I thought the Twitter bots were only supposed to tweet "interesting" questions. This one has a down-vote, (probably worth noting the down-vote happened after the tweet) two close-votes, very low up-front quality, and has been flagged at least once. It's essentially spam, and has also been duplicated by this anonymous user on Unix, Web Applications and Server Fault, as well as in an answer to another thread on Security.

https://twitter.com/#!/StackSecurity/status/78694162056228864

Screenshot of question around time of tweet:

Low-quality question.

Screenshot of tweet:

Tweet

This is not at all an "interesting" question, except that it is one to which moderators should be quickly alerted. It is definitely not an example of one that we would like to see posted by a Stack Exchange Twitter account.

So, what is the threshold and how did this one trigger it?

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5  
+1, we've got to stop publishing at the general twitter quality... –  davidsleeps Jun 9 '11 at 5:45
    
It was also on Server Fault, but they already deleted it (we just deleted it on Unix too) –  Michael Mrozek Jun 9 '11 at 5:48
    
@MichaelMrozek - Thanks. Added SF to the OP. –  Iszi Jun 9 '11 at 5:53
    
a great comment to the question as well...that is of high quality. –  davidsleeps Jun 9 '11 at 5:57
    
Oh yes it is. It is a very interesting question. That twitter bot knew what it was doing. –  trutheality Jun 9 '11 at 7:15
    
I can't see any of the deleted content, but my guess is very high view or vote velocity -- the weighting to select questions for tweeting probably should be rebalanced a bit. –  Jon Seigel Jun 9 '11 at 16:42
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

This was a bad outlier in our "hot" algorithm of things to tweet due to views in a short time period. To fix this in the future, we've added an additional check:

  • The question score must now be >= 1 to get tweeted.
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2  
I would suggest raising the threshold even more - if a good question gets a lot of views in a short time, it's bound to get a lot of upvotes as well. –  Pëkka Jun 10 '11 at 11:25
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@Pekka's - remember the algorithm runs for many sites, including very small ones, so we need a general scaling algorithm, the point isn't really >=1, but != 0, to filter out the "meh" questions –  Nick Craver Jun 10 '11 at 11:30
    
Thank you for addressing the problem, but this does not answer the "what is the threshold" question. I'd also suggest adding a check for pending close votes or flags, if there isn't already one. –  Iszi Jun 10 '11 at 15:11
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