I feel that there is a growing number of questions that consist of pictures. Most of these questions are homework questions such as this one.

Images are not searchable. Furthermore, often times these questions lack any keywords that may help future users search for these questions. Nevertheless, I do understand that new users may not be familiar with tools to write out equations (myself included....). In addition, some questions cannot be asked without pictures. One example would be questions on nomenclature.

Can picture questions be closed on grounds that they are too low quality?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ These are always soooo frustrating, because they take sooo much tiiiiiimmmmmme to fix up. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Jun 1, 2017 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @hBy2py True, I agree with you. But those questions are mostly homework questions. Would anyone on the net search for a particular homework question? $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2017 at 14:50
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal No, but searches for the topic(s) of the homework question are likely -- and if the statement of the question is not indexable by search engines, then the answers won't be discoverable. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Jun 1, 2017 at 15:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're free to downvote for it. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 1, 2017 at 21:51

2 Answers 2


No. Low quality is not a close reason.

If it is low quality, find a real reason to close it. This might be according to our homework policy, too broad, unclear, or another custom reason. It is best is you would explain yourself to the OP. I usually start to write

A screenshot or picture of an exercise is not searchable. Please consider rewriting it, so that it can be of help for future visitors.

and continue with appropriate links to the help centre, homework policy, etc. Then I usually down-vote and move on.

Closing is a measure for questions, that have absolutely no place on this site. It is not meant to be a control of how good a question is. That's what voting is for.
For obvious reasons, the homework close reason has been some kind of exception to this; and that might actually be one of the key problems with it.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It would be useful if there were some extra bonus awarded to users who take the time to convert image-only questions to written-out form. I know it'd be mostly impossible to implement, but it would incentivize the community to polish otherwise reasonable questions. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Jun 1, 2017 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ @hBy2Py I would be willing to do non-ochem picture questions (I'm not drawing out all those mechanisms that do need to be in a photo form anyway.) $\endgroup$ Jun 2, 2017 at 1:04

No, the question being only in a picture is not a close reason in itself. Furthermore, the problem is easily fixable. All you need to do is write out the text of the image and then delete the image link. I encourage you to do so; I have done so countless times.

Only if the question is close-worthy for another reason should it be closed. While dropping a corresponding vote/flag, do add a comment to the OP that the image best be replaced by text; if needed, linking to the MathJax/mhchem documentation links here on meta.


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