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I had a fundamental misunderstanding of what an IP was. Instead of putting it on hold, shouldn't an answer be posted describing my misunderstanding, correcting it, and then answer the question? Or are non-professionals discouraged from this site? Here is another example.

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In some cases, I would say yes, a misunderstanding should be corrected by an answer. In the case of fundamental misunderstandings, or false assumptions that form the basis of a question, we certainly have users who feel that this is automatic grounds for closure, and although I don't know that I 100% agree with that in many cases, it's probably generally appropriate.

In the case of the your specific question, I would say that the appropriate course of action was taken. Because of your misunderstanding, it's hard to really know what the question is at all, and I suspect that underneath the covers it will not turn out to be an information security question, but a basic networking question, which would be off-topic for this site in any case.

So, while I agree with you that there are cases where questions in which the poster does not understand how something works should indeed be corrected by an answer, I would suggest that is only the case when the question is clear, clearly on-topic for the site, and not overly broad.

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    An answer post being used to correct a misunderstanding is not generally going to work. Commentary describing the problem so that the OP can post a new question that correctly describes the problem is much more useful. – Rory Alsop Mar 18 '16 at 13:21
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    Exactly. I would also add that while it is perfectly legitimate to make mistakes, a basic amount of research is expected to have been done before asking the question. If the question is based on an extreme lack of basics, then it shouldn't be asked. As a rough, general rule of thumb, I tend to use "the Wikipedia article with the same name as the exact topic under question" as a general guideline for "basic research". – AviD Mar 18 '16 at 14:08
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No. Your question was confusing. Leaving it open would likely lead to answers of low quality and relevance being added to it. That doesn't help anyone.

But being up on hold isn't the same as being deleted. From the help section:

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be put on hold by experienced community members. While questions are on hold, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening.

IMO, your question needed "additional work". As I didn't see your question until after it had been closed, I'm not sure if I would have voted to close it or not. Still, I added a comment trying to explain to you what was wrong with the question. s

Assuming that you are still interested, if you edit the question so that it is not confusing, it should get reopened.

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