I had a question (Does ARP work in the presence of MAC Masquerading) which got two up-votes and one following-star within two hours of its posting (indicating that people seem to have understood and liked the question itself) before being put on hold by a single vote from "RonMaupin", who appears to have spent very little time thinking through the problem.

In that time, another commenter understood the problem correctly and found the answer, but was unable to post it because the question was put on hold.

I have several comments regarding this:

Why can one person do this so quickly?

The very person who's likely to have the rep required to do this can also be the kind of person who succeeds by quantity instead of quality. Therefore, anything not trivially-answerable by this person pointless to ask because they won't spend time to understand and will instead vote-to-hold or vote-to-close.

Do you want only trivially-answerable questions?

To continue, if your goal is to only have trivially-answerable questions posed across the Stack Exchange sites, this pattern works. However, as somebody who works at the edges of many domains and sometimes faces nuanced or complicated questions, this makes the SE sites worthless; I cannot ask a complicated question without somebody like Ron coming by and closing the question or putting it on hold.

If I cannot get anything from this, why would I put anything into this?

If, seemingly no matter what I do, my questions are always worthy of somebody like Ron closing them, why would I put energy into any SE site? I look at the current questions on the front page and can easily answer about half of them. However, I'm soured enough against SE because of these people that I just don't care enough to spend the effort to do so.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ron Maupin Mod
    Mar 3, 2019 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, neither your original question, nor the edit you made to the question could be answered because we have no information on how the switch is configured to do things. I removed the part about the custom switch, which is off-topic, and I provided an answer, but nobody can answer the original question because of the missing information, nor can the part about what masquerading would do be answered. I explained at the bottom of my answer the problems inherent in your original and edited question.

There is no standard for MAC address translation the way there is for NAT and NAPT, so any answer about that would be pure speculation without more information about the switch, and speculation and guessing are off-topic for SE sites. If you could explain what the switch is and how it is configured, we could give a better answer that possibly answers all of your questions, including whether or not there will be a problem.

SE is designed for questions and answers, and unanswerable questions are put on hold, allowing the OP time to correct the question, at which time it can be reopened. This prevents answers that are pure speculation, and the site gets good questions and the OP gets a proper answer.

This is what SE says about it:

Always vote to close immediately. I explain the rationale behind this approach in further detail here.

In summary: Yes, it increases the chances that the question will be closed, but that's actually a good thing for a couple of reasons:

  1. It increases the likelihood that the user will take notice and actually fix their question in response to your suggestions. Unless you're dealing with a particularly conscientious user (and this is rare, because their questions are unlikely to be candidates to close in the first place), it's more likely that they'll ignore your comments as long as they can continue to get answers.

  2. It prevents a flood of immediate answers (arguably a symptom of the well-known "Fastest Gun in the West" problem) that are speculative at best and/or will be completely invalidated after the question is modified to turn it into a real question. Those answers don't do anyone any good, and they're best avoided if at all possible.

And no, it does not force the author to re-post his question, not immediately or ever. Even questions that have been closed can be edited by the owner. So once the question is closed, that would be an appropriate time to sit up and take notice of the helpful comments that have been provided by the close voters. And once the question has been sufficiently improved, it can be re-opened, either with the vote of 5 different users (they can be the same ones who voted to close) or the binding vote of a moderator.

If you see a user posting a second question because his first one was closed, flag and/or close the second one as a duplicate of the first and ask him to go back and edit the original question instead.

Please understand that we are trying to help you, but we need a question that can actually be answered. This site is meant to be an archive of questions and answers that can be found for future people doing research.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ron Maupin Mod
    Mar 3, 2019 at 2:31

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