic" with appropriate reason, even though it seemingly look like related to Hinduism; In past, there was a reason in SO as "too localised"
  • When the posts are too long and discussing many aspects, then should be closed as "too broad"; This will help the OP to narrow down the post to homogeneous questions
  • When neither of above 2, but the post is simply discussing the irrelevant info or OP's own thinking, then post can be downvoted for not asking a real Qn

Here is a similar discussion from the main meta:

Since when was "Post excessively long" a flag reason, and what should I do about it?

... Likewise, posts that are long may not be bad simply because they're long. Yet, posts that are long are more likely to lack the focus that accompanies conciseness and brevity. Long posts sometimes tend to be long because they contain unnecessary information, or because they contain more than one problem.
... I suggest closing this post as too localized, since it's so specific to this person's situation and unlikely to be helpful to future visitors. However, if the asker narrows down the problem, I suggest reviewing it as a possible candidate to be reopened.

  • I agree with the other answer, that long posts are not necessarily bad, if the content is relevant." When did i even say that a Q just being long is bad? So, this line itself is unwanted.
    – Rickross
    Dec 20, 2017 at 10:35
  • @Rickross, yes you didn't say that. But since there is no example in your Qn, what you consider "too long", it becomes subjective. Of course, previously we already discussed, that you don't want to name anyone, hence no examples. Now, A long iterative Qn with all the research is good, but "how long is too long" differs person to person. Hence I ought to give an answer in meta, which is generalized. Since I didn't want to repeat what is already told by sv., the first line was put.
    – iammilind
    Dec 20, 2017 at 10:41

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