To me one of the basic principles of GIS SE (and SE more generally) is that questions which are the clearest get answered the quickest and/or most comprehensively. It is this that encourages all of us to put as much effort as we can into making them more answer-able. Naturally, those with more votes tend to float to the top and get seen by more people but the only other (and somewhat "artificial") way to get them prioritized is by setting a bounty.

However, I often see sentences within the question body like here which are what I would call statements of urgency intended to garner priority. The most extreme example that I have seen is one that went so far as to suggest that his employer's business was likely to go under without a near immediate answer.

Personally, as a volunteer, I like to think that I can use my time on the clearest and most interesting questions without being influenced by any statements of urgency.

Do you think that statements of urgency should be removed from questions as soon as they are seen, just like the help says to do for signatures and greetings?

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    Personally I tend to give posts asking for urgent help a lesser priority... Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


I believe most users do not care about statements of urgency. We are all volunteers here, hence, we are free to follow our own schedule.

If the question is very new it is ok to remove the urgency statement. However, if it is an old thread, I'd say that the edit should be more substantial.

Time sensitive questions is a Meta SE Q&A which supports your idea:

One catchy part of Oded's answer is:

Have you ever heard the saying - "poor planning on your part does not constitute an Emergency on my part."? That's the general feeling the community gets when a post asking for speed comes up.

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    I really like that quote. While part of me agrees with Stephen's comment above, generally I just don't even pay attention to the 'urgent' part. However I do find it interesting that several times I've noticed that recently, the asker doesn't come back for like three or four days (if at all) to see if any suggestions/solutions were provided or clarification requested.
    – Chris W
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 22:05
  • @ChrisW Almost as if they asked the question everywhere easily accessible and completely abandoned the given communities thereafter... I feel used.
    – Nathanus
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 16:04
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    @Nathanus Yes, I've seen questions cross-posted here and on the Esri forums. That doesn't bother me, as I can see trying every community you can think of to solve the problem. And for much the same reason the 'one question and gone' posters don't much bother me either, not nearly the way 'let me ask a bunch of stuff but otherwise not participate' (vote, accept, respond to info requests) people do. With statements of urgency though, how urgent can it be if they don't even come back to check? Unless they're not signed in doing so, and that still doesn't excuse lack response to info requests.
    – Chris W
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 18:36

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