36

Ever since the quality filter was turned up a notch, there has been a steady flow of quality filter support questions on MSO. A few of those were a bit puzzling, as at first read they looked like perfectly fine questions:

The main problem on each one turned out to be the title. While the specifics of the quality filter are intentionally vague, the title seems to be very important, especially after the latest tweaks. And that's a good thing, titles are very important, and SO is filled with crap titles. Apparently there is even a different error message for bad titles, but more often than not people stumble upon the generic "This post does not meet our quality standards" one.

I understand why we don't want that message to be specific, most people would only bother to fix the bare minimum if they knew exactly what was wrong. At the same time though I feel it's understandable that someone stumbling upon the error message would concentrate on the post itself, and may not even think that the problem may be the title. Especially if they've previously stumbled upon the title specific error message. If you know there's a title specific error message, why would you even bother to check your title if you are getting a different error message?

Would it be possible to add a hint to the importance of the title to the generic quality message? Something along the lines of:

This post does not meet our quality standards (your title sucks!1)

It could only be shown if the quality filter detects that the title is the main problem. Or, perhaps, when the quality filter detects a very poor title, the title specific message could be shown alongside the generic quality one.

1 That's terrible, I know. I can't think of a decent phrasing, consider this as a filler and nothing more.

  • 13
  • 2
    Without additional data it's hard to say for sure, but it seems that lots of high-quality posts get stuck in the quality filter these days. While slightly more information over what the concrete problem is would help, I think it would still just be a bandaid: the filter needs to be improved. – Joachim Sauer May 15 '13 at 7:59
  • 1
    @JoachimSauer: What's a lot? We get a handful of meta posts each week, but the filter blocks hundreds of bad questions every day. As someone said to me once: "If nobody ever complains about you on Meta, you're not moderating hard enough." – Robert Harvey May 16 '13 at 18:08
  • 4
    Even a simple change in wording such as "This post or title does not meet our quality standards" would be sufficient. I don't think that would be very hard or time-consuming to do, and it would at least direct people to check their title for problems too instead of only telling them to look at the post's contents :) – Rachel May 16 '13 at 18:12
9

A large number of factors can contribute to the "This post does not meet our quality standards." error message, many of which we intentionally do not disclose.

However, starting now, if the most problematic part of your post is the title and fixing the title would result in a passable post, then we show a title-specific error message. Likewise for the post's body.

You must log in to answer this question.

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