UPDATE: It looks that the requested feature is already in place...the body of the post that triggered this request originaly wasn't the same as the title, this was caused by an edit (I included the details at the bottom)

As I understand, only title questions aren't allowed on SE because we want questions descriptions longer than what can be included in the title and that a good title summarizes the content of the question body, not to repeat it textually, and there is no value added on having the same content both on the title and the body (I'm not talking about including the title in the body but about including the title in the body and nothing else).

I think that this might be implemented as an opt-in feature that the CM should be able to turn on/off on existing sites and on new sites during the alpha/beta stage this setting might be discussed on their respective Meta.

The current Ask page has three stages:

  1. Welcome modal shown only to new askers
  2. Drafting a question
  3. Reviewing with / without errors

The "block" might be implemented by highlingithing in red the body box and showing a text like the following:

Body should be used to provide details and any research

Image taken from "The new ask page is now live ..." announcement

I forked a query found in this answer to help me to find the case that triggered this request.

Orinaly the question body wasn't the same as the title, that was result from a edit. I didn't reviewed yet the older cases.


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    It was previously claimed that this was being caught; in that what you ask about would amount to a single paragraph (sentence) question. – Rob Dec 5 '20 at 4:43
  • @Rob Thnks. The referred q/a is old. I'm wondering when the quality-filter stoped caughting single sentence questions. – Rubén Dec 5 '20 at 17:00
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    Rubén, yes it's very old and not specifically designed to handle this use case; though it's expected that it would - so nothing wrong with asking if it's not working (bug vs. feature). It's a three way tug of war between your ask, Franck's observation, and people either working around it or posting an additional sentence that's more fluff than substantial. – Rob Dec 5 '20 at 17:14
  • @Rob It looks that is more complex than that (on some sites there is an unofficial no title = body for certain tags). I think that this might be implemented on a site by site basis. – Rubén Dec 5 '20 at 17:34
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    Title: How to do X body: How to do X? (extra question mark) or How to X? (one less word) or I want to do X (variation). Easy to bypass and doesn't really improve things. That's the problem with a lot of suggestions about automatically blocking something - it's easy to trick the blocking mechanism. The other side of this is that the thing that's blocked is sometimes actually OK and shouldn't have been blocked. – VLAZ Dec 7 '20 at 7:47
  • This is not already a thing? – niamulbengali Dec 7 '20 at 19:49
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    @Rob you are right. Question updated. – Rubén Dec 7 '20 at 21:44
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    @niamulbengali you are right. Question updated. – Rubén Dec 7 '20 at 21:44

In spirit, I agree with you, and I wish people wouldn't post these. In practice, people evade every other hard block the system has in place, including adding nonsense to evade the quality filter (I once saw someone paste part of the script of Bee Movie).

This would be a great thing for the system to recommend, akin to the "Have you checked the NullPointerException canonical question?" that Stack Overflow has, but it shouldn't be a hard block because people will evade it, forcing people to edit the question just to get it to the low-quality state it would have been in in the first place.

It could perhaps also automatically submit to the Low-Quality Posts queue if they ignore the advice.

  • 2
    I like the idea of automatically pushing potentially problematic questions for review. Blocking mechanisms are notoriously bad at stopping bad posts. But if they can identify potentially bad posts, we can have humans look at them. In the case of the same body and title it should be quite simply to separate decent questions from low effort ones. The former can be edited if needed. – VLAZ Dec 7 '20 at 7:49
  • It looks that the block is already in place...the post that triggered this request original whas not title = body, this was caused by an edit (I included the details on the question) – Rubén Dec 7 '20 at 21:37

As mentioned in the accepted and upvoted answer to one of the questions you mentioned (Title and question body are the same) by user102937:

As unlikely as it sounds, people do occasionally ask on-topic questions that are in both the title and body of the question.

Consequently blocking questions where the body is the same as the title would result in blocking valid questions. There is no point in adding a lengthy body if a simple sentence is enough to ask the question.

Examples of valid single-sentence question:

  • How accurate are dogs to detect whether a human has COVID-19?
  • Where can I see all my comments on issues on GitHub?
  • How can I change my nationality in my PayPal account without having to open a new one?
  • How can I view the typical flight prices between two airports prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • When an individual enters the United States, can they have an attorney present when going through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection?
  • What is the trade-off between batch size and number of iterations to train a neural network?
  • How can I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to write LaTeX math formulas by voice efficiently?
  • Can I get a refund if I bought a research article that contains a major flaw?
  • Why does Geico ask me not to reveal the limits of my liability coverage in case of a car accident?
  • What to do with students coming to office hours asking to check their homework?
  • Why do tenured professors still publish in pay-walled venues?
  • What is the “RECLAIMABLE” space displayed in docker system df?
  • What is the difference between Non-Player Characters (NPCs) and bots in video games?
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    Most of these would benefit from some explanation or context, even if they're barely passable without it. – Ryan M Dec 5 '20 at 4:56
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    @RyanM Let's take "Where can I see all my comments on issues on GitHub?" since you're a developer. What would you add to it? – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 5 '20 at 5:00
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    I did intentionally say "most" and not "all." I agree, that one is fine. "Can I get a refund if I bought a research article that contains a major flaw?" could use, for example, what country you're in, or what publisher you bought it from, or examples of the sorts of major flaws it refers to, as the answer may vary based on those factors. Were I posting the GitHub question and required to add more explanation, I'd likely write something like "it doesn't appear to be shown on my profile," though of course this doesn't really add much to the question. – Ryan M Dec 5 '20 at 5:07
  • On what SE sites are those questions a good enough question? – Rubén Dec 5 '20 at 16:07
  • @Rubén on any where "research" is not required, which means most SE sites, because otherwise the questions are crystal clear. These questions have been posted on stack exchange and most got over 50 upvotes. – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 5 '20 at 19:11
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    I kind of agree with this. Also, I'm afraid that implementing the requested feature won't really stop users who don't want to put effort into writing a question body. People would start typing stuff like "Welp, the title says it all". – 41686d6564 Dec 6 '20 at 1:05
  • @41686d6564 we already have questions where the body is "see title" (or similar). Admittedly, not a lot of them but it happens often enough. I've encountered more instances of the ones where the title is the same (or similar) as the body. I really don't want more of the "see title" questions, the ones where the body and title are similar are better...although, that's admittedly a very low bar. – VLAZ Dec 7 '20 at 7:53
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    @FranckDernoncourt If research really wasn’t required on most sites, the downvote tooltip wouldn’t say “This question does not show any research effort; […]”. Questions being upvoted a lot can, unfortunately, just mean that the post was popular, not that it was actually good. Most of your example questions contain more than just the title in their body, so I don’t know how they’re relevant here. Some examples are quite old, too, before sites had certain quality standards; they just survived for a long time. I wouldn’t advise someone to try this practice today; this requires getting lucky. – Sebastian Simon Dec 8 '20 at 0:41
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    @FranckDernoncourt Adding on to my previous comment, I agree that blocking such questions doesn’t really prevent low quality questions to be posted, but we also shouldn’t optimize for sand. WebApps.SE may be a bit different, as it’s sufficient to ask “How to do X in software Y?” and users who are familiar with software Y would obtain all the context they need from that single sentence. Yet, if feature X is clearly documented somewhere, I wouldn’t feel comfortable upvoting that question. (Your comment is under discussion on Meta.) – Sebastian Simon Dec 8 '20 at 0:41
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    @FranckDernoncourt … unless you mean something else with “‘research’” (in quotes). Is this related to Should Stack Exchange in general be awarding "A"s for Effort?? – Sebastian Simon Dec 8 '20 at 0:43
  • @user289905 the downvote tooltip indicates potential reasons for downvotes, not valid reasons for closing. Furthermore, if showing research was required, most questions on webapps.stackexchange.com/questions or many other SE would be closed. Very few enforce showing research as a requirement: medicalsciences.stackexchange.com is one of the exceptions, and you'll see that most questions get closed there because of that. – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 8 '20 at 2:59

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