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Clearly, we get a lot of very low quality questions and answers here on this SE (particularly ones of the "what is this song [link]?" "Maybe it's [X]?" format). However, we also have another problem --we have a low user base and few new questions.

After a discussion with @Dom, I want to open this question to the community. What should we do with low quality questions and answers? I'll give my own answer below, but I'm interested in soliciting competing points of view.

Follow-up questions based on Dom's comment below: What should an answer look like for questions that attract a lot of low quality content? Is any answer acceptable if not enough information is given? How do we handle questions with answers that are only answerable by the OP who never comes back?

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    Sometimes there just isn't a lot of info to give. Perfect example: someone flagged an answer (which I can't find at the moment) where the OP asked for the identification of a song. The answer was the name of the song, and a link to a video of it. The flag stated the answer wasn't thorough enough. Well, what more really needs to be said? The answer was accurate, and it didn't require a paragraph. So, yes a question can be answered even if someone thinks not enough info is given. – Johnny Bones Jun 3 '16 at 12:42
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I think we should:

  1. Leave comments with specific advice on how to improve questions or answers.
  2. If the comments don't receive responses, edit the questions or answers ourselves to make them higher quality, if that is at all possible, even if it requires substantial editing and additional material. In the worst case, we might need to craft an essentially new question, using the old one as inspiration. That at least adds to our base of questions.
  3. Close or delete questions and answers if the OP never responds to the comment, AND the question (or answer) is not salvageable.

This is a lot of work for the small group of active users and mods, but I see it as part of what is needed to help establish this as a viable SE. I've personally been doing my best to try to aggressively clean up the "identify" questions, since I'm one of the people who advocated for them in the first place.

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    This is what I was referring to before in 1 that we need to hash out. What should a question/answer look like for questions/answer that attract a lot of low quality content? Is any answer acceptable if not enough information is given and how do we handle questions with answers that are only answerable by the OP who never comes back? – Dom May 25 '16 at 13:56
  • @Dom I edited your questions into the original post and edited my answer above a bit. – Chris Sunami supports Monica May 25 '16 at 16:29
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    If the quality of questions coming is is that bad (e.g. the "what song is this" type that can easily be sorted by a quick bit of Google/Youtube time), then maybe the answer is that this isn't a viable SE after all. I've noticed the slackening of requirements since this was in Area 51 to try and get more questions in, however it doesn't seem to have increased quality. – Roger Mellie May 31 '16 at 9:56
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    @RogerMellie That's certainly one potential answer. This discussion is aimed more at people who are still committed to trying to keep the SE going. I'm not convinced its destiny is written in stone yet. – Chris Sunami supports Monica May 31 '16 at 13:21

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