It was proposed, then it was implemented for questions and answers. We have quality guidelines for questions and answers; now, the question is how we enforce them.

Now that this site has some diamonds, we want to know what we should do with posts that aren't up to scratch, and we need your opinions on it.

For questions - do we close them? Delete them? Lock them (hint: the answer's no)?

For answers - Mr SR Mod @Undo tells me that he deletes posts that aren't up to scratch "with extreme prejudice" - should we do the same?

3 Answers 3


SR mod Gilles agrees with Undo.

Questions: close, with a comment that links to the question guidelines and explains in what way the question falls short and should be improved.

Answers: delete, with a comment that links to the answer guidelines and explains in what way the answer falls short and should be improved.


In my ideal world, we would warn people that post these through comments, then exactly x hours later delete their answer if they hadn't heeded the warning.

In real life, though, this didn't work. In the early days of SR, I had a big Trello sheet of answers that needed deleted at what times... it was terrible. Just deleting them on sight removes a whole bunch of administrative overhead.

So, in real life, I would vote that we:

  • Close questions, and let the system automatically delete them if it matches the deletion criteria. Otherwise, don't manually delete them.

  • Delete bad answers on sight, with a comment explaining what we expect and how they can edit/flag or post a new answer.

  • That reminds me of a feature I've been wanting that allows a moderator to hide/postpone a flag until a future date (e.g. waiting for some event to play out as necessary), but it never seemed to go anywhere. The purpose is not clogging the flagging system with placeholder flags reminding you that some action may be necessary on a future date. This use case would fit that feature perfectly. Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 21:47
  • That would be awesome @RobertCartaino - it's been requested a couple times, but, as you say, never seemed to go anywhere.
    – user1
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 21:49

My $0.02:

For questions

If a question doesn't live up to our standards, we should close it, preferably as off-topic with our shiny new custom close reason.

This allows the question to retain its visibility, and for potential answerers to form potential answers. Edits can take place to specify the question further, and it can be reopened without necessitating mod input - the community can both close and reopen.

For answers

Again, @Undo tells me that on SR, low quality answers are deleted straight off the bat. The user is linked to the quality policy, given a brief summary of what's required, and told to edit or post a new answer.

I think that's a policy worth following. Since we can't "close" answers (and I don't even know how that would work), deletion removes invalid and bad-precedent-setting answers from view, and gives the author the required details to post a new one.

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