3
$\begingroup$

A really poor-formatted question was being asked on the main site. I honeslt was tempted to flag it as spam! Do we need to perform large edit on a question like that as it has been done, or is it better to close it and wait for the OP to delete it? On other SE sites, they close such a question as NARQ but when we discussed it in chat, people tend to disagree and preferred to keep the question. What's the site policy?

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It should not be flagged as spam: at least not until the user makes a habit of posting the question as such. I think for first offence it is best to just edit, leave a comment. If the user does it again, flag for moderator attention so we can give the user a talking to. (But that's just my opinion; I don't think we yet have any established policy on this.) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 4 '12 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong Out of curiosity, through what channels do you give users "talking-to"s? Comments? $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker May 4 '12 at 8:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Alex: The SE platform provides moderators with a form which we can use to contact users privately for "bad behaviour". It is how we warn user about "anti-social" (in the UK sense) behaviour and notify them of suspensions. The form will e-mail the user (if they have provided an e-mail address) and/or display the message to the user the next time they log in (useful if they have not provided a valid e-mail address). Usually we use it to warn users about behaviour that can result in their suspension if repeated. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong May 4 '12 at 8:07
4
$\begingroup$

As far as I'm aware, spam is usually defined as having no legitimate content and a malicious (or at least intentionally obnoxious) purpose. While certainly poorly-asked, this question has legitimate mathematical content, and did not seem intentionally obnoxious to me--there are forums on which this is considered a legitimate way to pose a question, although 468 z's is a little excessive by any standard. Of course, that doesn't make it a good question, and if a user had a history of posing such questions I would vote to close as NARQ. But we try to be friendly to new users here, who often have little understanding of the community and would only be scared away by their posts being closed instead of learning how to ask better questions which can ultimately contribute to the site. While this is my personal take, thanks to a number of hours here on meta I believe the general view is shared by the community; although as Willie points out this is not official policy.

This is closely related to the discussion in Arturo's question, which should give you an indication of the community's stance on these questions coming from new users.

As an aside: we do not have to wait for the user to delete their question after it has been closed. A closed question can be deleted if 3 10k+ users vote to do so or if a moderator takes action.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I partly agree. I don't know about forums but this is a Q&A site, not a forum or a chat. I agree that we need to be friendly to new users and help them to learn how to ask better questions, but this only happens when they don't get answer to their question until they edit the question on their own. I'm pretty sure if the OP gets back to the site to ask another question, there won't be much difference. $\endgroup$ – Gigili May 4 '12 at 8:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Gigili Waiting for the OP to realize what the proper community standards are and edit accordingly likely involves a great deal of waiting. I think it's important to help them understand the community standards, and to give them the benefit of the doubt. And I do not think they are doing any great harm. Furthermore, the user in question has asked a second question, which while no gem was better than the first. $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker May 4 '12 at 8:11
3
$\begingroup$

@Gigili has a very good point, regarding standards for a chat room versus a Q&A site. In fact, I don't think many chat rooms would consider entries that included

plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz answer me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon

to be acceptable behavior.

The individual who posted the above mentioned question has returned to ask a second question: Relationship between $\nabla\cdot n$ and the normal $n$

So far, he seems to be able to understand English and Q&A adequately well to provide affirmation when respondents answer his questions, and reformat for him. However, he doesn't choose to select an answer.

Is this trolling, spam, lack of familiarity with Q&A standards? I don't know. User is not registered, says his geographical location is Iran. Internet users in Iran are not ignorant! Most have good manners just like the rest of the internet.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I suspect the plzzzzzzz... was an addition to trick the engine into accepting the question which wouldn't have passed the low quality filter otherwise $\endgroup$ – t.b. May 4 '12 at 12:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the screen shot @t.b. That is helpful. It is rather ironic that the low quality filter considers "plzzzzzzzz..." as an improvement though! But that is something to mention on Meta SO, not the fault of Meta Math! I am also thinking that my answer was too harsh, as I more carefully read the second question. Sigh. It is difficult to tell who is sincere and who is not sometimes. Maybe I lack patience and compassion for this new user. I don't know.... $\endgroup$ – Ellie Kesselman May 4 '12 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt if it has anything to do with location! $\endgroup$ – Gigili May 4 '12 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry if I caused offense. It was not my intent. I often look to see where a user is registered, the location, as sometimes, someone who is young, or in an area of the world where there is restricted internet access, does not have much opportunity to interact with others online. However, that does not usually manifest with "plzzzzzz...". I will delete this answer after you have read my reply @Gigili I am sorry if I have caused offense, it was not my intent, I was sympathetic to you as question OP, and perhaps as another female like me, although maybe you are not, I am sorry, making worse. $\endgroup$ – Ellie Kesselman May 4 '12 at 12:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No problem. It's okay. $\endgroup$ – Gigili May 4 '12 at 12:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .