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So, the guys over in Charcoal HQ have been working on a Smoke Detector that detects potential spam so it can be flagged quicker.

One thing that has been noticed is the number of posts that get raised with an all-caps title. Here are some examples of things that have come through so far today - all three of these posts still exist because they're not actually spam, but they do have titles in all caps

[ SmokeDetector ] All-caps title: INSTALLING WINDOWS PROGRAMS AND LEXMARK X4650 PRINTER

[ SmokeDetector ] All-caps title: CAN NOT MAKE A BOOTABLE UBUNTU ISO IMAGE

[ SmokeDetector ] All-caps title: SNORT NOT SHOWING DROPPED/BLOCKED PACKETS

Would it be possible to add something into the quality filter that advises users against typing out their titles in all caps?

  • 6
    WE'RE TALKING ABOUT JUST TITLES, RIGHT? THERE'S A USE CASE FOR QUESTION AND ANSWER BODIES TO BE MAJORITY-CAPITALS. OTHER THAN LOTS OF YELLING, I MEAN. IF SO, I'M ALL FOR IT. MAYBE COMMENTS, TOO. MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA, YOU NEVER KNOW. – Charles Feb 6 '14 at 8:26
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    WELL I SUPPOSE IT'S PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA TO DO COMMENTS AS WELL, BUT I FIGURED FOR LIKE STACKOVERFLOW THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT A LEGITIMATE POST COULD BE MADE IN TERMS OF QUESTIONS WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE POST IS CAPITAL LETTERS AND NUMBERS (DUE TO ERROR MESSAGES AND WHATNOT)! – Flyk Feb 6 '14 at 8:28
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    NOT REALLY MUCH OF A DUPE BECAUSE THIS IS EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT TITLES. AS NOTED IN THE TOP ANSWER THERE, ALL-CAPS BODIES AREN'T TOO HORRIBLY COMMON. I DO SEE ALL-CAPS TITLES A FEW TIMES A DAY... ALSO COME ON MAN WHERE ARE THE CAPS GET WITH IT. – Charles Feb 6 '14 at 8:31
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    WHY ARE YOU ALL WHISPERING SO MUCH? DON'T YOU WANT PEOPLE TO HEAR YOU? – Tim Post Feb 6 '14 at 8:34
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    I THINK THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA. HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO EXPRESS THE URGENCY OF MY PROBLEM IF IT DOESN'T STAND OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB? I PROPOSE WE ONLY IMPLEMENT THIS IF WE ALSO GET <BLINK></BLINK> TAGS AS COMPENSATION FOR OUR LOSS – jmac Feb 6 '14 at 8:35
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    Well, that escalated quickly. – Flyk Feb 6 '14 at 8:35
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    THIS IS ABOUT AN ADJUSTMENT TO THE QUALITY FILTERS NOT SO MUCH JUST BLOCKING BUT JUGGLING HOW A SCORE IS RENDERED I DON'T THINK THIS IS REALLY A DUPLICATE THOUGH IT IS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR AND TOUCHING ON THE SAME GROUND. – Tim Post Feb 6 '14 at 8:35
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    I'M RATHER TEMPTED TO SUGGEST AN EDIT CHANGING THE TITLE TO ALL CAPS – Ral Zarek Feb 6 '14 at 8:43
  • 1
    VOTE RETRACTED – ShaWiz Feb 6 '14 at 9:09
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    STOP YELLING Y'ALL! Regarding the point brought up about expressing urgency, I think this is pretty subjective, what is urgent to one isn't quite important to all of us, and remember, reading lower-case (Sentence case) is proven to be the easiest to humans... well, humans only, not monkeys :) – Ayyash Feb 6 '14 at 9:43
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    @Ayyash SPEAK FOR YOURSELF HOOMAN! (though you might need to glance at my profile picture) – Tim Post Feb 6 '14 at 9:59
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    @Ayyash: I THINK THE POINT ABOUT URGENCY WAS A MERE JOKE! THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO BELIEVE THAT EXPRESSING URGENCY WITH ALL-CAPS ON THE INTERNET IS SOMETHING THAT WORKS! ... ALSO IF YOU'D EXCUSE ME, I NOW NEED TO BURN MY KEYBOARD AND HANDS FOR WRITING THIS! – Time Traveling Bobby Feb 6 '14 at 13:08
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    @everyone ur caps r on, btw – Bill the Lizard Feb 6 '14 at 13:21
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    @BilltheLizard: Never, ever, tell people about the caps lock key! ... I think that should be first rule of The Internet or something. – Time Traveling Bobby Feb 6 '14 at 13:25
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    That's no monkey, @TimPost. That's an ape. – TRiG is Timothy Richard Green Feb 6 '14 at 14:44
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+50

I suppose the concern with adding an all-caps quality filter would be whether any legitimate all-caps titles could be removed. To check whether this was the case, I pulled together quick StackExchange Data Explorer queries to find all the questions with all-caps titles on StackOverflow (2,010 total results), CrossValidated (3 total results), and Mathematics (13 results).

The vast majority of these questions were examples like the one in the question, where somebody got overzealous with the shift key. Other than that, it's basically just code or mathematical expressions in titles.

SQL: … WHERE X IN (SELECT Y FROM …)

SELECT * FROM TABLE WHERE 1 = 2

INSERT INTO … VALUES (…) WHERE NOT EXISTS (…)

1 %% 0.1 = 0.1 AND 1 %% 0.2 = 0.2?

(A <-> B) -> A = B?

P(Y >84 | Y > 72) =?

CP(2) = SU(3)/U(2)?

A - (B-C) = (A-B) ∪ (A ∩ B ∩ C)

Given that none of these appear to be particularly high-quality titles, this seems like a great filter to add!

  • 5
    Do any of those resemble good question titles? – user213963 Aug 20 '15 at 13:50
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    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ The given examples are awful titles, and the site would be better off without them. We strongly discourage formula-only titles. "A - (B-C) = (A-B) ∪ (A ∩ B ∩ C)" is not searchable. Something like "Express nested set difference in terms of unions and intersections" would be way better. – user259867 Aug 21 '15 at 1:41
  • @NormalHuman oh... I thought the last one was legit... but yeah I guess it wouldn't be searchable! :/ deletes comment and runs – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Aug 21 '15 at 9:22
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Wouldn't that just lead to titles like:

URGENT - HOMEWORK DO NOW !!! FIX MY CODE ok???

Is A - (B-C) = (A-B) ∪ (A ∩ B ∩ C)

How SQL: … WHERE X IN (SELECT Y FROM …)

cODE NOT WORKING
  • NO, BECAUSE IT WILL BE PERCENTILE BASED, SOMETHING LIKE "IF 50% IS ALL CAPS" – Braiam Aug 21 '15 at 15:18
  • oKaY tHaT mAkEs SeNsE – Glenn Teitelbaum Aug 21 '15 at 15:23
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    Every filter can be worked around, as spammers demonstrate to us daily. The message would have some effect on people who honestly think that formatting titles in all caps is how it should be done. – user259867 Aug 21 '15 at 16:18
  • @NormalHuman yes, I agree. Just wanted to see if thought was given to percent vs ALL caps – Glenn Teitelbaum Aug 21 '15 at 16:21

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