The "consistently low quality question over time" moderator template is very useful and flexible, and I've generally found a good response when using it. I've also found similar results when using a similar template for low quality answers, and have been using it rather frequently. As such, I think it would be useful for moderators to have something like the below added as a default template.


I'm writing in reference to your Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange account:

{user profile link}

We've noticed that you've answered many questions, and a large number of those answers were not well received by other members of our community.

Specifically, many of your answers were downvoted or deleted because they seemed to be purely speculative, misleading, confusing, incorrect, or unrelated to the question. This is a troubling pattern, and we'd like to make sure that you've read the help that we have available for answering questions. Please take some time to read all of the information linked below prior to answering another question:

We recommend taking a look at highly upvoted answers within the tags that interest you as examples. We really want you to have a good experience here, and the first step to that is making sure that your answers are clear, on topic and provide all of the information someone would need to solve their problem.


Matthew Read
Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange moderator

Sometimes users don't understand that we're not a discussion forum, or the border between "helpful comment" and "complete answer", or that we're looking for concrete and informed answers rather than wild guesses. I think that this would be very helpful in clearing up some of that confusion.

Alternatively, allow moderators to have custom templates.

  • 7
    Yes yes yes! I've re-written the questions template more times along these lines than I have used it for questions. Having this or similar template for typical answer problem trends would be super.
    – Caleb
    Nov 16, 2014 at 17:50
  • Can you add something that addresses the issue where someone is posting a bunch of comments and/or messages to other users as answers?
    – Keen
    Feb 27, 2015 at 2:57
  • @Keen That's a good thought, but I've actually been using separate templates for "poor answers" and "non-answers". They could be combined, but I don't want to be giving criticisms that don't apply.
    – user154510
    Feb 27, 2015 at 2:59
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    @MatthewRead I don't think a line that summarizes the purpose of answers would be too out of place. I think a sentence before the 'Please take some time...' sentence would be a good fit. Something like 'Answers are expected to address the asked question, and not be used as comments, messages, or rants.'
    – Keen
    Feb 27, 2015 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


I have an unofficial one stowed away in case it's needed. It's basically heavily cribbed from the "poor quality questions" one, and I use it either from a copy I have stowed away somewhere or with a userscript for custom mod message templates by ArtOfCode (see this post).

It's worth considering I've used it less than half a dozen times - and more often than not, these poor misguided folk end up with automatic answer bans before we can reach out to them and let them know.

When I do though, I use this template - which is amusingly identical, so he clearly isn't the only person who uses it.


I'm writing in reference to your Super User account:


We've noticed that you've posted many answers, a large number of which were not well received by other members of our community.

Specifically, many of your answers were flagged and deleted because they seemed to be hastily written, should be comments or are of low quality. This is a troubling pattern; we'd like to make sure that you've read the help that we have available for posting answers. Please take some time to read all of the information linked below prior to posting another answer:

We recommend taking a look at highly upvoted answers within the tags that interest you as examples of how to write better answers. We really want you to have a good experience here, and the first step to that is making sure that your answers are clear, on topic and provide all of the information someone would need to use your answer to solve their problems.

And presumably letting us or the user know before they get answer banned would be nice, since the people we find are the ones with a pattern of bad answers anyway.

  • 1
    Oh, and if you do use this template, be sure to initially select the "low quality question" one instead of the blank one, so that the public suspension reason shows as "low-quality contributions" instead of "rule violations". Apr 18, 2020 at 7:17
  • 1
    Oh, you underestimate what I was up to - see the edit reasons. I included a commented out copy without the quotation brackets so I could copy/paste more easily. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:19

In the SE system, the community decides about the bad answers with down and delete votes. Mods are for exceptions.

On other sites, I know many cases as somebody gives regularly highly downvoted answers, here is a query to find them.

These users have to face a continuous pattern of bullying. In my opinion, it is bad - a deeply downvoted answer can be voted to delete by 20k+ users, after many bad posts there is the Q/A ban. The system has its mechanisms to optimize these posts out, it is not a mod responsibility.

It also often happens, that somebodys posts are actually not LQ, rather he has unconventional, non-mainstream views. Harassing them on the difference of their opinion, over the ordinary measures (down, vtd) is obviously sulfuric (example).

Furthermore, I see a longstanding pattern in the behavior of the StackExchange, and it is the inflation of the privileges. I remember as many years ago even the 10k+ users were named as "moderators". I see the suggestion as a new step into this direction. On the end of this way, we find the ordinary, not community moderated sites, where single person mod decisions are deleting content and ban users.

Specifically in the case of the Android SE, I think the reason of the problem is that you are unconventional between the SE sites, that you declare yourself as an enthusiast site. It corresponds well with the SE concept of "not divide the SO", although the mods I've talked until now categorically close out a direct SE effect. Most SE sites declare itself as targeting professionals, you not. I think you should try to attract more professionals (f.e. by allowing Android programming questions). Here I would refer the A51 Faq: Remember, pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around.

  • 14
    Can you explain how having such a moderator message template lead to further "inflation of the privileges"? Moderators can already send out messages along these lines. A template would just make it less time-consuming to actually prepare, and ensure that all the pertinent SE-wide information is there. (Moderators may still have to add site-specific guidance, which is something I regularly do when sending the "consistently low quality question over time" message on Mathematics.)
    – user642796
    Apr 4, 2017 at 7:22
  • @ifajra It would serve as a reinforcement from the direction of the SE, that yes it is ok to do this. This will result, that yes, mods will use this. In my opinion, if mods have time for that, it only means that their communities are too small, and they are too many. This is not the SE way, quality control should happen by the community and not by a few select chosen. If the quality is low, then the community should be fixed, and a close-delete rampage of the mods (+ cage rampage for the LQ users, including some HQ ones with uncommon opinions) is not a solution.
    – peterh
    Apr 4, 2017 at 10:41
  • 2
    @ifajra Yes, the a MathSE has a lot of LQ questions, homework questions, but it has a lot of high-level questions, too. And it is good to communicate there. I feel it much better as if it would be a site with much more strict rules, like the Physics SE.
    – peterh
    Apr 4, 2017 at 10:44
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    I don't get the point, the question is about template for when a mod mail a user after an alert has been raised exactly to avoid a ban... I can't link any of your point to the question itself.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 15:17
  • 3
    My proposal has exactly nothing to do with harassing people over differences of opinion, nor with giving extra privileges to non-moderators. And no, we're not going to change the scope of the site to something entirely different at this point in time. What an absurd suggestion.
    – user154510
    Apr 4, 2017 at 15:43
  • @Tensibai The point is that it tries to explain that LQ content filtering should happen in community scope and not in mod scope. I tried to summarize the arguments behind that.
    – peterh
    Apr 4, 2017 at 15:58
  • 2
    @peterh Well, that's what happen, this message is when someone already had multiples LQ flags from community, an alert is raised and a mod can choose to contact a user to explain him/her before an automatic ban is raised.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:00
  • @MatthewRead It is good to hear, particularly if you have an explicit wish to avoid this dangerous side-effect. But knowing many other sites I have the unfortunate suspection, that exactly this will happen. How do you decide about your site scope is your decision, but it is your responsibility to deal with the consequences (in the lack of professionals, the mean quality will decrease).
    – peterh
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:03
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    Sorry @peterh but I feel you're absolutely missing my point.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:27
  • 1
    Messaging about 8 question over 3 month all flagged VLQ, that's the reason of ´low quality over long time which is the subject here. Not for a single question/answer but many, showing a bad behavior and so messaging to inform before an auto ban fire is just being nice and giving the user a chance.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:37
  • 3
    That's not handling everyone, that's an action for specific cases. At this point I'll assume you're just willing to troll and stop there. You're not bringing something constructive and just against something some mods are willing to do in good faith. You're entitled to think it's a bad idea, but you bring nothing on the table to support this claim and why it would be more negative than it actually is (writing this message by hand instead of a template). If you wish to ask mods to stop this behavior, start a question about this, but it's just off scope here ATEOTD.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 16:48
  • 1
    I do peter, and that's why I don't act on devops as I do on SO R tag (where I don't act as in Chef tag). On a small site like devops we can take more time to discuss, that doesn't mean forgetting what SO has to face, but we don't have to face the same right now. Check devops chat and you'll have another point of view I think. Mods were named today.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 17:01
  • 1
    I am a sysadmin and as such find your comment a little insulting to my intelligence , and your concern has already been raised I think.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 18:48
  • 1
    I've said a little, and that's what feedback is for I think. Take a step back and read it again, calling about sysadmins without any nuance is wrong. Adding a nuance would not put everyone in the same bag and still convey your feelings in a less rude manner. Something along the line of ´most sysadmins have a mindset I disagree with' would be less rude to every sysadmin reading this while still conveying your idea I think.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 19:25
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    Indeed, there is nothing more to add, the whole thing absolutely miss the question point.
    – Tensibai
    Apr 4, 2017 at 19:28

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