I'm very much trying to understand how this site operates as it feels very inconsistent. In another post (link below) it was stated that a post is somewhat deemed 'well received' if it has comments. This is important as when asking why a given post is migrated/closed/etc the nature of it being 'well received' seems to be used as a metric.

Is there any official documentation on how 'well received' is formally defined and assessed. And with regard to 'Language' are there specific rules that apply for determining 'well received'?

Link: Migration of question

  • 4
    No, you have misunderstood. I said the comments indicate that it has been well-received. Quite a different thing.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Oct 3, 2019 at 7:01
  • @AndrewLeach - No, fair enough. I see I've inverted the implication here. Regardless, the question holds as I'd like to better understand what defines 'well understood' Oct 3, 2019 at 7:03
  • @AndrewLeach- No, in reflection your exact words are "where comments indicate it's been reasonably well-received" This reads more that "It has comments, therefore it's been well-received" not "It's been well received, thus it has comments" Oct 3, 2019 at 7:06
  • 3
    Well, that's not what I meant. I meant "where its comments indicate..." or "where the comments that have been made on it indicate..."
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Oct 3, 2019 at 7:07
  • @AndrewLeach Fair enough. I only have your words to go by though. You will have to forgive me if I read your words literally. Thank you for the clarification though. Oct 3, 2019 at 7:09

1 Answer 1


Reception and commentary

No. The existence of comments on a question do not indicate one way or another that a question is well received. Neither does the absence of comments.

It’s possible and observed that well-received questions can have comments or no comments. Equally, it’s possible and observed that poorly-received questions can have comments or no comments.

The content of those comments might, and often do, indicate how the community is receiving your question. As any commentary anywhere in life is used to praise, critique, or criticize works and behaviors. You have to read what they say. And you have to read them in good faith.

Assessing reception more generally

With respect to determining the reception of a particular Q: upvotes and in particular a net positive score indicate positive reception. Downvotes, a net negative score, close votes, actual closure, delete votes, and actual deletion all indicate negative reception (in that order).

There are also flags which anyone can cast but only mods can see and act on which are typically used for significantly inappropriate content (eg spam, abuse, insults, etc).

On net-zero-scored questions

A net zero score, with no other indication to go by (positive or negative comments, closure votes, etc) usually indicate a question which has just passed the bar for an acceptable question, and there’s not much more you can say for them.

Usually these are “meh” questions, of no particular interest to anyone but the OP, but they’ve nonetheless abided by the relevant standards.

That said, for rules (eg banning), badges, and a variety of other algorithmic applications on the site (as opposed to in people’s mental representation of the question), typically net zero-score questions are classified as “poorly received”.

Take-away advice

For that reason, and because it’s not very hard to do, question authors should strive to learn to ask questions that consistently attract at least one or two upvotes (more precisely: a net score above zero), and which do not attract any close votes (whether or not the question is ultimately closed).

Outside of that, it’s best not to worry if you get a couple downvotes, every question attracts some, they’re inevitable, and they don’t matter so long as overall there are more upvotes than down.

  • Thank you for the detail in your response. Oct 3, 2019 at 20:53

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