I have noticed in last months the repeated pattern of aggressive closing/locking/hiding/deleting of posts by the Community Bot. The provided reason is incorrectly evaluated spam or abusive post character, making them false spam positives.

I have already flagged several such posts for mod intervention to eventually revoke the Bot action. The latest example is the low quality, but harmless question about alkali metal boiling point.

While I do not object against closing of most of such questions for other reasons, many of such questions are neither spam nor abusive, nor they deserve such hard shutting down. Even if I were a new user posting a very low quality question as I would not know any better, I would feel offended as I would not have such spamming/abusive intensions.

For years, many email clients have built-in Bayesian anti-spam filter, (or there are available anti-spam/email categorization local email proxies like Perl-based Popfile) that can be taught what is and what is not spam.

  • Does StackExchange platform provide any feature/tool for mods to tame the aggressive Bot behavior?
  • Can be for these cases applied different Bot closing reasons/actions?
  • If necessary, could it be raised at the SE moderator/admin board as the topic?

P.S.: The original post has been written under impression the mentioned actions are result of Community Bot AI decision. But it has been realized they are triggered (at least some) by mod decision. So the questions can be reformulated for the mod triggered actions, considering comments to the Q and As like:

  • Should such (very) low quality posts be closed ? I think they definitely should be.
  • Should such posts be locked a/o hidden a/o deleted ? I think they probably should be, particular action to be discussed.
  • Should such posts be commented about performed action ? I think they should be, with the above actions giving to the OP ability to read it.
  • Should such posts be marked as offensive a/o abusive a/o spam ? I think they should not be, as it is very confusing and - especially without a comment - rude. There is no explicit bad intention and there is a chance to improve post or future attitude, in contrary to true offensive/abusive/spam posts.
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    $\begingroup$ Briefly, the linked question hasn't been processed by the bot, it was a binding vote by me. The question seems to be hastily written, is based on a false premise and I countered about 14 mistakes (grammar, punctuation, stylistic issues) in a title and a single sentence the question body consisted of. To me, this style is inappropriate for respectful communication and is an expression of a rude attitude towards the audience. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Feb 15, 2022 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk Sorry for the assumption, I has taken as valid This post is hidden. It was flagged as spam or offensive content and deleted 3 hours ago by CommunityBot. As these actions rather anonymous mod actions? In such a case the Bot is innocent.// As I have said, I have nothing against closure, but the closure circumstances are at least confusing. Even with your objections, there are still few steps left to mark it as abusive or spam. As such questions can still be fixed with leading comments. Abusive or spamming posts cannot. But that is just my opinion. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 15, 2022 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ What I mean is that abusive or spamming posts have intention to bring the focus on offending personal level or on some product/services/irrelevant topics. The community has to protect itself against them and strict antimeasures are appropriate. Atttitude of their human or bot posters can hardly be fixed. But the mentioned class of deleted posts is not that case and IMHO it is kind of abusing this strong feature. The OP deserves correcting feedback and chance to change his/her attitude. The automated closure notes are very confusing and even more rude than such posts themselves. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 15, 2022 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ I took the liberty to undelete the post, re-close, and lock it so that people under 10,000 reputation can see the post. $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2022 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Poutnik You should perhaps read up on the Community bot - it hardly does anything you thought it would be able to do meta.stackexchange.com/a/19739/311383 $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 16, 2022 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Perhaps. But the msg on the first sight is very confusing, saying the Community Bot did so when a mod did so. It was not unreasonable to expect some Bayesian antispam filter is deployed and the Bot action just follows. At the link, I have found "Locks and deletes spam/offensive posts.", but perhaps just after manually flagging them so. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 16, 2022 at 13:00

2 Answers 2


I don't often flag things as rude/abusive, but I expect that andselisk is probably mainly using that as a quick way to get rid of the post, with a slightly broader interpretation of the term 'rude'.

But I agree that we don't necessarily need to use the rude/abusive flag for that. What would you think of immediate moderator closure, plus deletion?

In this case, I'd definitely say that this question deserved to be immediately closed as 'unclear', because it makes no sense. (And I'm probably one of the more lenient users when it comes to closure.)

You might have seen a while ago, I suggested that terrible, unsalvageable posts should just be immediately closed and deleted: "Expanding" moderator deletion powers? I think this question would have been a perfect use case. If you agree with this course of action, then that would give me a bit more impetus to wrap that meta post up and turn it into actual site policy.

I also expect that most, if not all, of the other instances you noticed would also "qualify" for instant closure + deletion.

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    $\begingroup$ I can fully agree with this. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 15, 2022 at 18:07

I read that post before it was deleted and would have closed it but sometimes I prefer to leave it to other mods or to the community to take the action when I feel I have "itchy fingers".

The post you refer to was of particularly low quality in all respects andselisk mentions:

Why does Cesium have a higher Boiling point compared to Rb?

This is false. I therefore posted a comment asking the OP to provide the source of data.

From the body of the post:

i know BP should decreese down the group as Cohesive energy decreeses down the group but i found out that cs>Rb in terms of B.P.. so what other factor is affecting this?

The patent spelling errors and use of uppercase might be tolerated but just adds to the perception that this was not well thought out at all.

I think there is a high degree of tolerance on the site but there will be cases where it pays to send a stronger message. Note from the help pages:

Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed at the discretion of the community and moderators.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps "high degree" is opinion-based and varies, but generally speaking the bar is not set so high that newcomers should feel they cannot post questions and expect an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 15, 2022 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ I fully agree of various aspects of low factual and formal quality of the question leading to closure, but it does not make it spam/abusive. It is not intentionally rude nor offensive. I can imagine some challenged dysgraphics may post like this. I have seen much worse posts that were just closed. Marking it spam/abusive brings the action on personal level, considering the message it sends. // I am not particularly focused on this post, it was just illustration of the last case. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 15, 2022 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Poutnik I will just add that sometimes we have to choose from the available choices in a menu why we would like to take an action. Those choices are not always reflecting to high accuracy the grounds for the action, but they capture the essence. andselisk can speak for himself in more detail if he feels it is warranted. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 15, 2022 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Poutnik I handled the flag you raised and agree that the label "spam/abusive" is not correct. However, as Buck Thorn noted, we do not have a wide array of choices from which to choose when closing. The post is awful, really: there's no polite way to communicate that. $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2022 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt I can agree with the choice aspect, I just think a short comment and immediate mod closure could be enough. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 15, 2022 at 15:29

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