As an example, look at this question - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5245323/primefaces-1-1-with-jsf1-2. This question seems to have no information whatsoever for any users to resolve and surely it is a "low quality post" from the OP.

In case you encounter such questions what should be done.

  1. Vote to close the question
  2. Flag the question for moderator's attention
  3. Do both of the above
  4. Leave a comment and wait for the OP to respond
  5. Ignore and continue with other questions ;) ( good for me, but somebody else from community still has to decide on what to do with such questions )
  • 2
    Please leave comment because I don't think he deserves the Trubleweed badge – Benny Mar 10 '11 at 8:32
  • 1
    good question! missing another option: simple downvote ("This question is unclear or...") – Carlos Heuberger Mar 10 '11 at 10:33

Honestly, flagging low-quality questions for moderator attention (at least for me) is practically useless.

What is a moderator supposed to do about it?

We have three choices. First, we can leave a comment goading the user to get their snit correct. This, of course, will have absolutely no effect. Second, we can close the question as NARQ, and third we can mark your flag invalid.

So, the only two things we can do is either turn new users off of StackOverflow or ruin your flag weight.

I still don't know what we should be doing. If a user has hundreds of such questions, fine, we know what to do about that. But 99% of these "low quality" flags are simply noobs or people crossing the language barrier. Or Android devs. Lots of iPhone devs, too.

If there was some kind of niche carved out for users like this, where we could tip them in and force them to sort themselves out, that might help the situation. For instance, if we could tip the question (and the user) into a probationary hole from which they'd have to make their own way out of by providing some substantive edits to their question. They would be unable to ask another question until they improved the original question, and improvements would be placed in a queue for review where 10k+ users could view them and determine if they should be released or not. Their question would not be answerable (but comments and edits could be made) while in the queue, and if they remain in there for a month they essentially starve and the system clears out their question and their account.

Seems like a lot of work, but other than pulling the trigger on their accounts what else can we do?

  • Yes, Very true. The options are limited. Probably another option in flagging window can be provided as "unclear question, edit required" or something like that instead of plain low quality. So any questions/answers flagged as unclear should go into queue for edit as you have mentioned in your answer. – Sachin Shanbhag Mar 10 '11 at 15:42

I usually do 1 and possibly 4 (if I think I have any comments about how to improve the question) - these sorts of questions are normally closed pretty quickly (especially when they have been flagged with 1 close vote as they appear in the 10k tools).

In order for me to flag a question as needing moderator attention it either has to be some sort of special case that I know won't get resolved due to close / delete votes, or it has to be harmful enough that something should be done about it before 4 10k+ users see it.

  • With the concept for flag weight in SE sites, dont you think it would provoke users to probably flag it as low quality question? – Sachin Shanbhag Mar 10 '11 at 9:23

Flagging is silly. Downvote to move it down the front page, that's good citizenship, and vote to close. When it deletes, you get your downvote rep back. the automated 'low quality' question mechanism is more relevant than pestering mods.

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