I recently reviewed an answer that was apparently caught in the "low quality" filter, but the system stops there for some reason.

Here's the complete text of the answer:

It is bullshit. That is it. Nothing else.

Considering it is very short and includes profanity, why does the SE engine not just assume it is spam? It makes sense to me that any post that contains profanity and is under a certain character limit is always spam, so should therefore be auto-deleted.

  • 2
    My guess is that SE doesn't want to entrust such harsh punishment to an automated system. Plus, it would break user expectations. In any case, it has been deleted. May 29, 2015 at 17:42
  • @El'endiaStarman SE deletes are a soft delete. It's not that harsh.
    – user3961
    May 29, 2015 at 19:37
  • Sure, but would anyone notice a mistake and undelete it? May 29, 2015 at 19:55
  • @El'endiaStarman The user, hopefully. Or it could be put in the review queue all the same, except you are verifying the auto-delete, not voting/flagging to delete.
    – user3961
    May 29, 2015 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


While SE does not have an automated procedure for this kind of thing, the power is well within the reach of our userbase (nearly regardless of reputation).

Posts like this (with swear words, or spam), can be reviewed by the community and with enough of the proper flag, automatically deleted.

This is SE's first line of defense against spam and offensive content. And, at least on this particular site (where we take a harsher tone on swear words than most of the rest of the network, given our intended audience), this kind of post should be met with immediate offensive votes.

After 6 of these votes the post is deleted, hidden (10k users have to view rev history to see it's contents), and the user is docked 100 reputation.

Simply put, deleting content (especially answers), is just too hard and too severe for an automated process. There are some cleanup scripts that delete old, abandoned, poorly regarded questions, but none similar for answers (and these scripts are not content dependent, they are vote, edit and closure dependent). SE's automation does very little reviewing of post contents since that is a rather difficult task for a computer (but a simple one for humans!).

Keep in mind that this is the same engine that runs SO and the other SE sites, so a change that deleted short posts with swear words would not be a one size fits all solution (consider that there is a computer language whose name is a swear, and that many swear processors fall victim to clbuttic mistakes).

Further note, meta does have a short answer deletion process, it will actually delete and automatically convert to comment posts under a certain character limit.

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