Since yesterday I have been seeing a series of low quality questions being asked on SO? Wasn't there some kind of a script that prevented such questions from being posted? Forgive my lack of knowledge to that effect.

But I am curious, how these got through despite a script existing. Or perhaps, I am entirely wrong in assuming there is such a script at all. In which case, this question will serve to enlighten me to that effect.

No doubt the questions listed below were eventually closed (as they should have) almost instantly. But I am still keen to know how they got through. An ex student of mine wanted to post a question a few weeks back. I was next to him when he was posting it and he had entered quite a few details about his problem with relevant code. But SO wouldn't let him to post it. But these got through.

Some Questions I Came Across:

  1. https://stackoverflow.com/q/16161411 ('Please Help Me Chosing a institute name?')
  2. https://stackoverflow.com/q/16147515 ('Do I need a google account for Download an android app')
  3. https://stackoverflow.com/q/16144835 ('Suggestions for deveoping Android App like Whats App')

EDIT: All the questions linked are removed for reasons of moderation. So they are 10K only.

Meta posts visited and read prior to posting this:

  1. Can we prevent some of the low-quality questions from entering our system?
  2. How does Stack Exchange attempt to prevent low-quality questions and answers?


Funny thing, just when I was to shutdown for lunch, I came across this question: https://stackoverflow.com/q/16163863/450534. The OP added code just to get past the filter. ;-)

  • Doesn't the answers to the meta questions you shared answer your question too ?
    – Apurv
    Apr 23, 2013 at 5:56
  • @Apurv: Actually, I was hoping they would. Hence I read them before posting. But they left me confused as to why these got through anyway. Apr 23, 2013 at 5:58
  • 7
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to cast the deciding delete vote in two of those questions. Apr 23, 2013 at 6:19
  • Another question to add to your list of "related" questions is this one: Is it time to tighten up the question quality filter? Robert mentions it in passing in his answer: the team did listen to user requests and tighten up the quality filters. But like he points out, some crap still slips by. I'm as against it as you, but I haven't noticed things getting particularly worse recently. May 29, 2013 at 5:31

2 Answers 2


I have been watching the front page on and off since the quality filters were tightened. My subjective impression is that there are fewer low-quality questions making it through. However...

The quality filters are not a panacea. All they do is look for textual patterns that are highly predictive of question failure (closure and deletion). In that sense, they are completely statistical in nature; only those things that accurately red-flag questions that are likely to fail are included in the filter.

The resulting effect is that some things which you might expect to be caught by the filter (such as not capitalizing i for example) are not always caught, because they are not sufficiently predictive of question failure.

What remains is the actual meaning of the question, and since we have yet to figure out how to get computers to divine meaning, we still need human beings to moderate such questions.

  • You mean that SE automatically creates the list of filter words from the text of closed-then-deleted questions? So all we need to do to make the filter as good as it can be is to close questions that ought to be closed?
    – Raedwald
    Mar 12, 2014 at 13:08
  • I don't know exactly how it works. I do know that it's based on statistical analysis, and there is a settable threshold.
    – user102937
    Mar 12, 2014 at 14:17

We can't create script that can stop users from making low quality posts.

But SO keeps track of the users' low quality posts and bans them from asking new questions.

Other users can flag as a low quality post and moderators can close this question.

  • 5
    Actually, the second Meta link posted in the OP has an answer that states that there is a filter applied to questions. This is a quote from it: Also, there are certain quality filters applied to questions to try to ensure a clear title, a reasonable explanation of the question and correct use of English and actual sentences. When the tests fail, the post is rejected, which seems to suggest some kind of a script. I know they (filters / scripts) cannot be fool proof, but you see why I was curious why these 3 got through despite them right? Apr 23, 2013 at 6:25

You must log in to answer this question.

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