How can we explain a low answer quality score with a negative value in moderator flag processing?

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Related: Unable to translate "Low answer quality score" sentence for processed flags with negative score

Additionally I found the very old post about that negative score. Can there be the similar problem on code logic side nowadays?

1 Answer 1


This is a combination of the heuristics listed here.

The exact formula is not public as mentioned in this comment, which makes sense, to prevent people from bypassing this.

I'll copy the list here anyway, so it's easier to see:

Word checks

  • contains word "help"
  • contains word "test" or "testing"
  • contains word "thanks", "thx", "cheers", "great"
  • contains word "bump"
  • contains word "same", "problem"
  • contains word "sorry"
  • contains word "work", "working"
  • contains ":)" or ":-)" or ":(" or ":-("

Character set checks

  • contains one or more exclamation points
  • contains one or more question marks
  • contains all (or mostly) uppercase characters
  • contains all lowercase characters
  • does not contain any spaces
  • does not contain any ascii chars
  • contains .., possibly repeated

Content checks

  • includes hyperlink type text (even without the http://)
  • includes email address
  • content ends in question mark
  • answers with low entropy, eg, repeated characters like "asdfasdfasdfjkjkjk"

So, each of the above lower the quality score of a post. It starts with 100, then for each of the above conditions, the score can get lower. There might be more items these days, but the basics should be the same.

  • For me the most expected result range for something started down from 100 is 0..100. According to your answers it seems the the range is X..100. Where X will be reduced each time new check is added. Such range doesn't look clear in my understanding. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 17:43
  • 1
    @αλεχολυτ well people also expect post score won't become negative and find it hard to grasp when it does become negative, and it has no lower limit as well. Same with quality score, in a way. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 19:13
  • OP is asking about something in Russian/Cyrillic, so are there similar badword lists for other languages?
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 20:27
  • 1
    @Criggie actually no, OP did not mention this in the question. But I want to hope localized sites have their own list, in the relevant language, otherwise it's really bad. (Can't know myself, only staff can really know.) Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 8:06

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