I am not actually 100% sure how the whole process is made. But an answer appear in the Low Quality Posts queue, and the reviewer can choose between

  • Looks OK
  • Edit
  • Recommend Deletion

I'm not sure how the queue is populated. The help says it is populated from the system. This answer states that it comes from the post being flagged, and typically having a 0 or lower score.

Most often, the posts appearing in the queue are from new users.

Sometimes I noticed that the answer wasn't posted more than 20 minutes previously. More often than not, there is no comment on the post indicating what is wrong. Or if there's one, it was too shortly before, that we cannot expect the OP to react on it.

Let us exclude false positive, and obvious cases of spams, rudeness, etc. But limit ourselves to what could be honest mistakes.

In those cases, I often have the dilemma that

  • I cannot say the answer looks OK, as it does not,
  • I don't want to edit, as I am not sure what the OP meant to add/say/remove,
  • Recommend deletion feels a bit too hammer-like on a new(ish) user.

So it would be nice to have an option like: recommend deletion as it is, but leave a chance to the user to actually makes some improvement.

As it is the whole process can be done in less than 30 minutes. And new users aren't usually camping on SE to see what comes out.

  • $\begingroup$ Or do you guys go the long way of using "skip", wait for some time go back to that answer, flag/remove it again? $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 11:24
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ The low-quality queue is the one I spend the least time in, across the network, precisely because of this. I end up skipping a lot when I do visit it. The one thing you can do (even though it doesn't affect the review) is to leave a comment if you can tell what's wrong and nobody else did -- the faster a new user gets a little helpful guidance, the better. Thanks for reviewing! $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


Incorrect answers should not be deleted. They should be downvoted and/or commented on. Note that downvotes are reversible if the post is edited.

New users should already have gotten feedback from the First Posts queue. They shouldn't be getting feedback from the Low Quality queue. Perhaps the problem here is that people aren't handling their First Posts duties properly. Adding a comment at this point can help compensate for that.

Most of the answers that I see in the Low Quality queue are there for being too short, not incorrect. I suspect that it's relatively rare for such people to start writing good posts after a weak start. Does anyone have actual data showing otherwise?

Examples of posts on which I commented:

What is the highest acceleration that a normal human could safely endure for (say) 8 hours?
How different would the world be if animals in the same kingdom could bear offspring?

Of the four, only one responded to my comment by updating the post. That one time was on a question, not an answer. It's my impression that that's typical. Askers are more likely to come back and check their posts than answerers. Particularly first time posters of either type.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that DV is always the best choice. Regardless some users are typical 130-ish, so the post didn't go through the first post screening. But thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 16:09

What Monica mentioned is my method as well.

I will generally add a note explaining what is wrong with the answer and then say it looks ok...even if it doesn't necessarily.

I don't want a user's first post to be deleted 20 minutes later because it popped up in queue...I feel like it chases new people away.

The number of these is pretty limited, maybe 2 or 3 a day I would guess (someone want to run a query on that?) so its not as if we are littering the site with a ton of garbage if they do not end up editing their answer.

Small price to pay to keep new users coming back and learning the ins and outs of the site in my opinion.


The users might tend to vote without thinking about the consequences too much, because they are not the only one sharing the decision of deletion (I know, I did in the past). Because there are other people required for the deletion, they might think that the others will write something. The problem comes when the others are thinking the same resulting in a total lack of action. This was actually studied by sociologist, although maybe not on the Internet. Even if it's not mentioned in the rules, if they want their community to prosper, it's in their interest to help new members.

Regarding how long one should wait before casting a vote depend on one question:

Will the user edit the question or not?

  • Probably not: Oddly maybe, sometimes the answers is no. I'm referring to unregistered users. While we have at least one UU (unregistered user) with an account over 4 mounts old with several questions/answers, this is quite the exception. Normally these users only come once and the never come back. There are no possibilities of improvements. If the post is unclear/does not answer the question, I see no reason to keep it.

    • I'm talking about posts like these that was posted while I am writing this message by Franco Manco, a UU, on this question
      In a global apocalypse killing most of humanity, what would be the impact of Nuclear Fallout?:

      Literally thought of Mad Max when you mentioned Australia.

      I'm not familiar with this universe but maybe it does have similarities. Since the user is not explaining anything, I have no idea what he is talking about. I would recommend deletion or having the post moved to the comments.

  • More likely: Some answers are just short and that can be a problem. Short answers can answer the question but if it's not well explained (not clear) they will get down-voted and sometimes deleted. Short answers should not be deleted if they are well written and are answering the question. Our most ever up-voted answer is actually pretty short. It has more than 200 up-votes exactly for the reasons I just mentioned.

How long to wait before taking action (when encountering low quality posts)? Ideally:

  • Check if it's from an UU and if yes: recommend deletion since it's not going to get any edit.
  • If not: Comment to help improve the post. After, you could click on "look ok" to make it exit the review queue faster in order to avoid a hasty deletion by other users or, click on "skip" hoping that the others will be as patient as you. It's not bad enough to outright delete it/ or it was posted by a new user.
  • Wait. Hopefully, it will be edited by the user.
  • If not: Eventually it might get further downvoted or deleted but at least the user had the time to edit the post. If it's not deleted, that's not a problem either. If it was inappropriate for the site (Spam, offensive content) it would have bee en deleted on sight.

From what I understand, flags can be used for different reasons that are not explicitly mentioned.

  • Make people aware of problems. A bad post needing guidance for example.
  • Promoting the donwvoting of a bad post without deleting it, hoping the user will improve it. (does this sounds like bullying?)
  • $\begingroup$ Just to know, clicking on the username is enough to know that's an UU ? $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin I believe so. Can you see it here?: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/users/14349/… $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Oct 8, 2015 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed. I usually never click on the users profile. I have to learn to do that :-) $\endgroup$ Oct 8, 2015 at 20:30

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