The “very low quality” flag, on questions, is vague. It means “do something”, and that’s not helpful. I think it’s pretty well covered by the variety of flaggable close reasons/an actual close vote, and “other”. It’s rarely helpful when a question “needs” to be closed faster, but an edit dismisses it.

Can we get rid of it please?

  • 15
    Like those vague "should be migrated to another site" flags that make me ask "What site?"
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 2:52
  • 6
    If people vote like they should then there would be no need for the VLQ flag.
    – slugster
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 4:42
  • @JanDvorak This looks like off-topic questions. And maybe spam. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:44
  • @dystroy shouldn't they be deleted (quick, ideally)? Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:45
  • yes, but "low quality" sounds wrong for them. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:48
  • 1
    What as, then? I have been told not to flag as spam if it isn't technically spam and it's not literally offensive either. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:49
  • 2
    Martijn, who knows much better SO and meta than me, said to flag as "other". Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:50
  • 1
    okay then. I was still hoping for the six-flag effect Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 6:51
  • 4
    Pardon me while I go create a whole lot of sock puppets to up vote this. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 14:04
  • 8
    @JanDvorak Speaking as a CS mod: if it quacks like an astroturfer and it walks like an astroturfer, it's spam, even if the spammer somehow never gets around to posting his answer. Basically, VLQ is “this post should be destroyed post-haste”, spam/offensive is “this account should be destroyed post-haste”. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


I would like the SE team to look at the metrics on the numbers of declined VLQ flags on posts. -- I rarely find myself marking them helpful if we keep a stricter definition of VLQ.

It should either be removed as an option, or some text should be added that makes it clear that the post needs to be gone:

very low quality: This post is not salvageable; it should be deleted immediately.


Per my observations through recent months, tightened quality filter (1, 2) has made VLQ questions very rare birds at Stack Overflow and at Programmers.

  • When "eligible" posts are as rare, having flag for these could do more harm than good. Flagging the right way is a skill that needs practice and flagger who had not seen true VLQ questions for weeks or even months, is at risk of misusing the flag, casting it wrong.

Asker has to try real hard to make a post that would both 1) look like unsalvageable through editing and 2) pass the filter with its current settings. These two "criteria" almost exclude each other.

For the sake of completeness, I think that before dropping this flag for questions it would make sense to study questions flagged VLQ at sites that may have lower settings of quality filter.

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