One of the possible flags for a question is:

it is very low quality

This question has severe formatting or content problems. This question is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

If I am not fully mistaken, flagging a question such adds it to the queue for low-quality posts, where the reviewer can select one of the following:

  • Looks OK if nothing is wrong with this question
  • Edit if you can fix all the problems with this question
  • Recommend Close to recommend that this question be closed
  • Skip if you are not sure and want to go to the next item

Ignoring the somewhat misleading help text for now, Looks OK and Edit are for questions that should stay open (but are possibly badly asked questions) and Recommend Close brings up the regular close dialogue, which contains the usual suspects, none of which is very low quality.

Now, to most low-quality questions one of the close reasons (duplicate, off-topic, unclear, too broad, opinion-based) applies. But all of these are directly available for flagging anyway; so there would not be any reason to take the long way via the low-quality queue.

If we suppose questions exist which should be flagged very low quality but to which no close reasons apply (which is debatable): What should a reviewer do with them? Recommend Close is wrong per definition and if Looks OK and Edit are correct, the whole flag was pointless.

To summarise

  • If questions exist, which are low quality but should not be voted to close: What should a reviewer do with them?
  • If such questions do not exist: Why the low-quality flag? Questions can be flagged to close anyway.

Note that I am aware that there are other questions discussing the necessity of this flag, but they do not address the above paradox and were asked some time ago (so the system was not the same as it is today).

  • 1
    Really, this all falls down to: what does Very Low Quality mean to you? Does it mean gibberish? Close it as off-topic. Does it mean a closeable question? Close it as whatever. And in all honesty, no one would like seeing closed because Very Low Quality on their question.
    – hichris123
    Sep 20, 2014 at 15:51
  • 3
    @hichris123: I do not suggest to introduce very low quality as a close reason. I am not sure what you are aiming at with the rest of your comment but as already said, all the close reasons are available as flags anyway. The purpose of the flagging a post as low quality can hardly be: “I am certain this should be closed but I have no idea why. Other people should worry about this.”
    – Wrzlprmft
    Sep 20, 2014 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Here are some example of low quality questions.

ex 1 :

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

ex 2 :

Why are apples not used as baseballs?

Think these things when you see a bad question :

  1. Can the question be edited to make it a decent question for the site?

  2. Is it so off-topic that it can't be edited to be on topic?

As you can see, example 1 is just a bunch of letters that were posted. There is no idea of what the author is asking for, thus it can't be edited to better represent what the author is looking for, since it's just a bunch of letters squished together.

The "very low quality" flag is intended for cases where the question cannot be salvaged by anyone, and thus needs to be deleted. When we close questions, it's to give the author a chance to edit the question to make it better and eligible for re-opening. Such chances for them to edit questions like example 1 are pointless since the author never attempted to ask a question in that case, thus it should be flagged as low quality and hopefully be deleted ASAP by a mod that reviews the flag.

As for example 2, it's just a junk question. It's not on topic on any site in the network. There is very little chance of this one line trollish like question being edited into a decent question for any site, so it should also be flagged as low quality and deleted. If it's part of a larger trolling attempt or is offensive in some way, the "rude or abusive" flag is more suited.

See also: Question Migrated but my flag was declined on Meta Super User

  • 6
    But then we are back at the problem described in the question. There is no special action for reviewers to take for utter junk. There is just Recommend Close, which triggers the regular closing process (see also Thursday’s answer). Thus flagging as low quality even slows the process down (at least in most cases).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Sep 20, 2014 at 19:18
  • 2
    If the correct action is "delete," the post should only show up in the review queue of users who have delete priveleges Apr 25, 2015 at 18:00
  • 1
    @raptortech97: There is no special review queue for this. Also, regular users can only vote to delete questions once they are closed.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 11, 2017 at 10:06
  • 2
    Your example 1 should be deleted as Rude/Abusive. Your example 2 should be closed as off topic or unclear what you're asking.
    – Mithical
    Dec 28, 2017 at 10:19
  • 1. Giberrish should be deleted with rode or abusive flags. 2. Unclear what you're asking. That's the correct action. Dec 28, 2017 at 11:07

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