I saw this question What is the concept of HandlerThread in Android?

I think it doesn't fit to SO's question format and I think it is a very low quality question but I do not think it should be removed.

Description of very low quality

This question has severe formatting or content problems. This question is unlikely to be salvageable through editing, and might need to be removed.

I could flag it as a not a real question type but I think this question is real and it is not really incomplete and it is not vague, too.It can also be answered and someone already answered it.

Description of not a real question

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form

I could just not flag it, too but I really think it should be flagged not to remove but maybe to close.

How do we decide what type of flag we should send when flagging such kind of questions?

EDIT: It is now closed as a not a real question, but what makes it not a real question?

  • @Cody Gray: I agree, I misinterpreted that blog post. There's a difference between simple, lazy and garbage questions. Jul 13, 2011 at 13:06
  • 1
    In my mind, you could pick just about any of the available flag options. The really important thing is that you flag these questions with something. They are in desperate need of some kind of attention, whether that's a substantial edit to turn it into a real question or the simpler option involving single-click deletion. Don't fret too much over which flag option you choose when the problems are this obvious.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:08
  • @Cody Gray that can be an option yes, but what about putting a effort on your flagging? And I am also concerned about others come see a real question closed for being a not a real question.
    – Bastardo
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:13
  • 4
    Uh, you really don't see how that qualifies as "not a real question"? That's basically what that close reason was created for; that and rants. Putting a question mark at the end of an incomplete thought does not make it a question. That question is crap. It would be a shame to waste much energy figuring out how to flag it.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:16
  • 1
    In fact, the real question here is how did that one get past our quality filters? Maybe I need to open a new bug report...
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:36

3 Answers 3


What makes it not a real question?

Heyy Any one have idea how to use HandlerThread in android?

The answer to that question is "Yes, some of us have an idea how to use HandlerThread in Android. What do you want to know?"

The "What do you want to know?" part should not have to be asked in an answer. The answer to that question should already be in the original question. There was no effort to explain what the OP was trying to do, and no code sample. There was really no reasonable way anyone could answer the question.

...but I really think it should be flagged not to remove but maybe close.

I agree that it should be closed temporarily to give the OP time to edit. If it gets edited to include a real question, I'll be happy to reopen it. If not, it will be deleted in time.


The problem with that question is that:

  • It is asking something that could be easily found on Android documentation.
  • It is not specific; it's not asking about an issue the user had when trying to use the HandlerTread class, or a specific problem the user has with his code, when using that class.

The "not a real question" is for those vague questions for which the answer should be too vague too, or take some assumptions about why the user is asking the question.

  • The answer to "Do you have an idea on how to use the `HandlerThread?" could be "Yes, I have." or "No, I have not." Giving a stricter interpretation, the question is not a question, but a polling.
    – apaderno
    Jul 13, 2011 at 13:36

If I were to ask you how to use a hammer, I could mean how to drive in a nail with it, scratch my back with it, or scrape gum off of my shoe with it. There are an infinite number of possibilities. Without some narrowing of the question, it becomes vague very quickly.

Related to that, there's also nothing by which to gauge the user's experience level. Most of the time that's okay, but in a situation like this if my "concept" of HandlerThreads involves knowing what methods to call, or knowing something about the underlying theory of it, the answer will be quite different.

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