Some recent answers appeared in the Low Quality review queue, mainly these ones:

https://workplace.stackexchange.com/review/low-quality-posts/56859 https://workplace.stackexchange.com/review/low-quality-posts/56860

I reviewed them as OK, as albeit having terrible advice, they answered the question. They should have been downvoted and left at the bottom of the pile, but I don't agree with the low quality review. However, everyone else disagreed with me.

From reading this meta post, answers should be removed if they are:

  • very low quality
  • not an answer
  • Other possible choice, bring to mod attention

Now, I can see it going under the third at a remote possibility, as the answers are generally giving bad advice. But I feel this is a waste of mods time. The other two options, the posts were answers and the quality of the post seems to be OK (Just bad advice).

So, these answers that should be downvoted as given bad advice, why were they marked to be deleted? Did I miss a trick?

  • One of the answers appears to be a joke answer, and should be deleted, the other however is saying they aren't. I'm still going with assuming no ill intent
    – Draken
    Apr 19, 2017 at 15:00
  • 1
    none of these answers has 3 delete votes from 20Kers nor mod-deletion. This means answerers have an option to single-handedly undelete their posts if they want to. "At first glance, it seems that just six-seven 2K users can in theory create a death ring and remove 20 any answers a day through flagging and consequent voting in LQ queue... But system is indeed designed to prevent anything like this from happening..."
    – gnat
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:14
  • @gnat Thanks for the info, that's put my mind at rest. Now I'm aware of the user can un-delete them, it's OK. I thought the vote would be an end all and the user had to edit them and go through a queue or something for undelete. It just seems odd that people would want to delete answers when they are terrible advice, but they still answer the question. Again, I feel a downvote should suffice, deleting the answer seems to be over the top
    – Draken
    Apr 20, 2017 at 7:01
  • answers over here have to meet requirements to back it up and don't repeat others (faq). If these requirements aren't met I flag and vote to recommend deletion no matter if there advice is good or bad. Answers like "here's just an idea for you to vote on it" shouldn't be allowed here - again it doesn't matter whether these propose good or bad idea
    – gnat
    Apr 20, 2017 at 7:46
  • @gnat You realise that would most likely delete 90% of the answers on this site? A lot of the time, answers here aren't backed up or from experience. It's what the user feels is the right action to do.
    – Draken
    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:54
  • have you really read so many answers? I haven't but of those I read most look okay... or, more precisely, compliant with site faq I referred
    – gnat
    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:14
  • @Draken It's a fine line, but I usually interpret experience more broadly than "this happened to me". Someone who worked in an office with people before technically has the right experience since that what most our questions are ultimately about. Most our questions are answered by looking at the situation objectively and applying common sense combined with a knowledge of professional norms. More complex topics typically require advanced/management experience but I think theoretical experience/knowledge such as that gained from workplace blogs or this site can easily be substituted for that.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Apr 20, 2017 at 14:39
  • If you strictly apply the rules, then this site would be shut down. It is unlikely that any user will have faced the exact same situation that the OP asks for, so "back it up with personal experience" goes out of the window. That leaves us with a bunch of "what does the law say on this?" and "what is the standard practice in so-and-so location?" questions which can be backed up with references, but where the line between on-topic and off-topic is drawn on those is still controversial in many cases.
    – Masked Man
    May 7, 2017 at 18:36
  • Hence, it is ok to be a bit more liberal with the rules, and expand the "personal experience" references to mean, "based on your personal experiences working in the industry and/or knowing the stories of people who have worked in the industry, if you were faced with this situation that the OP describes, how would you handle it?" We can see how "personal experiences" like those make a lot of difference. Look no further than our role model Joe :). Obviously he hasn't faced all those scenarios (or has he?) that he has answered to, but his answers offer priceless advice almost always.
    – Masked Man
    May 7, 2017 at 18:40

3 Answers 3


The meta you linked to has barely a hundred views. The normal go-to meta on this subject is "Reviewing low quality posts: when to delete" and its parent post. But the main topic on deletions is of course How does deleting work?, specifically this section:

What are the criteria for deletion?

For questions, a post that no longer adds anything to the site should be deleted. Basically, this includes most closed questions that cannot be improved and reopened. However, it may be beneficial to keep duplicates to aid future users in finding the canonical question.

For answers, any post that is not an answer (should be a comment, doesn't answer the question, etc.) should be deleted. Answers that are wrong or that dispense poor advice should be downvoted, not deleted.

Meanwhile, the purpose of the Low Quality queue is outlined here:

Low Quality Posts

The Low Quality Posts queue contains posts which were automatically determined to be of low quality based on several system criteria that generates a post quality score. It also contains posts that have been flagged for being extremely low-quality and answers flagged for not being proper answers. If you feel that a post is acceptable for the site and cannot be improved further, click the Looks OK button. Keep in mind that you can also post a comment before clicking this button.

If the post is acceptable other than a few formatting or grammar errors, you can click the Edit button to improve the post, which has an implied Looks OK functionality upon completion of your edits.

If the post cannot be salvaged, you have two options depending on whether the post is a question or answer: [Close or Delete]

In practice however, things aren't that clear-cut. A lot of users seem to use Recommend Deletion for answers that do indeed answer the question and are well-written but that they happen to vehemently disagree with. On a site like ours its even less clear because you have to factor in the very real danger of bad or "incorrect" advice harming someone's career. While readers should of course use any advice given responsibly, a bad answer here could lead to a broken career rather than a broken build. Given those stakes it makes sense that we see more delete votes for such answers than you might on other sites. Deletion is a high-rep privilege and I think part of the philosophy is that such users are expected to use their best judgement in removing content that isn't appropriate for the site (culture). The queues are more like guidelines intended to identify potentially problematic posts and how such posts are handled is up to the reviewer.

That general tangent aside, for your actual question: this all seemed to have worked as designed. Answers got low scores and entered the queue. You opted to downvote but keep them. Others opted to cast delete votes. That's how these things work, we're not a hive mind.

With regards to the second answer, the author disputed the review by undeleting his answer. I've decided to confirm the deletion given the majority support for deletion and the inappropriate nature of the answer for a site like ours.

If you want to discuss a specific deletion or (community) moderation action rather than the SOP, please create a separate thread for each instance!


Answer to Post 1) Contains a joke answer which is longer than the actual answer the responder gave. I don't mind a good chuckle, but it should be secondary to the advice itself. This might be debatable as to whether it's "bad" or just worthy of a downvote.

Answer to Post 2) This one should be deleted because it contains potentially damaging advice for the OP to follow, as given in the comment by user "Jay".

  • 3
    Damaging advice isn't a reason for it hitting the LQP queue though, a downvote yes and a flag to raise to the mods, but not a vote that states it's LQ or not an answer. Despite it being terrible advice, it's still an answer. I agree with deleting the first one now I've seen the joke bit, I missed that during my review
    – Draken
    Apr 19, 2017 at 15:26
  • Well, perhaps not LQP, Perhaps flag for moderator intervention? I would say damaging answers would be delete-able. Telling someone "I advise you to go jump on a grenade" would be an example of this level of answer ("Shut down your company's system arbitrarily"), and that should be a reason for delete. Apr 19, 2017 at 15:29

Some one flagged these or they received low scores. That is when they get put into the queue so that we can decide if the posts need action. You are not required to go through the queue and it is perfectly acceptable to take no action on an item if it doesn't need any action. The queue is intended to move some of the moderation responsibilities off of the mods and back to the people with enough rep to help out.

TL;DR; This is working as intended.

  • My issue isn't with the questions hitting the queues, but the users voting to delete them. The questions are bad advice, but not sure I'd agree with them being deleted. Downvote should be more than enough
    – Draken
    Apr 19, 2017 at 17:27
  • 4
    Mods are only supposed to take action in exceptional situations. Users on the other hand can prune at will because it can not be done alone. It takes 3 20k rep users to agree an answer should be deleted for it to be deleted. And even then a mod can over rule if they feel it is the right thing to do Apr 19, 2017 at 17:29
  • 1
    You can also have an answer deleted from the review queue if enough non-20k users recommend deletion, but it takes I think 6?
    – enderland
    Apr 21, 2017 at 18:24

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