Currently, a short, machine-identified-as-seemingly-low-quality answer is automatically converted to a comment on the question.

gbn has suggested in a comment that this be "weighted for, say, user rep". I'd like to propose that formally, so am opening this feature request. Specifically: Any user with 10000 rep or moderator should not have his short answers automatically converted to comments. Such a user recognizes what makes a good answer and what doesn't, and if he decides it should be an answer then that should be weighted more than the autodetector. (Of course, the answers could still be moderator-converted.)

  • I thought this must have been proposed before, but apparently not. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:16
  • 9
    What makes you think that high rep users and mods don't have answers that should be comments? – Taryn Apr 9 '13 at 18:18
  • @bluefeet, hopefully they recognize what makes a good answer and what doesn't, and if they decide it should be an answer then that should be weighted more than the autodetector. I've edited the rationale into my question; thanks for making me clarify. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:19
  • 5
    So, it's OK for mods and higher rep users to be lazy. Thanks ;) – Oded Apr 9 '13 at 18:20
  • 2
    @msh210 Unfortunately that line of reasoning doesn't always hold up in practice. – Adam Lear Apr 9 '13 at 18:20
  • So if a 10K user/mods posts a link-only answer it should stay because "they recognize what makes a good answer and what doesn't" – Hugo Dozois Apr 9 '13 at 18:21
  • @HugoDozois, it shouldn't be autoconverted. It could still be edited or mod-converted. The theory is that such a user wouldn't normally be posting such an answer. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:22
  • 3
    I'm not sure about this one... can you give examples of posts that currently qualify for auto-conversion that shouldn't be auto-converted? And, for that matter, why wouldn't we just upgrade the detector to allow "good" short answers from everyone while continuing to restrict "bad" short answers from everyone as well? I don't see how rep comes into play here, I guess. – Pops Apr 9 '13 at 18:22
  • @PopularDemand, for examples see meta.stackexchange.com/a/99096. I don't know how well a script can tell good from bad answers. I suspect very badly. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:23
  • Hmm, okay, I see where you're coming from now. I'm still not 100% on board -- I suspect that your example is the edge case, not the common one -- but have an upvote for an interesting proposal. – Pops Apr 9 '13 at 18:30

High reputation users still post crappy one-line answers instead of closing as a duplicate as they should do. The auto-conversion does its job pretty well in most cases, though there are certainly some tweaks that could be made.

The only time I ever ran into it was on a per-site meta, where a short answer with a link to the canonical answer on Meta.SO would be a complete answer. On the main sites the script seems to work well in my observation.

The user experience when you get a post converted could also be better, but maybe that has improved in the mean time. The only time I ran into this, I posted my answer twice until I noticed that it was converted into a comment.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Well, this proposal doesn't seem very popular (at the moment, judging by the comments, answers, and votes). Perhaps I'll post a duplicate of it, but restricting to per-site metas (and maybe mods), then. That's where I've noticed it, also. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:28
  • @msh210 I don't think exception based on user rep or mod-status are useful, but eliminating some corner cases makes sense in my opinion. It is a pretty bad user experience if such a conversion is triggered in an inappropriate case. – Mad Scientist Apr 9 '13 at 18:29
  • Well, on the per-site metas, the mods sort of interface between MSO and the users to some extent... so it may make sense for mods to be exempt. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:30
  • 3
    @msh210 I hit the autoconversion on a site where I'm not a mod, regular users also often link MSO posts. Making exceptions for mods makes a lot of sense in many cases, but I don't think we mods should be exempt from the basic quality criteria for posts, as that could set a bad example. – Mad Scientist Apr 9 '13 at 18:32


And here's why:

enter image description here

Higher rep users make mistakes too.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    Everyone errs sometimes and, as you demonstrate here, 10K users are likely to catch and fix it themselves. This example is support for my proposition. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:25
  • @msh210 And what if they don't catch it? – user206222 Apr 9 '13 at 18:34
  • @Telthien What if anyone doesn't catch anything? Lots of likely-poor-quality posts are not autoconverted: they get flagged. Only a specific set of likely-poor-quality posts are autoconverted, and I was proposing that that set be made a little smaller. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:36
  • 2
    @msh210 Ah, but as you can see in my example, the poor quality answer was not autoconverted. Perhaps that set should be made a little larger instead? – yannis Apr 9 '13 at 18:38
  • @msh210 You've gone from "What if one person doesn't catch one thing?" to "What if nobody catches anything?" – user206222 Apr 9 '13 at 18:39
  • @Yannis, :-) perhaps. See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/175849/…. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:39
  • @Telthien, no I said "doesn't catch anything" meaning there's something else not caught, not meaning nothing else is caught. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:40
  • @msh210 Of course there will be. No automatic system is perfect. But, would you rather have some or none caught? – user206222 Apr 9 '13 at 18:41
  • @Telthien, I'd rather have the ones caught that really are low in quality. I think that's what everyone wants. My proposal is/was an attempt to approximate that more closely. – msh210 Apr 9 '13 at 18:45
  • 1
    This should really have been a comment – PeeHaa Apr 9 '13 at 19:19

You must log in to answer this question.

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