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What can I do when getting “It does not meet our quality standards”?

I tried to ask a very simple question on Scifi.SE: “In Star Trek, what does EPS stand for?”

I was greeted with the error message:

Oops! Your question couldn't be submitted because:

It does not meet our quality standards.

Notice the extreme unhelpfulness of the message. It doesn’t tell me what I did wrong, nor how to fix it.

To post my question, I had to inflate the post with redundant text, reducing the quality.

  • 4
    What did you enter as text of the question, when it has been rejected? What is the link to your question?
    – apaderno
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:25
  • The text of the question is already in the post. The link is irrelevant, but if you’re curious I’m sure there’s enough information here for you to find it.
    – Timwi
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:28
  • 4
    Link to question on Sci-Fi.SE. I'm guessing that the question text was just In Star Trek, what does EPS stand for?.
    – tombull89
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:28
  • The link is relevant to understand what you define as "redundant text that reduces the quality."
    – apaderno
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:35
  • 2
    I see nothing wrong with the quality of the question in its current form. You could perhaps consolidate the first two statements, but the third statement has added context that your original attempted question did not. Sounds like the system worked.
    – David
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:54
  • @David: Actually no, the third statement was already in the first version which was deemed to not meet the “quality standards”.
    – Timwi
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


It looks like quality filter was trying to hint you that your question is, well, not of very high quality indeed.


Trial web search for text rejected by filter gives a pretty strong indication that question does not show even minimal research effort. The answer (Electro Plasma System) is displayed at the very first page of search results; one doesn't even need to follow the links to find it out.

PS. I also wonder where did you get the idea about reduced quality. I mean, I went to Sci-Fi to look at the inflated version of your question - because I was really curious to see what could be worse than ^[.!?]* what does ^[.!?]* stand for[.?]*.

To my surprise I discovered that the way it is stated now your question just looks good to me (except for duplicate abbreviation EPS but that's minor).

  • You may say thousand times that inflated version asks the same question as rejected, but this won't change the fact that looking at original text I felt nothing except a desire to downvote while current one would rather make me look for an answer.
    To me, the changes you made don't qualify as quality reduction - rather opposite.
  • 7
    I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. That questions which google can answer shouldn’t be posted? We’ve been through this multiple times and the concensus is that such questions should still be welcome.
    – Timwi
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 16:44
  • 2
    I can't speak for gnat, but (without commenting on whether it was actually a good question or not) I think what he's trying to say is that questions which can be trivially answered by Google are not the kind of thing Stack Exchange sites are meant for. If you can copy and paste the text of the question into Google and the first page of results includes one that clearly answers your question, that counts as "trivially answered." Even more so if you don't even have to click on the link.
    – David Z
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 18:40
  • 3
    @Timwi trial web search for text rejected by filter gives a pretty strong indication that question lacks even minimal research effort
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:22
  • So the StackExchange site did a Google search, found the answer, determined it was trivial, and reported "[This question] does not meet our quality standards?" Why not tell the asker the answer too? Seems like the system ought to make trivial answers easier to find without burdening everyone with another question. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:26
  • Fair enough - the system could have said: "Thanks for the question, here is your answer: [link to google results]" - then not posted the question to the site. Definitely would have been more helpful to the user. In a perfect world, the user would have used Google themselves, but they didn't, they used SX. We can get into the good and bad of that, but the bottom line here is that if the "quality" system is trying to avoid having an easily answered question posted, then it has failed in this case despite the effort. Giving the link to the "answer" would have made it successful.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:34
  • 5
    @Jon: that's not what happened. The "quality checker" is a very simple set of tests; there are a handful of false positives, but usually the rejections fall into one of: abysmal spelling, simple one-liner, forgot to include any details about the problem.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:34
  • @JonEricson well given what I learned about quality filter so far, something like "Google searchability" heuristic check wouldn't surprise me. I would be interested to learn more about their magic but I also perfectly understand why they say "Exact details about the algorithm are not being released by the team"
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:36
  • @Shog9: Slam that text into the error message and at least the user has the information to know what they might have done wrong. (As an aside, I'm very annoyed with Stack Exchange today, which might be a sign I should do something else.) Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:39
  • 5
    @Jon: you're probably not going to be any happier then, when I tell you that one of the primary goals of the filter is to drive away folks who can't figure out how to bypass it. Again, there are a few false positives, but the vast, vast majority of questions rejected are complete and utter trash - the classic, "I've stumbled upon a text-entry form while drifting across the 'Net, and shall now type something into it" set of submissions.
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:43
  • @Shog9: That's a fine goal for fresh-off-the-street users. The OP doesn't fit that profile, however. They are already a part of the system and deserve to be treated like a proper user, not "some random person on the internet". Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:48
  • @Jon: that's not entirely unreasonable; feel free to suggest it. Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/108815/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:51
  • @gnat I can't count how many times i entered a question in a google and the first search result led me to a page where somebody answered "just google it before asking". Never tell people to "google first" on dedicated Q&A site, because there is a good chance that google will start showing this question high in its results later.
    – Youda008
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 9:53

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