This proposed duplicate is not the same as this question because that is explicitly about SO and the "problem". This question takes a broader approach to the title filter.

This question was inspired by this other question. There's legitimate reason to be upset and think perhaps something has gone wrong, but the deliver of that post leaves much to be desired.

In that post (because I'm sure it will be deleted soon), the OP is complaining that the site (doesn't say which one, though from the user profile I'd go with EL&U) would not accept the following title:

evangelism vs evangelicalism?

However, it did accept the following "improved" title:

evangelism vs evangelicalism? aoeutsnhaoeusnthaoesunthaoesntu

This certainly does not seem right.

So here I am asking if something broke here and if the title checker needs to be improved. Did something fail here? Does it need improvement?


Just to be sure that the OP wasn't exaggerating, I tried this on MSE about 30 seconds ago. Here's the snapshots and a link to the now deleted question.

Prohibited title

Title not allowed

Permitted title

Title allowed

Link to dummy question

And here's the link to that question (now deleted): https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/262165/212646

  • I don't think you've linked to the right question... Aug 6, 2015 at 5:48
  • @Ward Updated. I don't know how that happened. The previous link wasn't even one I had visited.
    – user212646
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:47
  • @gnat Thanks for the links. They help reveal the history and original purpose of the filter, but I do not think it is a duplicate. I've addressed that in an edit.
    – user212646
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:48
  • "The filter is intended only to encourage users to re-think their title. It is not intended to fully stop... Were we to fanatically pursue filter perfection in this regard, we would be working endlessly... It's not worth it, since the only time this filter is meant to take action is when a well-meaning user uses the <troublesome> title..."
    – gnat
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:50
  • @gnat That doesn't make clear what a troublesome title is relative to this. Again, those posts stress words, like "problem", which were/are apparently a problem on SO. But for these titles, why would one be better than the other? They are both equally horrible. The linked questions do not offer any information that can be transferred to this question as an answer.
    – user212646
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


I don't think the quality checker fails when it doesn't reject a question that a human would identify as bad. It can't be expected to catch every possible bad title.

In this case, this is pretty clearly a bad title:

evangelism vs evangelicalism? aoeutsnhaoeusnthaoesunthaoesntu

Ideally it would be rejected, but in this case the algorithm allowed it. Oh well, it's not a perfect...

OTOH, this is also a bad title, IMO:

evangelism vs evangelicalism?

And this one the quality checker did catch. The fact that they're very similar bad answers makes it look like the first one should also have been rejected, but I don't think it's a failure - at least the algorithm prevented one possible bad title.