The Community user, which neither slumbers nor sleeps, alerts moderators to questions that are attracting lots of answers. Sometimes this is just fine, even healthy, of course. Other times it can mean that the question could use some tightening-up because it's attracting answers that are all over the board (making different assumptions, etc). And sometimes it means that purveyors of low-quality posts (like spammers) have chosen to congregate there and we need to protect the question and clean up some answers.

Moderators receive this notice, but in most cases the quality judgements that are required should be made by the community, not by us. We have an accumulation of such flags right now.

We currently have 17 294 questions with 10+ answers. Please consider picking something off that list to review. Read the question, read the answers, and take appropriate action:

  • Should something be edited? Please do it.
  • Is a question unclear, too broad, off-topic, etc? Vote (or flag) to close. (Don't use custom flags; close flags will send the question to the review queue but custom flags go only to mods.)
  • Is an answer not up to snuff -- a one-liner or naked link, an incomplete thought, not clearly an answer to the question that was asked, etc? Comment asking for improvements, and if appropriate, also flag.
  • Not sure, or something you can't handle on your own? Bring it up in chat (for informal discussion) or on meta (to reach more people). We have and tags for this reason.

A previous version of this question asked for feedback in answers here. That made more sense when there were only 17 such questions. I'm making this edit and closing this question, preserving the commentary already collected here.

  • $\begingroup$ By the way, does anyone else think we should make the answers community wiki, so we can give each question a dedicated 'answer'? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Oct 25, 2014 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 good idea. Done. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2014 at 2:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the original question has become obsolete. $\endgroup$ Jul 27, 2015 at 20:52

6 Answers 6


How can I save a high-tech/no-spaceflight civilization against the wrath of non-technological gods? Hit the HNQ and has a number of 0-vote two-paragraph answers at the bottom. Some of them do not contribute materially to the question. I have flagged the worst one for mod attention, but I am unsure what to do about the legit, small, but apparently unread and unvoted answers at the bottom.

  • $\begingroup$ NHQ is an atrocious thing that messes up even established sites like SFF.SE. $\endgroup$
    – user4239
    Oct 23, 2014 at 22:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It does bring in new users to the site though, I remember at least one person who is now a regular saying that hnq first brought them here... $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Oct 24, 2014 at 1:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @timb Aye, I found this se through the HNQ. $\endgroup$ Oct 24, 2014 at 1:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What you mention is one very good reason to try to keep questions focused enough that they only gain a small number of answers. People aren't likely to wade through in detail (in this particular case) 15 answers to see if there might be a gem hiding at the bottom of the voting pile, but most people are willing to read through 3-4 answers if they are interested in the question, even if there is a highly voted, accepted answer at the top. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Oct 24, 2014 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ What is HNQ? PEYA! $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Oct 24, 2014 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ Good question. HNQ is Hot Network Questions, the mysterious list of "hot" questions on the right sidebar. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ While I agree that the zero-vote questions at the end probably have zero votes because few people will make it down there, I think on a question like this, they could add value for the OP and anyone actually interested in the question enough. I wouldn't trim them unless they are low quality. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:10

Where in the solar system is the most viable place to put colonists, after Mars and Luna?

  • 24 votes
  • 11 answers (highest has 31 votes, yet no answers have been accepted; lowest-voted answer has 1 vote)
  • 5661 views (as of this posting)

The question and answers have slight component of opinion to them, but there's no way around that. Overall, the answers are nice and varied, with most containing detailed reasons and good, relevant facts and information. I wouldn't call any of the answers low-quality, and I think that they all successfully address the question.


Must magic be tied to medieval tech?

This question seems to have a lot of answers (out of total 13) that are just examples of stories with magic in high-tech times.

Examples: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/12/2072 https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/140/2072 https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/11/2072 https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/870/2072 https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/45/2072 https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/21/2072

Some of those are upvoted, most have a zero score, and two have a score of -2.

My feeling is that these answer either are (1) better as comments (2) asking to be deleted as "not an answer" (3) better as examples in one big CW post.

Memor-X's answer, Styphon's answer and bowlturner's answer, I think, are good answers, because even though they also answer the question by counter-example, they put effort into explaining what they meant to say, rather than just citing examples without explanation.

I have flagged some of the above answers as "not an answer."


Why would you build underground defensive structures in an alternate world medieval Europe?

  • 10 votes
  • 10 answers (highest has 11 votes and was accepted; another 2 have 9 and then there is a drop-off, with some 1- and 0- vote answers at the bottom)
  • 1029 views (as of this posting)

Here we have a couple of high-quality answers and then a bunch of answers that aren't quite as good (not to knock on some of the mid-ranked answers). The lower-voted ones are generally short, while the higher-voted ones are longer (and may include graphics). They could probably be expanded upon, which is why they haven't garnered as many up-votes. No down-votes on any, though. Overall, I'd say that the answers answer the question pretty well, although it would be nice if they could maybe address just what the structures would be like - although James delved into that a little in his answer.


Can two civilizations on nearby stars develop independently but be at a similar technological level? currently has 12 votes and 11 answers ranging from 10 to 1 votes. I think it's a good common but broad question with good answers. Personally I think it's good, but I'm not really invested in the idea of forcing questions to be narrow-scope with few answers particularly for WorldBuilding.


Is it possible for a developed society to practice human sacrifice as a ritual?

Some answer are very long others are short. Some are good, and other are not really answering the question. I haven't accepted one answer because I don't know which one to choose. They all have good elements.

This one is more a comment.

This one is more about death penalty, it's not really related in my point of view.

And I just flagged the other answers that are not good.

  • $\begingroup$ The problem here is that nobody is willing to deal with a formal definition of "ritual" that isn't intrinsically pejorative, deriving from standard Protestant anti-ritualistic rhetoric. That's not unusual, especially in Anglo-American-oriented educated society, especially scientifically-oriented society. But it does make the question pointless. Either you define ritual formally, in line with serious scholarship on the subject, or you define it polemically. Having made your choice, the rationalistic, anti-religious spin of the question becomes overt. $\endgroup$
    – CAgrippa
    Jul 30, 2015 at 19:38

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