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See this post, which I think is a low quality one but wasn't prevented from being posted.

Given that it's a question shouldn't it have at least one question mark?

So, should the quality filter take into account the lack of a question mark?

My only worry this catching people whose grammar is generally poor; but then we already do things like not liking proper casing etc.

See this query for some data, which might indicate a correlation between good questions and the presence of a question mark (I do see that the difference could be considered slight, although I've not analysed score differences for what we believe to be currently included in the filters to determine whether they are too slight or not). Also note that this would include a question mark as part of code which further muddies the water.

Count  ,Sum    ,FavoriteCount,AverageScore ,AverageFavoriteCount,QuestionMark
1017086,932969 , 328823      ,0.91729607919,0.32329911138       ,0
3826947,6565454,2220523      ,1.71558529553,0.58023353864       ,1

       SUM(Score) as [Sum],
       SUM(FavoriteCount) as FavoriteCount,
       CAST(SUM(Score) AS decimal) / COUNT(*) AS AverageScore,
       CAST(SUM(FavoriteCount) AS decimal) / COUNT(*) AS AverageFavoriteCount,
       CASE WHEN BODY LIKE '%?%' OR Title Like '%?%' THEN 1 ELSE 0 END AS QuestionMark
FROM Posts
WHERE PostTypeId = 1
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Note that I don't know if this is already part of the score calculation so if so just close or whatever. :) –  George Duckett Apr 17 '13 at 9:26
disagree!!!!!!! –  Zaheer Ahmed Apr 17 '13 at 9:33
Pretty sure this has been asked before, and declined. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 17 '13 at 9:33
They did try to force this at one point, maybe it was only experimentally so either here or on SO; either way, it was inexplicably awful and in no way helpful, indeed, the opposite. –  Grant Thomas Apr 17 '13 at 9:35
@BoltClock'saUnicorn: Indeed, but I was not (yet) able to find the older post. –  Martijn Pieters Apr 17 '13 at 9:36
@BoltClock'saUnicorn This was implemented, at some point. –  Grant Thomas Apr 17 '13 at 9:38
Edited title to reflect that I didn't mean ban questions with no ?, only that it could be in the calculation. –  George Duckett Apr 17 '13 at 9:46
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I doubt forcing a question mark is going to make any bit of difference, certainly not if it is a hard criteria. Plenty of high quality questions lack a question mark, I'd hate to see those rejected on a simple piece of punctuation.

For example, should this question be rejected purely on the lack of question marks anywhere in the title or body text?

It may be part of the low-quality score calculation already, but I doubt that the devs will ever let us know if that is the case. The filter internals are deliberately kept secret.

share|improve this answer
I didn't mean banning questions with no question mark, simply that it could be criteria as part of the filter (I see that my un-edited post did read like I wanted them banned though). Regarding the linked question, there are always going to be good ones that fail some filter tests and some bad ones that pass them. That question could very easily be changed to be a question. See my edit for some data. –  George Duckett Apr 17 '13 at 10:05
@GeorgeDuckett: Your query unfortunately does not (and can not) include deleted posts, nor can it include posts that have been rejected by the filter already. As such, your numbers will be schewed towards questions that have already survived the quality filters we have in place. :-) –  Martijn Pieters Apr 17 '13 at 10:07
Ahh, good point. –  George Duckett Apr 17 '13 at 10:09
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