There have been a few discussions among the community concerning the direction of quality standard that this site has in place. As a result, we need to start creating a standard of quality, and most importantly, respect it and enforce it.

That's why we've created the Quality Cleanup Initiative

We've created guidelines on what to do with quality on the site. Feel free to provide us with any feedback.

If you come across a post of low quality, or that could do with improvement:

  • Downvote.

    Downvoting answers is your number one tool in helping the community judge quality. Use downvotes if a post doesn’t employ good formatting, or if it’s unclear. If a post is factually incorrect, downvote, and explain why for the benefit of other users. If a post is poorly formatted, downvote, suggest an edit, and then remove your vote.

    "But I lose one point each time I downvote!"

    One reputation point is not a lot; it won't even affect your privileges. When the answer is edited, you can have it back - think of it as insurance on the answer's quality.

  • Comment

    If you feel a post is lacking quality, is incomplete or even wrong, you should put your concerns into a comment. The author of the post will be informed about your comment, so the post can be improved and other users will be made aware of the possible problems.

  • Give a better answer

    If you feel the current answers are lacking quality, you should give a better answer yourself. Even if the current answers are upvoted you should give your own answer and explain what the current answers are lacking.

  • Flag it

    Flagging an answer as "Very Low Quality" will send an answer to the low quality review queue. There, community members with adequate privileges will be able to vote on whether the post is fine, or whether they should recommend deletion.

  • Ask for a quality notice.

    Moderators have the ability to place notices on questions and answers for various reasons, in order to alert the community of an issue or something with the post. You can see an example here:

    We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    We can add notices for various reasons, including the necessity of citations, quality answers, incorrect information and so on. If you feel like you would like a notice on a post, use a custom moderator flag and tell us why you would like a notice. When a moderator places a notice, the author of the post also receives a notification.

  • Discuss it

    This site has an amazing thing called a chatroom. It's called The Bikeshed, and you can find it here. Use these to discuss with your fellow community members. We're lucky to have a large community active in chat, so use it to your advantage.

    You can also post a new question on meta, detailing the problems with the post, to bring it to the attention of the wider community - although we have a great chat community, more people see meta.

  • Consider bounties

    Bounties will always attract attention to your posts. If you see answers that are lacking in detail, or are factually incorrect, add a bounty. There are numerous reasons to start a bounty, including “Draw Attention” and “Looking for a Credible Answer”. These will attract attention to posts, and hopefully, the answer author will be motivated to change the answer. It can also attract more answers.

Finally, if you run into a post that's become a problem, is incorrect, and the OP won't budge, let a mod know and you'll have our support in resolving it.

What about good quality stuff?

  • Upvote!

    Who doesn't like upvotes? They give you 10 reputation points, and you can unlock privileges within the site. They are a perfect way of saying thank you. Please do upvote whenever an answer is correct, well formatted, concise and to the point.

  • Consider bounties!

    Bounties help to attract attention to posts. If an answer is exemplary, add a bounty with the "Exemplary Answer” reason. This is the best way of saying thank you, essentially giving the answer more attention, and literally giving additional upvotes from yourself.

  • 1
    I'm leaving a comment so I'm pingable.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 22:26
  • Comment for being pingable.
    – Mnementh
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 22:35
  • Great improvement guys! Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 1:18
  • @curious Your comments did influence this a fair bit
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:32
  • @ArtOfCode Only thing I'd say is that -2 votes is no way "downvoted to hell"! If you unlock it then we can help achieve that goal :P Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:54
  • 1
    @curiousdannii done
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


This is a sample answer to help show some of the notices and other capabilities.

This is a horrid, eye-irritating post to look at! Someone do something!

What moderators have done:

  • Added a post notice for 'citation needed'.
  • Locked for 'content dispute'

What the community can do:

  • Downvote to hell.
  • Edit in a note warning authors that the post is considered incorrect by the community. - Actually, try not to do that. If information invalidates posts due to time, we can place a notice on the question itself, as time will likely invalidate all answers. As for that, we can also place an individual notice on the answer. These "community" notices invalidate the answer, and make it open to unfair voting that may never reverse after a post is edited to reflect up-to-date information. Locking a post with a invalid info due to date notice will lock votes, but send the message that the post is invalid. For the community to do this, they can raise a custom flag.

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