Questions like this frequently appear.

Why is it against the law to rape women?

They often get downvoted, but why are they even allowed past screening?

Posting anonymously as others have been impersonated on here before.

  • 6
    Many countries it's not
    – Kilisi Mod
    Apr 10, 2020 at 7:17
  • It’s offensive here; that’s enough to screen for it and prevent absolute offensive content like that.
    – Donald
    Apr 11, 2020 at 2:39
  • 4
    the downvoting is the screening
    – user13267
    Apr 14, 2020 at 2:08
  • If it helps, there are new efforts to help us identify bad posts like that quickly so they can be removed faster.
    – BSMP
    Apr 15, 2020 at 2:13
  • 4
    It's the internet. You can't expect everything that gets posted to any site to be moderated before others can see it. And that's especially not how SE works. Sorry, but you're going to see things that offend you every now and then as part of daily life. Most of us get used to that by the time we reach adulthood, thankfully.
    – user91988
    Apr 16, 2020 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


They often get downvoted, but why are they even allowed past screening?

There is an automatic quality filter in place (you have experienced yourself this when posting the question) but it can only detect a few problems. Stack Exchange is oriented towards technical questions (about programming or using a computer system) and its quality filter is aimed towards those questions as well. Not every question involving the words 'rape' and 'law' is as disgusting as that one; I can imagine a valid question on Law Stack Exchange or History Stack Exchange. The system just isn't smart enough to see the difference, and more importantly, if it did, the troll would just attempt to reword the question slightly over and over again, until it passes the quality system.

The only defense we have as a community against these posts is using rude/abusive flags; six of those will automatically delete the post, and only a single one will draw the attention of any ♦ moderators currently visiting the site, and they're able to delete them outright. It might even be possible to reactivate the three flags = out experiment.

Also, many of these posts end up in Charcoal HQ, a chatroom for networkwide combatting spam (and troll posts as a by-product). If a post is spammy/offensive enough, that system (built by community volunteers, not Stack Exchange) will even cast automatic flags which speed up the deletion of such posts.

  • 5
    That is a comprehensive answer which covers several good points - thanks.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 10, 2020 at 7:31
  • 2
    Can only echo Mike's comment. This answer covers our approach to handling spam and abusive posts and the publicly known counter-measures in place. For obvious reasons we cannot comment on what else takes place behind the scenes. Suffice it to say that we are loath to put too many barriers in place to prevent anonymous users (our largest source of questions) from using the site in good faith and that this means some crap will reach the community. As jmoreno's answer describes, that's where the community moderation / screening comes in.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Apr 14, 2020 at 13:28

Because there is no screening. Questions go live as soon as the user hits the Post button, there isn’t a person that looks it over and decides it is good. There are some automatic checks (for instance you can’t have a question without a body), but for the most part you and I are the screeners, and we do so by downvoting and/or flagging.

  • 1
    Well, there is a from of screening - the process you describe.
    – sleske
    Apr 12, 2020 at 23:25

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