When reviewing a low quality post. The whole point of the review is to maintain high standard of the site. There is a gap between answers that should be deleted or just improved bit.

Low Quality Review

I can see this is not a first time user. The question has no accepted answer and was only posted today. I left a comment to the user to improve the answer, as I believe, if the answer is expanded it could become useful. I understand what the user is saying, but the user has put little effort into it or that the answer could do with some more effort.

Currently the options are:

  • Looks Good
  • Edit
  • Recommend Deletion
  • Skip

Yes I can leave a comment, but that is not guaranteeing that the post is improved.

My feature suggestion is:

I wish there was an option, eg issue for deletion if not improved. Set to a timer, if substantial edits are not made; ie >20 chars and the edited post could automatically go onto the review queue.

These post could be put on hold, like some questions are, so that there is a warning for the user and time for them to improve the post.


In this case, the comment resulted in a positive discussion and the post was improved.

Discussion about post

  • please advise if this is correctly tagged as feature request
    – user310756
    Jul 15, 2013 at 10:30
  • Are you talking about a question or an answer? I'm guessing the answer but the answer is deleted. Jul 19, 2013 at 14:47
  • @doubleDown the low quality post review.. I guess that would, usually be answers??? Are low quality posts always answers??
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 14:48
  • Ok. I got confused because George's answer only talks about questions. Jul 19, 2013 at 14:50
  • @doubleDown I am confused too now lol.. I guess a better way to word the feature is to offer an on hold for low quality posts (if they look like they can be improved.. yada yada, fit the description I gave above (even though post is probably deleted... are all low quality posts answers??
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 14:51
  • I don't understand why I got a downvote.. It's not a bad suggestion and easy to implement, and gives users opportunity to improve their posts... which is encouraged
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 14:52
  • 1
    I think flags/votes should be cast on the current form of the answer, not some future form which may or may not happen. If an answer is bad enough in its current form to be flagged, you should flag it. No timer needed. If you feel that the asker intends to improve it, a comment should be sufficient. Jul 19, 2013 at 14:54
  • There is no place to comment because the answer has been deleted by the person that posted it, presumably in response to comments left while it was open. That's how it is supposed to work. Jul 19, 2013 at 14:57
  • @GeorgeCummins I got confused, so I took a screen shot of a current review, and yes I u can comment, but that doesn't resolve the issue.. it's then up to the poster.. It's not a bad suggestion.. just like putting questions on hold
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:09
  • @Yve No, it is not a bad suggestion; it is just one that I disagree with because I think that the current tools provide everything that is needed. Your first recourse is a downvote. Even if nothing else happens after that, other visitors will see that the answer has been downvoted and recognize what that means. If the OP changes the answer, you can undo your downvote (or others can vote it up). If you feel that the question is bad enough to flag, flag it. If the OP improves it after you flag, no big deal: the flag handlers will see that. I just think that the timer is overkill. Jul 19, 2013 at 15:14
  • @GeorgeCummins It's post that has been automatically flagged (usually because it is so short). So the issue is, if we are going to have this review process, can't we make use of it to actually improve the post?? Yes, everyone says vote.. is there is a flag asking for improvement, in this case my comment worked, but not everyone replies to these. A flag sends the user a blue notification.. and they may be more motivated to improve the post, and it will motivate people to put a little more effort into their answers. Like just a line or two or explanantion
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:19
  • @Yve You may find this suggestion interesting. A moderator has asked for a "snooze" button on flags for reasons very similar to what you are asking. If implemented, this would probably exist in the diamond moderator tools. Jul 19, 2013 at 15:36
  • @GeorgeCummins yes, thank you for your input, that is a great idea, I so think it needs to have some kind of "flag" or notice over it, so the OP can be totally aware, a comment, may not be enough to alert busy users. The flag itself, could be called a "snooze"
    – user310756
    Jul 19, 2013 at 15:41
  • 1
    The blurring of usernames is a bit unnecessary, since anybody can search and find the post in question. In fact, most times it helps to include a link to the original post.
    – nickb
    Jul 24, 2013 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


Very similar to this old favorite.

It's a good idea. But it suffers from the same problem: if a post is so bad that it cannot remain on the site in its current state, then there are really only two options:

  1. Improve it by editing.
  2. Remove it.

If you can't do #1, then there is only one option. If you don't think it warrants #2, then it isn't bad enough to put a deadline on either... In which case, you have two other options:

  1. Improve it by editing.
  2. Down-vote it (this requires opening up the full question view when reviewing - you should be clicking "Looks good" shortly thereafter).

The downvote option is the one missing from the review screen. This has been debated many times, but the rationale here is simply that we're not looking to encourage pile-on downvotes for borderline posts, but simply identify the ones that are so unbearably bad they cannot be allowed to remain regardless of score.

On some sites - usually not Stack Overflow - the rules for answering are so strict that you can have a reasonable, well-written answer which must be removed anyway if not improved; there is some potential use for a postponed review system in these cases. But they are rare exceptions, limited to communities and topics where simple voting is so often broken that alone it cannot be relied on to elevate reasonable answers with any reliability.

  • When you say simple voting is so often broken, what do you mean?
    – user310756
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:50
  • 1
    @Skippy: There's a certain well-known effect on SO wherein you can get a lot of up-votes by making your answer look good - lots of explanatory text, bullet lists and other formatting... But still, if I went around to every question in java and posted well-written answers that boiled down to "you should drop that and use Ruby" or "Java, eh? Let me tell you what I think of Java based on my years of experience writing things that have no connection to what you're doing", they would probably not get an inordinate number of up-votes. There are sites where this isn't at all true.
    – Shog9
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:57
  • I think, given the number of contributors, it's probably, better just to delete and move on. There are enough poor quality posts that do not get flagged. Can I award one question the bounty and the other as answer? I like to give lower rep user the rep
    – user310756
    Jul 24, 2013 at 23:11
  • 1
    @skippy You can award your bounty any way you like, meta.stackexchange.com/q/184865/217863 (not that I'm trying to push you one way or the other)
    – apaul
    Jul 25, 2013 at 0:29
  • 1
    @apaul34208 this is a also a good post on rewarding bounties meta.stackexchange.com/a/184083/223277 and I appreciate your link.. you're not pushing, it's all good :)
    – user310756
    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:36

While I can understand the desire not to delete content that could possibly be improved or expanded on, I think that adding a timer would likely add unnecessary complication to what should be a straight forward process.

The case that you sited in your question looks like a rare exception to me. I'm sure you've posted many more comments on low quality posts to no avail, I know I have.

If an answer looks promising but needs more explanation you can always:

  • Edit in the additional information yourself.
    (be cautious when editing in additional info, it may be viewed as a radical edit, be sure to explain in detail why the changes were made in the edit comment)
  • Down-vote and/or comment, and check back in a few days.
  • Post a new answer of your own with the relevant information.

The tools needed are all there its just a matter of how involved you want to be in salvage operations.

  • I you are able to review the low quality queue then you should also have 2k rep, in which case your edit won't go into the suggested edits queue. That said it is still a good idea to leave a edit comment if you are making a substantial edit.
    – Jack
    Jul 24, 2013 at 19:36
  • I like that, the the tools are all there, it depends on how involved you want to be
    – user310756
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:51
  • 1
    @Skippy I applaud your efforts in salvaging, most people don't take the time.
    – apaul
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:55
  • @Skippy Do you find that many people respond to comments on low quality posts?
    – apaul
    Jul 24, 2013 at 22:59
  • @apaul I rarely comment, maybe 3 times, got one reply, the borderline post is infrequent
    – user310756
    Jul 24, 2013 at 23:08
  • @Skippy have you considered the auto-generated comments? like the ones found here - meta.stackexchange.com/a/190251/217863 it seems that the OP gets notification and opportunity to correct
    – apaul
    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:52
  • @apaul34208 as feature suggestion??
    – user310756
    Jul 25, 2013 at 5:01
  • @Skippy no, it just looks like when you recommend deletion in the low quality queue the system adds an automatically generated comment for you, hence the OP is notified and has the opportunity to correct. Here's another example- stackoverflow.com/a/17849045/1947286
    – apaul
    Jul 25, 2013 at 5:04
  • 1
    @skippy sure it's not mine though, google it to find the history on the quote.
    – apaul
    Jul 25, 2013 at 5:05
  • @apaul34208 not always I have been on the end of the review queue to recommend deletion and the post is deleted immediately.. mind you if, 5 people recommend deletion, then there's no point for a comment
    – user310756
    Jul 25, 2013 at 5:06
  • 1
    @Skippy true, I wonder how long on average a post sits with the auto comment before deletion though. I just clocked one at about 15-20 min
    – apaul
    Jul 25, 2013 at 5:10

You must log in to answer this question.