I just spent all my flags on answers containing the phrase "one more question". This phrase, especially when the post also contains "thanks", "thank you" or similar appears to be a good heuristic for detecting a non-answer.

Should this be added to the heuristics for detecting a bad answer? Perhaps we could detect this when an answer is posted and give them instructions telling them to ask a new question instead? Are there other phrases that are good heuristics for detecting answers that should be new questions?

  • I think we need ideas to reduce the endless tedious flag list. Aug 22 '11 at 18:32
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    @Hans: So the heuristics could maybe already jump when the asker tries to submit such an answer? "Is this really an answer, or did meant to submit a new question?" Aug 22 '11 at 18:45
  • @Paulo: That's what I meant, yes. I've edited the question to make this clearer.
    – hammar
    Aug 22 '11 at 18:48
  • Ah, I only thought about the "Low quality posts" in the review. Aug 22 '11 at 18:50
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    You have to be careful, not all the occurences of "one more questions" in the search results are indicators of non-answers. Aug 22 '11 at 18:53
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    @Hendrik, very true. For instance, Use jQuery's live(), one more question like this and I'll slay a unicorn, I swear. is perfectly legitimate IMHO. Aug 22 '11 at 19:27
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    You may want to add the phrase "one more question" as an answer to this question. Aug 22 '11 at 19:38
  • @Chris: Thanks, I was not aware of that question.
    – hammar
    Aug 22 '11 at 19:46
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    @Frédéric Hamidi: Slaying a unicorn is never perfectly legitimate. Apr 19 '12 at 21:08

This is a slippery slope. There have been many requests for system-automated checks like this, all of which can be circumvented ("One more questi0n"), all of which have failure rates ("one more question" as a phrase in a legitimate answer).

I much prefer the current system of turkey-shooting; you find a phrase that gets you a high number of non-answers, you flag all of them, your flag weight goes up, Stack gets cleaner. Sorted by a human, checked by another human. Life is good.


The problem, I think, is that the phrase is too broad. Phrases like, "one more questions you may want to consider" or the rhetorical, "one more question that this approach may raise is..." are very different from, "I have one more question."

  • Of course, any heuristic will have false positives, so we would likely not want to base any decisions on just this one, but it could well be a part of a set of heuristics which together detect that an answer is likely a non-answer.
    – hammar
    Aug 22 '11 at 19:29
  • Of course, but I still think that the phrase is too broad. Aug 22 '11 at 19:35

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