Lately I've noticed that in some groups the quality of the questions have dropped significantly or are in general pretty low. A lot of these questions are closed, and the amount of closed questions are becoming rather annoying. Most of these questions have one thing in common; they are asked by new users that obviously have not read the available information on asking questions. Take a look at the facebook group for instance where in this specific moment of time 20% of the 50 most recent questions are marked as closed, and where all except 1 were asked by new users with a reputation of 1.

I'd like to see some kind of an approval system for questions asked by new users, or even for experienced users that have never asked a question before. A system where the first 3 questions or so have to be reviewed and approved by more experienced users before being published on the site. Once a user has at least 3 approved questions and an approval rating of at least 75%, the user's questions will no longer have to go through the approval system.

Is anything like this planned for the future?

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    That's quite a wall you are proposing to put up in front of new users. Don't you think this might discourage users from even posting? "Your question will have to be reviewed by X users and may take up to Y hours to appear on the site"... – Lix Jun 23 '13 at 11:00
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    I totally get your frustration though, you can see from my Stack Overflow account that I'm quite active on the FB tags and I can definitely confirm that there is a lot of junk questions posted there.. However, these posts get closed & deleted really fast. Just cast your down/close vote and move onto a different post. – Lix Jun 23 '13 at 11:01
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    This already exists. It's called the First Posts review queue. – Danny Beckett Jun 23 '13 at 11:04
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    @dan - those posts still appear on the main site while they are in the review queue. The suggestion here is to hide the posts until they have been reviewed and have left that queue. – Lix Jun 23 '13 at 11:05
  • @Lix - Yes, that's the core of my proposal. It's true that some low quality questions that have been closed also get deleted eventually, but not all, and if you're an active follower of a group you will waste quite some time reading junk. This is the problem I would like us to address or we risk getting less active users (I'm afraid people will get sick of this and abondon groups) and overall lower quality. – Daniel Hedberg Jun 23 '13 at 12:02
  • I totally agree. Regular users have to plough through a lot of nonsense to find a valid new question (if there is one). There is just a ton of noise waisting a lot of people's time. Some claim this would up the threshold for new users, I say it it will be more discouraging to them to have their question closed than it would be to not have it approved in the first place. There should be a threshold. – Martin Maat Jul 28 '19 at 19:54

The Stack Exchange system puts restrictions on posts later, and IMO this works. Posts by new users go to the First posts queue, for review. Also, the "close" feature exists as a temporary pit-stop for bad questions -- if a question is not up to par, it gets closed (put on hold), with details on how to fix it. In this state the question cannot gather answers. If it is indeed fixed, it can easily get reopened.

IMO, if someone posts a bad question, it's better if it is first out there -- where a large portion of the community can see it, comment on it, edit it, and possibly vote to close -- rather than being holed up in some queue where only a couple of reviewers will see it for the first few minutes.

Plus, if you ask good questions, SO has a reputation of getting you answers within 5 minutes. Putting hurdles in front of the user will diminish that reputation.

  • I am aware of the first posts queue but it seems like there is room for improvements. I just checked the facebook group and of the 50 most recent questions, 10 have been closed (but not deleted). 9 of these are questions from new users with a reputation of 1. I know it's my personal opinion, but I think it's annoying that so many junk questions make it to the public. – Daniel Hedberg Jun 23 '13 at 17:29
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    Unfortunately, the FP review queue suffers from robo-approvers. Consider stackoverflow.com/questions/17263934/… which someones approved. – Rosinante Jun 23 '13 at 18:30
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    @Rosinante ...and so will any other queue that is proposed. I think it's far better to let the community see the post rather than pipe it through an unreliable queue (that determines the fate of the q) controlled by robo reviewers. – Manishearth Jun 23 '13 at 18:40
  • Apparently the FP queue is not adequately honey-potted. – Rosinante Jun 23 '13 at 18:41
  • "and IMO this works" - well this obviously doesn't work. The close votes queue is HUGE :) – BartoszKP Jan 6 '14 at 18:45
  • This works for Stack Exchange. It doesn't work for StackOverflow specifically, due to differing incentives – DVK May 8 '14 at 1:38

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