A lot of the trolling questions about the Holocaust (currently, I'm of the opinion it's by one person) have very short question bodies:

Sampling methodology for above: pending flagged question, link to similar question, plus questions I have helpfully flagged as rude and abusive which are about the holocaust or Jews, until I got bored.

In the two most recent questions, there was no source code text that easily identified it as being about the Holocaust. "Auschwitz" is only visible in the image itself, and "Soviet" and "chimney" don't provide a strong hint that it's about the Holocaust. I think that if we require question bodies to be longer, they're more likely to include a keyword that can be detected by charcoal.

I think that we should change the quality filter to require more text in the question body, but I have some questions about whether it'd be a good idea:

  • Is it likely that requiring a longer question body will increase the likelihood of it triggering a keyword for Charcoal?
  • Will increasing the length of a question make it more likely to be interpreted as a legitimate, good-faith question? Unfortunately, some users have already treated existing questions as legitimate:

  • Is increasing the required question body length going to lead to negative consequences for legitimate question askers? (I think not, because if you're a good-faith question asker who has a question that is that short, the software is doing you a favour by encouraging you to provide more detail)

  • 5
    I'm not sure that this will be very effective. On other sites, even with the current low minimum length requirement, I see people include things like "I need more characters to post this" instead of actually fleshing out their posts (these people weren't trolls, just lazy).
    – Laurel
    Dec 9, 2019 at 23:59
  • I always appreciate automating human action, but as Laurel says, I don't know if this would help. Maybe in conjunction with other things, but I don't know what.
    – fredsbend
    Dec 13, 2019 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


Real Skeptic questions about the Holocaust or Holocaust research should be allowed. Its just another historic event. The magnitude of this historic event should not be an excuse to censor free speech or academic research. However, if those questions are illegal by law or really poor questions that do not fit the standards of this site, then they should be flagged. The same applies to other questions, no matter the content. A question like "did Newton invent gravity?" is a low quality question and should be flagged. Methods like increasing the required question length are a start to combat this. When a person adds sentences like: "I need more characters to post this" then they make it more obvious that this is a troll post and other people are more reluctant to answer.

But what about the law or the terms of service from stackexchange?

At least in Germany you could get into real trouble if you discuss the Holocaust from a Skeptic viewpoint. A German judge/prosecutor could easily make a case against you because a Skeptic question could be valued as downplaying the Holocaust which is also illegal in Germany (and there are more laws they can turn against you: §130, §189, §194 Stgb). Its even illegal for Germans to do this outside of Germany. (BGH, Az. 1 StR 184/00).

  • I wonder how the last para connects to the question posed here? Furthermore, it is not really correct. What is forbidden is blunt & primitive denialism and fake science in relation to that topic. This kind of method is allowed if propagating eg homeopathy, legally. In relation to Holocaust scholarship, criticism is allowed grounded by means of human rights and freedom of scholarship. Even 'essentials' can be re-questioned in honest research and with real science. universaar.uni-saarland.de/journals/index.php/tg/article/… It depends on the case. All Grimm listed fail. Dec 12, 2019 at 13:00
  • 1
    That is: what we here hopefully understand "Skepticism" to mean is perfectly legal, but if "Skepticism" is just motivated 'reasoning' to achieve an excuse for relativism and denial, this is in troubled waters from the start. And it is quite despicable. The laws you quote are a bit controversial in that they may have potential to be misapplied or abused, but so far they did not strangle science that much (they do, as in you interpreting them as wholesale prohibition & taboo), protected against a torrent of trolls, if they were applied … Dec 12, 2019 at 13:10

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