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Regular deletion (roomba) of content unlikely to ever be useful

+7
−0

I noticed that questions exist on this network and are accessible that are unlikely to ever be very helpful, for example because they were marked as completely off-topic.

Examples

The content license does not mean that there is an obligation to keep the content here and removing such content would increase the signal to noise ratio. I don't see much sense in keeping this content. We could therefore permanently remove it from the system.

But there are also questions that have a very low score (typically they are not very high quality with missing information) and often also no answers but aren't closed. With edits and answers they could potentially be converted to something useful, but that may not be very likely. The decision to keep or remove such content might be a bit more difficult.

However, cleaning up more regularly might also increase the appeal of the front pages of the individual sites (see recent discussion).

Should we regularly remove content we deem to be not useful at all?

If yes, what should be the criteria for that (close status, score, number of answers, life time)? Should it be done automatically (automatic cleaning robots) or rather manually (at least for now)? Where should the criteria for that be decided (for each community individually or network-wide)?

Searched for it on Meta but couldn't find anything for "automatic deletion".

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3 answers

+6
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I agree that automatic deletion1) would be a useful way to reduce clutter and manual moderation. I would propose implementing something along the lines of the draft below.

1) Deleted as in "not displayed on the site" - the technical definition on what gets archived and what gets deleted from the actual DB is a discussion for another post.


All posts get automatically deleted after 1 month since the last edit of any question/answer present, if they fulfil any of the following:

  • Closed posts without answers.
  • Closed posts where both the question and all answers have negative score.
  • Questions with a negative score of -3 or more that have no answers, or where all answers also have a negative score of at least -3.

All the details can obviously get fine-tuned and more rules can be added as we come up with them.

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3 comment threads

And until the feature becomes implemented... (11 comments)
Strict -3, or a Wilson score threshold? (4 comments)
What about duplicates? (5 comments)
+1
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I purpose auto removing bad questions, after a given grace period

But, this requires a definition of a bad question.

What's a bad question ?

While that seems like a very subjective question, that doesn't mean it can't be answered somehow objectively

  • initially, it's any question that shouldn't be in a community according to its users

  • which is any question with a very low score (as all the 3 examples in the OQ)

  • a low score: my be defined as a score in the lower 5% of the scores globally, or in a community, or just as a constant LS, so that we can have something like

if(question.score < LS)
    question.init_removal_process()

We may then:

  • add to that some other factors to initiate the removal process,

  • use a hidden score for a question value that take on account how much it was reached, give more weight to upvotes than downvotes, check if it had answers or no, ect.. instead of question.score = up_votes - down_votes

  • make the process a bit less robotic, by notifying the poster and/or a community mode sometime before the post removal


Note 1: By removing I mean make it invisible, unindexable and unreachable, (which can be done softly)

Note 2: Bad, is very subjective, and a badly posed/received question may be improved, or perceived differently by others. So whatever, the definition that we chose, it should be flexible and lenient

Note 3: Among the 3 example questions, there is only one that I wholeheartedly agree that it shouldn't be in a serious QnA website, even before opening it. and it's the one with the lowest score

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+1
−1

I personally like the way you are contributing(not for voting, re-editing posts and some other stuffs).. You may have seen somewhere that, only 2 people are working as coder in the Codidact organization. So it's taking huge time to build up things. I believe Ruby on rails is little bit harder that's why most of peoples can't contribute to code. I was also a contributor. All the things I understood after working on the organization that is, "maybe I can't understand how one page is linked with another one in ruby-on-rails". One of my friend, also said that, "after QPixel he hates ruby-on-rails" (not sure if I phrased correctly). ~ I said it cause you were looking for automatic deletion.

Everyone thinks deleting poor questions may help to speed up the growth of the community. But a staff (it's more than 3 months so I don't remember if that was staff or someone else) said, "removing all imported contents will be helpful cause some of our communities are getting down for copyright-infringement but what can we do if someone had edited and done some effort on that post?"

We could therefore permanently remove it from the system.

Removing something from database permanently is never helpful. Cause there is a report in Writing which had happened for "data error". We can remove thing softly- the way we are doing now.

Usually, all the bad posts are posting by some specific users. When we say something by mentioning them, then they don't reply to our messages. I believe we should have discussion with them. It's OK not to know things but deleting their contents without informing them isn't really a good idea. So I always suggest to discuss with those persons. I sometimes worry why they don't want to listen to us.

I had asked in Discord once when do a moderator remove the participate and participate everywhere ability, no one replied. But if we revoke those abilities then they might come to us to discuss (I don't know even I don't think anyone will listen to me but all the things I say that is I don't care). Some may say to suspend them, I said in the answer why suspending is never helpful.

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2 comment threads

Workload of devs is irrelevant (4 comments)
Revoking or suspending abilities (1 comment)

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