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I just got the privilege to review questions and answers of "low quality". For each answer one can choose between "Looks Good", "Edit", "Recommend Deletion", and "Not Sure".

What happens if one chooses the "Recommend Deletion"?

I have looked around, but I don't seem to be able to find much information about the reviewing process.

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  • $\begingroup$ I just tried pressing the button, on an old answer that should have been a comment and had negative votes. That showed me a dialog that gave me the opportunity to post a canned comment, and then appeared to cast an actual delete vote on my behalf. Afterwards my choice shows up in the review log as "Delete" rather than "Recommend Deletion". This is probably because I can already cast such votes anyway (requires 20k+ rep). For users without that privilege my expectation would be that it just raises a moderator flag on the post. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 28 '12 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ As a further data point, the review log show that you pushed "Recommend Deletion" on Gerry Myerson's answer here, but there doesn't seem to be any vote or flag on that answer in the 20k+ non-diamond moderator tools. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 28 '12 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Seems a bit nasty to recommend deletion when the person who posted it admitted it was crap and is clearly leaving it there to 1) warn others not to make the same mistake, and 2) remind himself of how wrong he can be when careless. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 29 '12 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry: Right. But have you seen the options on the new review pages? The only alternatives (apart from "don't know") to recommending deletion are "this looks good" and "I will edit this such that it becomes good". In many cases (such as your answer there) the system provides no right option to click on, so it is to be expected that some (rightfully) confused users pick a wrong one. Don't attribute to nastiness what can be adequately explained by bad design. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 29 '12 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson: Sorry about voting to delete your answer. I wasn't trying to be nasty. I had started this question to try and understand better what exactly the consequences are of voting to delete and I was kind of hoping that the vote would still be subject to a moderators attention. I agree with Henning that the system doesn't seem to leave other options. Also, if one shouldn't vote to delete an answer like yours, then what type of answers should be? (A different question I agree) $\endgroup$ – Thomas Aug 29 '12 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Henning, I take your point. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 29 '12 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ Thomas, no hard feelings. We had a discussion on deleting at meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4731/…. I don't think we reached a consensus. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 29 '12 at 13:46
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The goal here is to clean up answers that do not answer the question, or are of such poor quality that they contribute nothing to the solution.

The threshold for deletion - currently 6 recommendations or 3 votes from 20K users on a post with a score <= 0 - is calculated to give ample opportunity for improvement or disagreement. Normally, anyone clicking "Looks Good" or editing will dequeue the post.

For the record: no posts on this site have yet hit the 6-recommendation threshold (a few have been deleted by 20K users). Here's an example of the sort of answer we're talking about (two recommendations, 3 20K delete votes, and a score of -1):

He is probably asking for number of decimal places?

You can certainly argue that some poor answers deserve to be left around, and you're free to act on that belief when reviewing - but for non-answers like this, there's absolutely no value in preserving them on the site; they're noise, a distraction, and a poor example for new members.

We're not trying to encourage excessive deletion here, but merely give the community at-large a say in what is deleted.

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It pushes the post to the top of the queue for users that have enough reputation to actually cast delete votes.

If six users without the ability to delete "recommend deletion", the post will also be automatically deleted.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for this information? $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 29 '12 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm The first part is documented on Meta.SO (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/139536/…), the second one I know from SE employee Shog9. That conversation is in a non-public chat room, so I can't link to it. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Aug 29 '12 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ The second part worries me. That seems to create a class of users who are not yet trusted to cast close votes, but can nevertheless vote to delete posts (albeit in a separate vote with higher decision threshold). Previously voting to delete answers required 20k rep; now the limit is apparently only 2k. And the 2k+ users are being encouraged to vote for deletion for essentially "anything you wouldn't upvote" because it's the only choice besides "looks good" and "I can personally make this look good"... $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 29 '12 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm There is another important barrier besides the higher number of required votes. The posts need to be downvoted (I think) for deletion, and they need to trigger the "low quality" automatism in the first place to land in the queue. In my experience, posts need to be pretty short to trigger the "low quality" filter. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Aug 29 '12 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ That doesn't really reassure me. I have started a meta.SO thread on the matter. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Aug 29 '12 at 14:59

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