The current culture is that post details have priority over the long range objective regarding site content quality. This is perhaps not an optimal approach, and it deserves some discussion.

The general question of priority is particularly noticeable in a few categories of cases. These are two examples..

  • Aspects of the question are excellent in terms of coverage of Q&A on this site and applicability to research and practice, but votes to close are accumulating
  • The post is old and, although provably incorrect or at least grossly inaccurate, has a high reputation simply because of the length of time it has been published along with an absence of evidence-based answers from which members could choose

The pointing out of these issues in the interest of the long term goal of content excellence is neither popular nor functional at this time. But that may be a mistake in cultural convention. Logically, reorientation to prioritize the long range goal of content quality is indicated.

Should we adapt to this longer term vision?

should content quality be given a high value when balancing priorities with regard to questions that seem to be headed for closure and those that can be shown to have high reputation because of their duration of publication only?

How can we adapt as a community to a more long range content-first objective?

It may be that we have avoided this perspective out of respect to veteran and new members, but it may be appropriate to give them more credit. If the reason for the shift in priorities is made clear, most members are smart enough to get these rationale.

  • "Welcome to AI SE. We are modifying your question to save it from closure. Our intention is to bring it within the guidelines in the Tour and concensus in the meta. If the result of the change is not satisfactory to serve your needs, please read the reasons given for closure and correct its phraseology appropriately so that it both serves your needs and those of the community."
  • "This answer, although it had accumulated much reputation, is misleading because of ___. See article ___ for the basis for the correction. If you feel the change is in error, please modify it to resolve the issue leading to our edit and yet convey your perspective if possible. We intend only to have answers with high reputation to be as accurate and conceptually solid as possible."

Examples are deliberately excluded. When examples are given, people tend to justify why this or that was done to that particular example, whereas this is a question about intent, priorities, and balancing them. It is not about any particular question or answer but general trend and how those trends might be modified to produce a more optimal result over a period of years.


1 Answer 1


I was about to post to Meta about something similar, so I'm glad I discovered this question first. I also have some concerns about content quality. These concerns are due to what I consider systematic weaknesses rather than specific posts.

Because this community is so small, there's less of a reason to trust the upvote count as a measure of answer quality. To combat this, it might be worth considering requiring answers to cite sources.

This might be a bit harsh, though. I'm a new member of the community and probably not aware of many of the friendlier ways of incentivizing behavior. However we accomplish it, I think we should rely less on upvote count to measure answer quality.


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