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It strikes me that situation is a word often used in a question title in which the poster has not put enough thought into titling his question; a title like "How to query this situation?" or "C++ inheritance constructor situation" is not communicative about the actual content of the post. What are the pros and cons of disallowing questions to be posted with this in the title? Should this be added to the question title filter? See this search on SO, for example.

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It's a substitute for "pr0blem." You'll never get all of these; it's like playing Whack a Mole. –  Robert Harvey Feb 4 '13 at 16:55
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It's an "issue", yes. –  Bart Feb 4 '13 at 16:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Generally, yes. Question titles like "Issue with Bagel.js" and "Question about Anaconda" or even "Deadlock situation" are quite useless. So edit them! The titles are definitely garbage, but it's very hard for a computer to identify that, and even then automatically filtering these things just results in titles using slightly munged versions of the offending word, confused users, and not actually better titles.

When you see a useless title, try and edit in a useful, descriptive comment and leave a comment suggesting the asker also takes the time to properly title their future questions.

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Spacetime Studios (STS) has managed to make a very high quality Chat filter in one of their games, which would turn analyze the chat, and censor all but the most creative filter skips. If it is possible to get a hold of their filter code (possible by asking a dev (JustG is the nicest and most likely to do so)), it would be re-workable to find other words, such as problem, situation, and any other "hot" words that don't clarify the question.

NOTE: I'm not a representative of STS, but a fairly frequent player of one of thier games, which has mastered the art of chat and text filters (and I would swear that that filter also has image detection mode as well)

Filtered word examples (not a full list by any means) MAY BE OFFENSIVE, READER DISCRETION ADVISED

F*ck, F***, F**K, fack, faack, fuuck, 8=D, extensions of the previous one, Crush The keeper -> cru** *he keeper, ect, typos, backwards, extensions, partial omissions, all ASCII characters

and the list goes on

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I am OK with a downvote or two, but if you do (or did), could you tell me what you disagree with me on, so that I can correct it? –  Grammar Feb 4 '13 at 17:25
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It wasn't my downvote, but there is genuine dissent that these filters should even exist. The choice of "problem" as a stop word is based on the frequency of its appearance in very low quality questions. Other words that mean the same thing, but do not have the same frequency of distribution, are not included in the stop word list; that, and the fact that the filter can be easily worked around, makes the title filter seem very arbitrary in its application. –  Robert Harvey Feb 4 '13 at 17:31
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All that said, given the substantial rise in quality of questions asked on Stack Overflow (in large part due to the automated filtering of things like "problem" in titles, and other filtering mechanisms), I'm inclined to give SE the benefit of the doubt. In short, I think we should leave the filter the way it is, and not try to whack every possible derivation of the word "problem." –  Robert Harvey Feb 4 '13 at 17:33

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