A (first-day) user quickly dropped two code dumps at our front page: 1, 2. That's all-right, 'it happens, and these will probably be closed and deleted soon, which is fine.

What made me raise eyebrows though is their SO profile - it also shows that they are a first day visitor, but there are no questions (even though one may suspect that users like this one will try to push their stuff anywhere where possible).

How come? Does Stack Overflow have a magic dust to repel stuff like that? If yes, can we have some of it at Programmers?

  • related (not a duplicate): What would be the reasons to comment on a question instead of voting to close it?
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 8:24
  • 1
    Hmm, as far as I can see they've not even attempted to post anything on SO.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 12:43
  • 1
    @ChrisF: If his questions had been blocked by the question quality filter, you wouldn't see anything at all. The devs probably have some logging they can look at. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 16:09
  • FWIW it's not the first time I notice this; I regularly see folks with first-day accounts at both Programmers and SO that dump their fix-my-codez at us instead of SO. It was only first time I figured this may be worth asking about at meta to learn maybe I miss something :)
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


Those two questions would most likely have been caught by the question quality filters on SO. They would have seen one of those red popups that asks them to improve their question. Rather than making an attempt to improve his questions, this user must have simply given up and asked here instead.

These filters are considered Big City solutions to a Big City problem. AFAIK, they're only used on the Trilogy (SO, SE and SU), where the big city problems are especially acute. Account blocks are effective, but only after the user has posted a couple of questions and used up some of the community's time in moderation effort. On a small site like Programmers we can afford that, but on Stack Overflow it is necessary to stop these kinds of questions before they ever get posted.

The percentage of first-time questions that get blocked in this way on SO is actually quite high. Unlike the Account Block mechanism, the Question Quality Filter is custom-tuned for each site, and putting it here wouldn't block that many questions anyway, as the only questions that we get that are like this seem to come from people who have gotten lost, or who have lost their privileges at Stack Overflow.

  • there is quality filter at Programmers; it seems to be only 2 points lower than at SO: 73 vs 75. FWIW I tried to enter copy of that question and got no warnings neither at SO nor at Programmers (though this might be because my account is not considered new)
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 18:59
  • it looks like the difference in filter setting that matters most is that SO blocks word "problem" in titles, as opposed to Programmers
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 18:35

Studying issues in one of the questions posted today (Problem with Spring Rest request) made me feel that this can be indeed related to differences in quality filter settings between Programmers and Stack Overflow, namely to the fact that SO blocks word "problem" in titles while at Programmers it is allowed.

Checking first of examples in my question shows that it would also be blocked at SO for this reason, as its title contains blocked word: "problem to load code of captcha in codeIgniter".

This seems to be easy to test, particularly because this block is not limited to new users. When I tried to enter this title into Ask Question page at SO, I've got red block message shown at screen shot below. When I tried at Programmers Ask Questions, there was no block.

Checking my flag history suggests that we are getting low quality / blatant off-topic "problem" questions about once in every 2-3 days average.

A more accurate estimate of how much of an issue it is would be based on stats for deleted questions with "problem" titles, but I don't have access to these stats (probably moderators have).


Those interested in original revision of this answer can find it in the post history.


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