This is simply a proposal for discussion. The problem I'm trying to solve is the following. Many new users simply post without reading our site first and familiarizing with our rules. The consequence of that is that a lot of the "first posts" are unreferenced.
At the moment, what happens it that someone in the community, user or moderator, will engage the user and try to convince them to add references to reputable resources, and possibly add the "unreferenced" banner or delete the answer in some specific cases.
The problems with this are multiple:
- it is tedious - most of the comments/post notices do not have any follow up.
- as the site scales, we will possibly miss some answers, so some new users will not be contacted and the quality will decrease.
- the current way of contacting is personal. Many users think they are being contacted because the answer is incorrect. This leads to some people feeling personally targeted when they are merely contacted for objective reasons.
This is an alternative proposal:
Users are allowed to post answers without links, but those answers get an "unreferenced" banner. It should be clear that this is done impartially by a tool.
The very large majority of answers without links will be unreferenced, but it's possible that in some cases there can be a reference without a link. The answer is flagged for review by the community or mods that handle the exceptions. Also, the community can add a personal welcome if they feel is necessary.
Optionally, all bannered answers will go through a review queue (on bannering and on edit post-bannering) where users can handle the posts appropriately:
- remove the banner as a new privilege (10k?)
- edit to add references
- vote to delete or flag for the mods to delete as abandoned.
What do you think?