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Like the primary RPi SE site, it seems that "meta" may be suffering from a malaise also; I just don't see much interaction here. Anyway - I read the last post (from 2+ months ago): 2023 - a year in moderation - and the one before that (which was from yours truly) - sorry about that @goldilocks; I don't recall seeing a notice that this question had been answered!

But to get to the reason for this post: I think I've observed something & hoped to get some feedback. What I think I've observed is a marked decline in the quality of questions here. I just read through (most of) the most recent 50 questions, and some of them strike me as mind-numbing in their ignorance - or lack of experience? - or both? More objectively, I reviewed the "50 newest" stack again - just now on 4/18/24, 06:00 UTC - and there is not a single question with a score greater than zero!

But I think the bottom line is how many questions are actually answer-able? I just don't see that many lately.

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  • 2
    I agree. There used to be a spate of naive questions in the Christmas period, but with the great COVID inspired chip shortage meaningful questions vanished and all we are left with is poor questions. On the Forum these get a response (often poor and degenerating into off topic discussion). The community user resurrects old questions which should have been deleted.
    – Milliways
    Commented Apr 11 at 8:55
  • 1
    I'm not sure how truly different this is from the rest of SE in the sense that most of the fundamental questions about C++ programming etc. have already been covered extensively and so the fact that newbies still repeat them, often in terrible form, tends to stand out against a largely empty background.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:33
  • @goldilocks: So I guess that means I've turned into my cranky grand-dad who always belittled the "younger generation" :) Unfortunately, I have become of the opinion that far too many of today's "younger generation" are just vapid morons. LOL - hate to say it, but do believe it!
    – Seamus
    Commented Apr 24 at 17:28
  • Just turned 51 and thought it was hysterical a while back when my fellow gen X friends and fam started using exactly, more-or-less word for word the negative characterisations that were laid on us when we were young to refer to "the millennials" (lazy, lack of work ethic, etc). Occasionally I'd point out that the word slacker was coined as a sort of synonym for "gen X", then got phased when I learned the concept is a lot older than that: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacker
    – goldilocks Mod
    Commented Apr 24 at 19:39
  • @goldilocks: Thanks for that Wikipedia reference... brings back some fond memories lol. :)
    – Seamus
    Commented Apr 24 at 23:22

1 Answer 1

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I realize your question wasn't about the "Community bumped" stuff but I am pretty sure you've referred to this to and they do contribute to the same mind-numbing zeitgeist, and I was waiting til I had time to dig around for this:

Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

Point being, there is a way to deal with these questions, by which I mean both the community bumped stuff and the crumby new stuff that gets old and ends up in community bumped (which the reason those tend to be crumby is in that Q&A). I don't like to flat out delete them because someone concerned1 then has no real clue as to what happened unless I include a comment and they happen to be the post owner (which is not necessarily the case, plus this implies there would have to be a comment on each answer as well).

However, the Meta Q&A above includes a couple of important points:

  • Questions which are closed are never bumped by "Community".
  • Questions with a score < 0 and no answers are automatically deleted after 30 days (hence, we are potentially spared the worst cruft resurfacing if people downvote it).
  • Same goes for questions with a score of zero after 1 year; most of those 50 questions you looked at will probably end up here.
  • Questions which are closed, have a score of <= 0, and have no accepted answer and no answers with a score > 0 are automatically deleted after 9 days (doesn't apply to duplicates and there are some other minor caveats).

So, to help those paths-to-deletion apply:

  • Vote to close. There needs to be a valid reason, obviously, but usually this is not hard. Many of the community bumped ones are really obsolete as they are about issues with outdated versions of Raspbian, etc.; the appropriate reason here is Community specific -> "This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error," which just plain applies to many of them anyway (common pattern: the OP reveals the "whoops my bad, forget this" explanation in a comment).

  • Don't let a bad question fade into the purgatory of questions with a zero score; downvote them.

Finally:

DON'T ANSWER CRAP.

The issue here is that this then prevents the question from disappearing after thirty days. If you see some potential and you want to encourage the OP to make some improvement, leave a comment. Likewise if you have a pseudo-answer to an unclear question and you figure, hey, why leave a comment when I can try and pull off an answer. A lot of the stuff in the community bumped category is like this, which it then has to go through the whole close/downvote/sit on your hands cycle instead of having been deleted after 30 days.


  1. You'd be surprised at some of the stuff people notice.
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  • That's reasonable... I do wonder about the first rule in the auto-delete post YOU SHARED: "fewer than (question age in days * 1.5) views". Seems to me that's a high bar for quick deletion, but then I don't really follow anything beyond the "most recent 50" very closely. If I've answered crap questions, it's because I see something earnest in the Q... that's just me I guess. And I'm not a huge fan of downvoting 'cos it costs me a point, and I see a few that get reasonable answers - suggesting that my opinion is not always accurate.
    – Seamus
    Commented May 5 at 19:51
  • But I'll forego a few points if it helps clear the deck. Thanks for the reply!
    – Seamus
    Commented May 5 at 19:52
  • WRT "fewer than (question age in days * 1.5) views", that's just for the stuff with no upvotes or answers after a year. But here's the 5th page back of current questions: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions?tab=newest&page=5 Which right now are six weeks old, but most of the ones there with no upvotes and no answer have < 30 views. I'd add to my suggestions "So don't even look at them" :D but that seems either redundant or some kind of pseudo double bind.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Commented May 5 at 20:05
  • Yes! The other thing that impresses me about so many of these questions from the "1 rep point" crowd is that they never follow up... no comments, no "accepts", no nothing. I found one of my answers on page 5 - this is disappointing.
    – Seamus
    Commented May 5 at 20:22
  • One more clarification question - WRT answering crap questions: I deleted an answer I provided recently - after re-considering the question, and deciding it actually was crap. Since deleted answers never really go away, does that mean deleting my answer will not help shuttle this question into oblivion?
    – Seamus
    Commented Jun 10 at 21:40
  • Deleted things count as deleted -- and the "oblivion" of which we speak is exactly that, so manually deleting something shouldn't make it harder to delete.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Commented Jun 11 at 13:21

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