Yeah and so on.. we all know that kind of situations

How do we deal with this fact?

  • 1
    Do you have any concrete examples? – MechMK1 Aug 19 '19 at 11:28
  • @MechMK1 People that ask/discuss subjective things in an objective manner or even not, and also in real world situations in cases where they're not straight to the point and we have to tell them more and more. – tungsten Aug 19 '19 at 11:36

What if people ask subjective questions?

Subjective questions are generally closed as either primarily opinion-based, or as off-topic.

Examples of subjective questions would be:

  • What is the best tool to scan a network?
  • Are iPhones secure?
  • What is it like to be a professional pentester?

However, not all questions that are subjective are bad. There some good subjective questions, such as:

  • Is an exploit that requires administrative privileges to work dangerous?
  • Why do hackers use automated tools?
  • If an account can be freely created by anyone, does an exploit still technically "require privileges"?

All of these questions have some degree of subjectiveness, in the sense that there is no clear-cut yes/no line, but they inspire factual answers and a deeper understanding of the subject, rather than an "any answer is valid"-approach.

What if people keep asking for clarification?

There are several ways to deal with this. If you ask a question and a user keeps writing comments, asking for clarification, then perhaps moving this discussion to the Chat might be a good option. Real-time communication allows both parties to communicate more easily, and for a common ground to be found.

You should not assume that somebody asking for a lot of clarification is automatically a troll. It really depends on the questions:

  • What are you trying to protect yourself from? What is your threat model?
  • What do you mean by "Browser"? What is a "Computer"?

These two questions are vastly different in quality. The top one is likely an honest call for clarification, while the bottom one is most likely a troll. Feel free to flag this comment.

What about real life?

Asking how to deal with such people in real life is more on-topic in Interpersonal.SE or the Workplace.

To sum it up for those with little time:

  • Subjective questions will be closed if they are bad.
  • Good subjective questions are not a problem.
  • Use the chat if you want to discuss things.
  • Don't assume people who ask a lot act in bad faith.
  • Someone wonders how to move a discussion to chat, in real-life, good answer! thanks. – tungsten Aug 19 '19 at 12:07
  • Security Meta is not really the place to ask about real-life stuff, but if you have communication over a slow channel (e.g. e-mail), then asking for a more immediate channel (e.g. a phone call, a meeting, etc.) can be beneficial. – MechMK1 Aug 19 '19 at 13:29

If you feel you have the time and energy to help even when a longer discussion is needed, take it in chat.

If the discussion stems from the question be unclear, ask for clarifications, suggest improvements, vote to close and/or downvote. Don't answer unclear questions - doing so is a great way of gettign yourself into longwinded discussion when it turns out that alld the assumptions you made were wrong.

If the user keeps asking new follow up questions in comments all of the time, politely ask them to submit a new question instead. If the new questions are asked in edits, consider rolling back if the case is obvious or perhaps flagging for moderator attention (or am I wrong here?).

And if someone just keeps expressing opinions in comments, you can always just ignore it. After all, it takes two to tango.

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