Hi. If you're gonna fucking tell somebody to google (or duckduckgo or whatever) something when they ask for help, just shut the fuck up. Most people know perfectly well how to search for shit, and if they're not finding things, they'll turn to the people instead of the shitty search engines. You're insulting their intelligence, and you're making them feel shitty about needing help. Everybody starts somewhere. If you've got the knowledge, share it! Help others! Quit putting them down!

It takes time to register on forums, it takes time to post the question, it takes time to figure out how to explain the problem. And if they're going through that process, there's a good fucking chance that they've already exhausted their search options, and are probably frustrated.

So just don't. You're being an asshole and nobody whatsoever ever appreciates being told "here let me google that for you" or "go google it" or any of that. If you have the knowledge, share it. Otherwise, shut. The. Fuck. Up.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO MINORITY MATTERS, by the way. This was mostly pointed at technical questions, but i rather failed to make that clear.

If the question is about somebody's gender, orientation, ethnicity, species, etc, make do with what you find through search engines.

But if the question is technical, shut the fuck up and help, instead of telling somebody to google it. Math, science, physics, electronics/electrical, computers, etc.

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@lindsays if literally the first result on google with the exact question*as asked* on the forum shows the answer? Don't think so

@lindsays There's a corollary to that : sometimes what the questioner is missing is the right invocation, because they don't know the correct jargon to use for their problem.

In those cases, sharing a decent query that returns decent results is an acceptable strategy.

But of course, remembering that if you use google search from a logged-in user, you are getting personalised results that are not necessarily repeatable by the person asking for help.


@yojimbo results are tailored to you on google regardless of your signon status. results are affected by many things: country, other tabs, previous site, javascript state, browser, time zone. a meta search engine offers more consistency in shareable queries.

re: correction 

@nergal Very true - as well as personalisation to the logged-in identified user, there's also "pseudonalisation" based on your "appearance".

A meta search engine might be affected by the quality of its users too, though ... ?

re: correction 

@yojimbo not if it somehow randomizes its identity on each request. that random hash uniquely identifies a query but if it is a post query there is theoretically darkness where the receiver would be.

@lindsays This is great. I ask people because people have experience with things, not just information.

@c0debabe @lindsays Yes. I’m asking for real world experience with, say, a library, or I would like to have a conversation with a person.

I’m not saying I don’t end up at a search engine after spending time with the crickets most of the time, but sometimes I feel like interacting with people.


I spent two hours today searching for what "Timeout" meant in the resumption section of openssl s_client output.

@lindsays Fuck gatekeeping knowledge, all my homies hate gatekeeping knowledge.

@lindsays if I want to be told to google something, I usually ask "i'm trying to find information on X but my search terms aren't working. What search terms should I try instead?"


and it's worse if you DID google it and there were no useful results.

@lindsays Or one might be so lost as not to know what even type into to the search engine of choise.

@lindsays what i always don't get with this people or the comment culture on any other platform.
If it is not interesting to you or you think it's a really dumb question why do you take the time to comment it with an even dumber answer.

The real first question for you is not
"Is it a dumb question?"
the real question is
"Can I help?"

If you can then please do it, if you can't then maybe you can give a direction to search but if not just let it go.

@dasistdaniel @lindsays Some questions do get asked way too much though, like “Linux user here. Why should I use a BSD?”

This question comes in waves.

@lindsays What if you can google the exact thing they just asked and the answer is in the snippet of the first link that shows up?

I have children, this literally happens all the time.

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.