Prompted by this answer, the poster mentioned an idea about quarantining questions. I commented on it, and wanted to expand on it by using this meta post to receive feedback and critique, and hopefully carve out some sort of concrete feature to request. My thoughts are as follows:

  • Users who have not submitted x number of questions to the site that have not been put on hold or deleted, will have their questions placed in a queue for review before being posted to the main site.

  • Just like every other 'privilege', the ability to view this queue and either accept, reject, or improve the question should be based on the existing community and members who have established reputation here.

I believe this is multi-fold benefit:

  • It will cut down spam on the main page, questions by sock puppet accounts will be deleted before they even reach the main page.

  • The main page will start to consist of questions that have been 'vetted' by established members of the community.

I don't think this need be a mod-only privilege, if it gets to that point. Mods already have enough work to do IMHO.

Additionally, I don't think that the ability to move beyond the quarantine queue should be reputation based. As an example, I saw a very high rep user's last few questions today and they were essentially well worded 'gimmiedehcodez', as far as little to no research done on the part of the O.P. One question was even closed and marked as a duplicate of a previous question the O.P. themselves asked. I say this because the politics of having a high rep tends to attract upvotes to questions that would VTC'd before the O.P. could even refresh the page. I say that b/c we have people coming from sister sites with 101 rep. So, if it were to be rep based, then perhaps we could do our do dilligence if this gets approved and be more liberal with upvoting good questions, where the OP actually did some research before coming here, but I'm not really sold on the idea that bypassing the quarantine queue should be based on some arbitrary rep count.

  • 4
    We already have a review queue for first posts. Jun 11, 2014 at 21:05
  • 2
    @MichaelHampton How about a second review queue for posts from new-ish users (not just their very first post) or users whose most recent posts haven't done well?
    – freiheit
    Jun 11, 2014 at 21:17
  • 4
    This effectively already exists, it's the front page.
    – user9517
    Jun 11, 2014 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


There is only a very small number of users who actual actively look at the review queues.

What I see happening is this:

  • User posts question
  • User does not read the notice about how there is a wait before the question appears
  • Question does not appear on main site
  • User posts the same question again
  • Question still doesn't appear
  • wtf is this shit? And dissapears never to be seen again
  • Now there are two questions that need approval in the queue, and their OP is long gone
  • Very few people actually check the queue and it takes 4-5 hours for questions to be approved
  • Questions come through in huge lumps as the last vote required for approval comes through
  • The front page of the site is unchanged except for when 30 questions get dumped all at once
  • There is no public review process of questions that were rejected
    • e.g. when a question is posted and then closed, people can see the closed questions and vote to re-open, or post a meta thread
    • if a question was never even posted, then there can be no wider community involvement in disagreeing with the actions
    • There are no "signposts" left behind, like staking the bodies of your enemy outside the city gates. People will never see the kinds of questions that we don't want here, and will post their own question because there's no evidence that these questions aren't allowed.

I don't think this is a very good idea. Really, closing the stuff that would not have been approved in the first place isn't a huge amount of work, and not that much spam gets through and is easily dealt with.

  • I appreciate the answer. Do you have an alternative idea?
    – MDMoore313
    Jun 11, 2014 at 21:53
  • 1
    An alternative idea to controlling the ingress of new questions? No, because I don't see this as a problem that requires a change to the way it's fixed. Jun 11, 2014 at 22:01
  • No No, a resolution to this problem.
    – MDMoore313
    Jun 12, 2014 at 12:44

I think I perhaps prompted this post, and therefore would like to elaborate a little. I'm a relative newcomer to the site. I'm a storage engineer, and I like to think I know a lot about the subject.

This means that practically speaking, I have nothing to contribute on quite a few of the questions asked, simply because of the target audience of serverfault - notionally, posts should already have done the basic amount of research that'd put them past my level of experience.

What I could do though, it looks at posts not relevant to my area of expertise, and see if they have enough detail. And if they do, mark them as such.

This works well on another site I use - it's nothing more than a flag on a post that can be used as an additional search criterion. 'approved' means that an established community member has given it the nod. No more, no less.

This means you can:

  • search for 'approved' posts (filtered by tag potentially) and see a list of things with enough detail to at least start giving a decent answer, in the right subject areas that you could give a good answer in the first place.

  • search for 'unapproved' posts, because even if they're outside your subject area, you can usually tell if they do have the key points of a 'good question'. (e.g. not a dupe, relevant to audience, enough detail to start diagnosis).

  • or don't filter at all, and then you're seeing the same view you would otherwise. (I'd suggest this would be the default).

I think this would mean that you are able to focus on things you could add value to, and skip over the things that you cannot, which is good for everyone concerned - and is part of the rationale behind 'tagging' in the first place.

(I would also suggests, some way of 'show me new questions for my tags' would be quite handy too).

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