Recently a couple of questions were posted which indicated a desire on the part of the OPs to speed up closure of certain questions. We've had similar questions before, and some helpful advice and encouragement on how to help clean up the site, for example this post on deleting closed questions.

It's clear that many users feel strongly about the quality of questions (and answers) on this site, and that includes me. However, we have established ways of dealing with off-topic or low-quality questions: vote to close, downvote, comment requesting clarification, comments suggesting taking the site's tour and reading the help section, etc.

Today I came upon a new (to me) way of helping the deletion process along: repeated requests to the OP to please delete their question.

I have mixed feelings about making this post, and haven't linked because it's about soft policy, not about a particular user.

A question closable as a dupe has one DV and one VTC. There are 2 comments below the question, and only two:

  • Posting the same question is not allowed on Stack Exchange. Please delete this question as it is the same question as [X + link].
  • You haven't deleted this question, yet. Please go ahead and delete this, too. (Same user, about 2 days later.)

I'm not against freedom of speech or freedom to comment. But there are guidelines, and I haven't seen this covered.

Is asking a user (repeatedly) to please delete a question an appropriate way to deal with low quality questions?

It's not the first time I've seen comments like this, though it's uncommon. What particularly surprised me - and prompted the post - was the repetition of the request.

  • Do you know how many questions with the same subject the OP asked on ELU and ELL and how many (s)he has deleted so far?
    – user140086
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    Please link to the user.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 18:28
  • 1
    Without context it's hard to say whether it is appropriate or not.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 18:39
  • Please link to at least one such comment, preferably more.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:00
  • @Mitch - I can't link to multiple comments; I don't keep tabs on such things. The post was deleted about 3(?) hours after I posted this, and so was the second comment. But here it is. english.stackexchange.com/questions/320006/… Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 22:34
  • Why are there question marks in the title of this question? The clause "please delete your question" is not a question.
    – ahorn
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 21:49

2 Answers 2


I don't have a problem with the idea of informing a new user of a policy that they were probably not aware of, but a bare demand for corrective action like that is rather in violation of our "Be Nice" directive, especially since a new user has no incentive to help keep the site neat and will likely sense the "tone" of the comment as curt and demanding, not helpful, welcoming, or informative.

I think the better course of action would be to flag the post for moderator attention, politely mention the policy (with a link), and state the probable course of events:

Hi! I see that you have posted this identical question on several other Stack Exchange sites as well as this one. Per our policy here, posting the same question on multiple sites is not allowed. This copy of the question is likely to be closed or deleted.

  • 1
    I don't think comments like this necessarily violate the "be nice" policy. The first comment listed above is civil. It is also informative: it tells the user that duplicate posts are not allowed, and that users can delete their own posts.
    – herisson
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 19:27
  • 3
    It is civil, yes, but it isn't friendly.
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:02
  • 1
    Is that a problem? Apparently, even though "friendly comments are welcome," "neutral and concise comments are preferred."
    – herisson
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:15
  • 1
    violation of our "Be Nice" directive Check your timetable. That train has left the station.
    – deadrat
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 1:27
  • 6
    Flagging is definitely the correct course of action, but I would counsel not including the last sentence of your suggested comment. The only non-mod user who knows you have flagged a question is you: you don't need to advertise you've done that. And likelihood is subjective: just say that it could be closed or deleted., if you need to mention that at all.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 6:53
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach A fair point; updated my suggested text appropriately.
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 14:46
  • @AndrewLeach: I don't really understand that definitely the correct course of action. I thought the ideal scenario was that we the users should cast close/delete votes, and that asking for mod intervention was effectively a "last resort". Particularly bearing in mind that as I write, all posts on this page are from high-rep users (I do realize there are situations where lower-rep users can't actually cast such votes, so flagging may be more appropriate for them, since it's the only option available). Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:25
  • 1
    Well, yes, if votes are available then use them. But where a question repeatedly appears, VTC as duplicate obviously isn't helping; and In the case of cross-posting, then either it's on-topic where it appeared first, or it needs nuancing to get a site-specific answer. Both of those cases are best dealt with by flagging.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 16:34
  • The recent edit obsoletes most of these comments. This is a mod's problem through and through, and this is what you do if you aren't one (if you're so inclined). Status: answered.
    – Mazura
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 0:49

The OP asked a total of 4 identical questions on ELU and 2 on ELL. Posting the same question on ELU is not allowed.

Based on the following Meta posts, it is not allowed to post the same question on multiple Stack Exchange sites unless (1) you delete your previous question, (2) your first question is closed by a mod when it is spotted by him/her.

Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site?

What to do with cross-site duplicates?

When the OP keeps posting the identical questions repeatedly without knowing the rules and guidelines of this community, I don't think asking the OP to delete the duplicate posts letting him/her know the rules and guidelines is a big issue. Actually the OP deleted third and fourth questions on ELU based on the comment and I left the second comment in your question for the second duplicate question on ELU that (s)he didn't (maybe forgot to) delete as one or two posts were posted with a different user account (same user name).

The is the OP's comment on the 4th question on ELU which was deleted:

I am asking same quetion because i am Not satisfied with answer and when i ask sth in comment No one responds me back.

A side note: I don't think the question is a low-quality question. The original question on ELU has 3 answers with multiple upvotes.

  • 1
    I understand your reasons for wanting the question deleted, but ultimately the question I'm asking is the same. I saw the comments without the context, as many other users are likely to do. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 21:21
  • 2
    'allowed' is a weird word to use. The system certainly 'allows' duplicate questions to be posted in the technical sense; you can do it. That behavior is not recommended, and is recommended strongly to be avoided (there may still be good reasons to do it). But 'cross-posting' is not 'not allowed'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 18:50
  • @medica Look at the subject of your question. That's quite misleading and misrepresentative. If you find any comment "offensive, rude, not constructive", I believe it is the guideline of Stack Exchange to flag it, not trying to interpret it without knowing the context. The OP has been suspended and (s)he would not have been suspended if (s)he had paid attention to my advice.
    – user140086
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 9:23
  • @Mitch You are allowed to drink and drive. The reason you don't do that is you fear the consequences when you get caught. But many people do that because they don't care about them. The system allows everything, even including posting a pornographic picture. Cross-posting is not allowed and the Meta posts I linked in my answer clearly states "No". I know there are many cross-posts, but the only reason they are there is they have not been caught. Cross-posting between ELU and ELL is a completely different matter from doing it among non-related sites.
    – user140086
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 9:27

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