While I was reviewing, I flagged https://cstheory.stackexchange.com/questions/17571/context-free-language as
"very low quality", although I was somewhat hesitant about doing so.

Was I correct to flag it as that?
Is there any other guidance about using that flag?
(I would imagine some examples of "narrowly qualifies" and "narrowly does not qualify.)


2 Answers 2


I think what you did is perfectly fine. Ordinarily, a downvote might be sufficient, and at this point the question has enough downvotes that it will drop off the main listings. But a flag is also helpful to draw mod attention to the question.


I am a new user, on several stackexchange sites, and perhaps my reactions are less blunted by experience and habits. And I have a little bit of cross-site view. I also visit another site as an amateur, though I try to pay my fee by answering simple questions.

I wonder whether it is appropriate to send someone to another site for asking a questions,if the question is considered close to trash, or easily answered. The right place is wikipedia or other similar sites (or the web) where they will not waste anybody's time and find answers by themselves, which is probably the best service to all, including the author of the question.

Also, I often get a feeling of: "this is not classy enough for us, try the guy next door". I am not saying forwarding, or recommanding another site, should not be done, I only mean it should be careful. It may sometimes be a bit offensive for the other site.

There are highly upvoted answers on this site that are not very theoretical and ignorant of much of the recent (I mean 10 to 20 years) theoretical research in the area. Somehow, I feel this should be an incentive to soften the exclusions.

  • $\begingroup$ The issue of scope has been discussed several times on meta. Migrating is not about being classy or not. If an undergraduate student drops in the middle of a research meeting to ask a non-research level question the student would be asked to ask the question in a more appropriate time and place. The same applies here. Note that several high rep users (including moderators) who comment about moving off-topic questions to Computer Science also participate on that site. And we have tried to make the comments as welcoming as possible and are open to suggestions for improving them. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Jun 17, 2013 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding answers, if you feel that a question can have a better answer feel free to write one. That is good and even encouraged. There are many criteria that effect the amount of votes an answer receive, from being accurate and comprehensive to readability to such things as using a real name and general behavior of the author. So don't take the votes too seriously, usually a correct accessible answer gets high votes and bad and unreadable ones get less or negative votes. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Jun 17, 2013 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for some thought about making the site friendly/welcoming as possible incl to newcomers which tends to get lost in the shuffle of other priorities $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Jun 19, 2013 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Kav I realize the considerable work done by people who comment and check and manage the site, I assume it is impossible to do without fast decisions ... I thought I had to comment now that I am fresh on the site. One of my interests here is to understand what research could look like in a fully digital world, and how publications and peer reviewing could evolved. It will probably require more sophisticated structures, but this a most interesting experiment. My major problem here is understanding person to person communication, and privacy issues. I have to find the right place to discuss it. $\endgroup$
    – babou
    Jun 19, 2013 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @babou, Stack Exchange sites are not for discussions, they are Q&A sites. If you have general questions about academia which are not specific to TCS then Academia is more suitable for them. For privacy and other issues you can check the links below the pages or ask on Meta Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Jun 19, 2013 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ @babou, btw, Jeff Atwood and co. have been working on discussion version of Stack Exchange: discourse.org $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Jun 19, 2013 at 22:59

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