Recently, I have seen 2 questions here where the underlying assumptions made the question hard to answer. In both cases, there is no reason given for the assumption(s) that was/were made in the question. The first one was closed, the second is still open.
How can I be safe around drunk people?
This question was closed as 'unclear what you're asking'. Judging from the comment thread, there was some debate on the underlying assumption: That drunk people were dangerous. There were comments stating that this underlying assumption was wrong and that this would make the question less answerable, and there were comments asking for clarification as to how the OP got to his assumption (that were never answered).
How can you answer a question that starts with a wrong assumption?
This question is based on a very skewed opinion of people who drink. This question cannot be answered with a solution to his problem, but with a solution to his assumption that a problem may come up. A question rephrasing is definitely in place. The fact that OP thinks public schools teach you how to do "alcohol things" is proof to this.
But you seem to have a lot of misplaced apprehensions. A work event like that generally doesn't end with people being falling-down drunk... it's usually just people having a couple of beers and socializing. Most people leave buzzed, not even normal "drunk". What have your coworkers done that makes you think this is a "scary" situation?
How do I get a person selling newspapers at a subway station to stop approaching me?
This question seems to suffer from the same problems as the one mentioned above and has sparked a debate on the underlying assumption that the street vendor approaching the OP is dangerous. There have been comments asking for proof that this person is indeed dangerous:
And I have a few questions: What makes this person creepy-looking? How would you know what the cops would say, if you never called the cops on him? How did he get aggressive? Verbally or physically? How does he look like a cunning criminal type? What signs are there on the outside, that are bothering you? What did this person do, after you refused the high-five and said "have a nice day" instead? How are the acid attacks related to your fear of this person?
OP offers as a general answer to all these questions:
Look I have my perceptions, plus there is cultural background too
And some comments to answers (also stated by OP):
Often people are told to follow their gut to avoid being victim of crime (especially told to victim AFTER the crime)
I'm 2nd generation American from India, and I'm constantly seeing what is going on there (and it's not getting better!). And the family I live with are from that environment and have seen things in life no one should ever be exposed to.
OP is not really offering much help on why she feels this particular person is a threat to her, and scares her so much. Just like the question assuming that all drunk people are dangerous, this question is assuming that this street vendor is dangerous, without giving any real evidence to base that assumption on.
As for now (24th of September, 18:48 CET time) this question has only three close votes: 1 for unclear what you're asking and 2 for primarily opinion based.
My question here is:
- Should there be a difference in how we treat these two questions?
- If yes, what makes them different enough from each other to warrant different treatment?
- If we should close questions like this, what is the recommended reason?