What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 131 Stack Exchange communities.

Should first draft questions that are bad from the start be flagged immediately or should time be allowed for them to be improved, according to comments?

You can obviously tell a bad question from a good one from the get go, but sometimes there are questions where the OP wasn't quite clear and could maybe give some more information. How quick should one be to pull the trigger on a flag?

I only ask because I usually flag immediately and by the time a moderator gets to my flag, the question is nice and spruced up.

share|improve this question
    
Related: How soon should I vote to close? –  Josh Caswell Apr 25 '13 at 18:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

If a question meets the criteria for being flagged you should flag it right away, no matter what. If it's appropriate in context for the OP to be given an opportunity to edit the post into appropriate shape then that will be taken care of when the flag is handled.

If the question meets criteria for being closed, and that's the reason for the flag, remember that closing is not at all the same as deleting. Closed questions can be (and are very much encouraged to be) edited and then reopened. You shouldn't leave a close worthy question open to give it time to be edited. Being in a closed state is itself the way of allowing it to be edited while preventing low-quality answers until the editing is done.

In the case of spam, insults, abusive language, etc. it's generally safe to assume the OP isn't exactly planning to fix the issue, and it's important to get the attention of a mod ASAP.

If it's for any custom reason it's generally something that can't be fixed through just editing, which is why you're flagging it to begin with.

share|improve this answer
4  
That makes sense. They are given an infinite amount of time to post the question and have a clear set of guidelines before even posting. –  ChristopherW Apr 25 '13 at 16:06

...but sometimes there are questions where the OP wasn't quite clear and could maybe give some more information...

Comments are a great way to ask the OP for clarification. The fact that something isn't crystal clear to you doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad question, and a thoughtful comment from you will help everyone without the need for flagging, closing, etc.

Downvoting is another good alternative to flagging -- indeed, "unclear" is one of the stated criteria for a downvote. You can always reverse a downvote if the question is revised. Used together, votes and comments are an effective means to get the OP to improve the question.

I usually flag immediately and by the time a moderator gets to my flag, the question is nice and spruced up.

Learn from that experience. If clarity or missing details are the only problem with a question, use comments and/or your vote to nudge the OP toward a better question and better answers. Let the question evolve for a bit before you contribute to closing the question.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .