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Now that activity on the recent discussion has died down, the moderation team has decided to move forward with the strict enforcement of requirements for any font identification questions. Since there was no unanimous consensus, we felt this was the best compromise between the opposing viewpoints of "let them stay" and "nuke them all".

The new requirements

To avoid ambiguity and confusion, we aimed for these requirements to be as clear cut and objective as possible. A question should be immediately recognizable as formatted properly or needs to be corrected.

A font identification question must have the following:

  • Screenshot of the font
  • Descriptive title
  • Detail of where the font is from
  • List of methods already used for identification

They must not:

  • Request more than a single font per question

They should (helpful, but not mandatory):

  • Be properly tagged
  • Use SE's image uploaded (no external hot-linking)

Any question that does not meet these requirements should be closed immediately. Our FAQ has been updated to reflect this information and provide more detail.

How this is different from before

Previously, we never really closed font identification questions for not meeting our standards. Since there was no incentive for new users to improve their posts (or perhaps a lack of understanding the format), our suggestion was often ignored. The new rules are no longer just guidelines, they will be strictly enforced requirements. To help with the moderation, we have activated a custom close reason.

But we already used our three custom close reasons!

After discussing with the Stack Exchange community team the potential to give us a fourth, they suggested we try and incorporate it into an existing close reason. Due to the similarity, we found it appropriate to fuse it with the critique reason. Conveniently, this was also our least used reason:

Close reason distribution

Here is the new close reason (active now!):

Your question appears to be incomplete. More detail is needed for relevant and focused answers to be provided for these types of questions. Please review our font identification or critique requirements and provide the missing details, so that your question can be answered.

What to do with existing low quality questions

Many of the existing font identification questions are not going to conform to our new standards. We do not expect all these questions to be edited and salvaged. Nor do we expect anyone to trudge through all in a clean up effort. If you do stumble across one, feel free flag it for closure under the new close reason.

Answer quality

There was some discussion about answer quality. A meta post for tips on how to craft a well written answer would be great and could be linked within a comment to encourage better answers. However, since answers do not have the same mechanics as questions, we cannot strictly enforce guidelines. An answer can't be put "on hold" to give the user a chance to improve it. Flat out deleting an answer is not a good user experience either, as the user is not notified that their answer was deleted.

Reminder: our rules are never set in stone

As the site evolves, we adapt. If this ends up being an ineffective solution to the problem, we can always revisit our plan of attack and make any necessary changes. This is the general direction we are going to take for now, but we are still open to suggestions. Feel free to post your thoughts as an answer to this post.

Thanks, everyone!

In closing, we must say that it was tremendous to see how passionate you all were about doing what's best for our site. It truly reinforces that we are a community moderated site.

  • should include do not post answers in the comments, too ;) – Mᴏɴᴋᴇʏ Jan 20 '15 at 15:19
  • Sounds great. Will there also be tag alerts? – user568458 Jan 20 '15 at 17:04
  • @user568458 we are working on that – Mᴏɴᴋᴇʏ Jan 20 '15 at 18:29
  • Yip----------pee!!! :) – Scott Jan 20 '15 at 20:33
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    Nice work, GDSE mods! – hairboat Jan 28 '15 at 23:27
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On the wording of the new close reason:

We have specific requirements for font identification and critique questions. Please review the corresponding post and edit your question to accommodate our format so that your question can be re-opened.

I think it could be more friendly. It also sounds like a lot of work.

Your question appears to be incomplete. More detail is needed for relevant and focused answers to be provided for these types of questions. Please review our font-identification or critique requirements and provide the missing details, so that your question can be answered.

Something like the above would also allow for additional topics better than the current implementation, because adding topics to the first sentence would create a long list in the first sentence instead of the last.

Also, the first sort of seems like we immediately take blame for the closing and don't want them here, the one I've suggested explains that it's the way they've asked that caused us to place it on hold, and implies that once they improve it they will get an answer (not necessarily true, but a smidgen of encouragement all the same).

  • I'm open to changing the wording, but we have a character limit of 400. What you currently have drafted is too long by 19 characters. – JohnB Jan 20 '15 at 20:30
  • @JohnB edited, what dyu think now? – Dom Jan 20 '15 at 21:18
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    Nice! The close reason has been changed to this suggestion. – Yisela Jan 21 '15 at 18:31

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