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Right now, yes. But...
This is one of our tougher issues. On the one hand we want some subtle nudge on users to read through existing knugs to see if their question has already been answered or to find a knug that their new question could branch from. We are also interested in cutting down on superfluous queries. But ultimately, after thinking it through, we think this is a necessary feature and there is a question box on every user's page for direct pings.
To us, it's better to have more ways for all of us to interact than fewer - within reason. If we find that our initial concerns were correct, we'll probably give users, if there's demand, the option to turn off the direct pings. We hope to never have to take features away, but we look forward to giving users more control of the features we already have while continuing to develop according to your interests and needs.
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