Currently, the quality filter only asks that you have a code block before it will accept your submission of a post containing a jsFiddle link. Without a block of code, the submission is rejected with an instruction.

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter what you put in that code block, as long as at least one line of text begins with four spaces to make an indented block of code in Markdown and isn't entirely whitespace. This means as long as you have a non-whitespace code block somewhere in your post, you can submit it with a fiddle link. It doesn't have to be actual code.

You can see an example question here, with a fiddle link and a single-line code block with the text "code" (and some explanatory text that's probably not too relevant):



There are other examples off the top of my head such as



enter code here



and, well, code blocks that don't otherwise contain anything looking remotely like meaningful source code or output.

I know some users choose to work around the quality filter by posting gibberish as normal text instead of code, but that's a different issue, and one that doesn't really help users submit posts only containing fiddle links anyway.

The system already has something in place for detecting unindented code blocks, and from what I've seen it works pretty well. Would it be reasonable to use the same (or a similar) algorithm to check if a submission containing a jsFiddle link also contains a meaningful code block, so as to block at least some of the most egregious attempts at circumventing that aspect of the quality filter?

  • 3
    Do you think they'll ever learn? Just suspend them and move along. They'll figure it out eventually or give up. Either way it is a win.
    – user7116
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 17:56
  • And is \@ -> \sf\@m a meaningful code? It doesn't look so, yet it is ;) (and: codes in comments should have gray background.)
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


I think the answer here is to have good community moderation and flagging.

I can see this becoming sort of like the FrameBusterBuster problem, so any automated system will always have people try to circumvent it. With the community doing the moderating by closing, flagging, and deleting, we can keep this from happening much more sanely that the uber expensive route (have a developer code a solution).

When a user blatantly tries to get around the quality filter by doing that, I don't have much sympathy for them. In this particular case, I've left a comment for the user and deleted the question. It may seem harsh, but keep in mind that not only are they not doing their part to help people answer their question, they're also actively circumventing the system put in place to help question askers not have their question closed.

  • 6
    Hate to be that guy, but the user won't be able to access their question or see your comment in full now that you've deleted it since they don't have much rep. Not that you would care, but, you know, just so you know ;) Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 17:34
  • 1
    "...so any automated system will always have people try to circumvent it." That is so true. When you build a better mouse trap they get a better mouse.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 18:33
  • @Seth Not speaking about SO already being over-automatically-secured.
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 18:43
  • @tohecz No. I'm just saying at some point we need to stop worrying about making it "harder" and just delete or edit it already.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 18:53
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn I was under the impression that comments sent by moderators would show up in the user's inbox, regardless of whether the post was deleted. Since it's his own post, he'd then be able to see it. Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 19:36
  • @George Stocker: Yes, but if the comment is too long it won't display in full in the inbox. The question link would only lead him to a 404. Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 19:46
  • George, with less than 10K rep, one can't see deleted questions at all. Only one's own deleted answers. (You've been over 10K too long to remember?) Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 19:47

That's what the humans caring for SE are for. Anything else would require very hard AI.

OTOH, if it annoys you, flag it/edit it/ask for it to be removed.

Somebody very wise told me a long time ago: "You always have two options. You can cry, or you can laugh. Laughing is much more enjoyable."

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