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Is there a way for mods to yank a large number of questions all at once without deleting a user?

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    Could you provide and example where this would be necessary? – AncientSwordRage Apr 6 '13 at 9:15
  • @pureferret I was thinking of being an ass to prove a point, but I didn't want it to be a lasting FU to the site, so I thought about clean up methods first. I guess I shan't now. – sarge_smith Apr 6 '13 at 12:03
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Moderators can click on the delete button of many questions in quick succession. Not too quick or they get a captcha (I assume — I remember getting captcha'ed a couple of times when I closed ~80 questions in a row (commenting on each one)). There's probably a limit, but I haven't heard of anyone hitting it.

If you're worried about a moderator going on a rampage and deleting good posts: that would be noticed pretty quickly, and the moderator's account would be suspended.

If you're worried about a high-reputation user going on a rampage: the account would be suspended, and anyway there's a limit on the rate at which users can post questions (and answers, and edits… pretty much everything on Stack Exchange is rate-limited).

  • I know about the rate limit... I was thinking about posting a ton of questions at the limit to show why a subset of questions is bad. However without a way to clean it up afterwards, it would be irresponsible to do, so I won't. I was hoping y'all had come kind of batch delete on a tag or something. It makes sense that you wouldn't. – sarge_smith Apr 7 '13 at 4:21
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I was thinking of being an ass to prove a point

I was thinking about posting a ton of questions at the limit to show why a subset of questions is bad.

I highly suggest you don't. Making us mods busier to fulfill your desire to make an argument is not a particularly great idea, or effective use of your or our time. Make your arguments here on meta about the badness of these questions. And if the community disagrees with you, then accept it and move on.

If you want to spend time improving your arguments, then I recommend making them more effective via data, which always helps bolster posts requesting changes in policy. You can do this via asking for help on meta or in chat for help with making Data Explorer queries. Chat and meta are also great places to get the opinions of others in the community, and to discuss/debate their reasons behind those opinions.

  • I just decided to not participate for a while. Really, I would like to point out that I was in fact checking to make sure that I wouldn't be making anyone work harder. All activity would have been in the bounds of both meta and the faq. – sarge_smith Apr 8 '13 at 7:11
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No, and I don't see any situation where that would be necessary. The only way to remove all questions of a user at once is to destroy them, and that also removes the user and is not available for users above 500 reputation.

4

If you need to fake-post a large swath of questions to prove that a certain type of question is bad in large numbers - it means that this type of question is NOT posted in large enough numbers to create a real problem, so you're worrying over nothing.

Moreover, "this type of question is a bad one because there are too many of the type can be asked" is clearly and demonstrably NOT considered a valid argument against a type of question, as evidenced by on-topicness of Story-Identification questions which are a poster child for "infinite pool of largely useless and potentially swamping things to post, many of which are prone to tons of unpickable answers" and yet the community strongly favors them being ontopic since they don't do any actual harm.

The best way to improve the site is to post great content of your own, not crusade against what you persieve as potentially bad content.

I may totally hate story-ID questions, but since the community saw fit that they are acceptable, I don't go around downvoting every single one of them, posting inane story-id questions to show that they can easily be abused, or otherwise harrassing people who post such questions.

3

There is a good article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:DDWIP on alternatives choices for proving a point.

  • those things only work when you can actually have a discussion. Look through this meta and see how often that actually works on this site :) I re-iterate once again, what I was going to do is ENTIRELY acceptable according to both the FAQ and the meta. I just also know that once I did it, the rules would have no chance but to change, because the community wouldn't stand for a bunch of program generated questions. It's cool. I pretty much decided that the community isn't worth the effort, so I'll spend it on something else. – sarge_smith Apr 13 '13 at 9:49
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    Lack of a restriction does not equal "ENTIRELY acceptable". Preventing a bunch of bot generated questions (or spam) from an established user who obviously knows better could not be stopped by a rule. – James Jenkins Apr 13 '13 at 10:01
  • The thing is why would any question that can be mass generated be allowable? Anyway, you've brokered a bit of a false equivalency here. Wikipedia has an authority to which you can appeal. There are steps to climb to deal with whatever problem you might have. That isn't the case in SE. You've got moderators and nothing above that. If the mods don't do anything about it, your recourse is the meta. If you can't convince enough people, no resolution. There is no such thing as disrupting a SE. All allowed content is good content, supposedly. – sarge_smith Apr 14 '13 at 7:42
  • @ sarge_smith Wikipedia is managed by volunteers, same as SE. There are more levels of volunteers, and more venues for conversation. But in the end volunteers decide pretty much everything. There is some paid staff, but they have little or nothing to do with content management. – James Jenkins Apr 14 '13 at 10:40
  • @ sarge_smith If you truly believe that mass generated questions are a potential problem, work to describe the potential risk and if possible, options for a solution. Meta would probably be better place to have the conversation, it may be that there are already tools in place to prevent bot generated questions. As 'Mad Scientist' points out, there is remedy available for new editors, as implied by pretty much everybody here there is a general expectation that established users will not do things they know are inappropriate. – James Jenkins Apr 14 '13 at 10:52
  • Continued - A new rule does not add value, it just adds another rule. See the essay here on why to much rule is a bad thing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Rule_creep – James Jenkins Apr 14 '13 at 10:53
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    I decline to follow any more links to wikipedia. The entire concept and construction behind a wiki and a Q & A site are completely different. Especially, the construction of wikipedia (everything is sourced and no original thought wanted or allowed) vs well, any SE (where it is fully expected that actual content will be generated by experts). The actual thing that I feel this community needs is a move away from that wiki mindset. I just happen to be in the extreme minority on that since over time the others who have voiced that opinion have been shouted out. (cont) – sarge_smith Apr 14 '13 at 20:16
  • Every community grows a set of rules peculiar to it. That's the way that communities work. I understand the role that a trusted user is supposed to take in that. That's why I asked ahead of time if the capability was in place to clean up my 'example'. It wasn't so I didn't. – sarge_smith Apr 14 '13 at 20:21
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    @sarge_smith "All allowed content is good content, supposedly." Speaking of false equivalence... no, being "allowed" does not automatically define content as "good". Allowed == not something that should be closed/deleted, according to the rules. Good == upvoted. Two completely separate mechanisms, and it is disingenuous to imply that they are one and the same. – Beofett Apr 15 '13 at 12:59
  • @Beofett You are correct, but at the same time not. We are supposed to upvote good content, but there is no reason that bad content can't be upvoted. Up votes on questions are essentially meaningless. A fairer way to state it may have been "All allowed content is desired content" or perhaps "All allowed content should be submitted content". Either way, it sure as f*** doesn't matter to me anymore. – sarge_smith Apr 17 '13 at 22:08
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Although I am not positive that the rule carries over, according to Is there a limit on how many questions I can ask?

A user may ask only...

  • 50 questions over any 30-day period
  • six questions over any 24-hour period
  • one question over any 30-second period
  • users with less than 125 reputation can only post questions every 20 minutes

If the rule does carry over, it would not be possible to add a large swath of questions.

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