On SA, we have a guideline that health and medical related questions (for example, is it better to eat green beans raw or cooked?) are off topic. However, many new posters don't read the FAQ and guidance; they just jump in with their questions.

I am sure there are analogous concerns at every site.

While no perfect solution is possible, I think we have an opportunity to catch some of these new posters before their questions are put on hold, and we loose good will.

I am suggesting that there be a filter applied to the title text and body of new questions when they are submitted, matching for keywords (or regexes, if that is reasonable). If the filter hits, an educational message would be displayed saying something similar to "Your question contains the word(s) XXXXX. Please be aware of our site's guidelines YYYYYYYYY" and give the poster three options: Return to editing, Cancel submission, Post Anyway.

Each site, via its moderators, should have several slots to set keywords or regexes, and the message that goes with them.

So here on SA, we might have one configured as something similar to:

health nutrition healthier nutrient

Health and nutrition questions are off topic at Seasoned Advise.  Please see our FAQ (with link) for more details.
  • 1
    I like the general idea. The implementation might be better done more generically, though, along the lines of the low quality post detection. There's a pretty big corpus of training data here, and I imagine you might be able to deduce what words show up in off-topic closed questions and not other questions. You might lose the specific message, but you could still at least pop up a list of bad topics like from the faq?
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 23:31
  • @Jefromi I would use both. Our nutrition policy is extremely confusing to new users, and it is perfectly reasonable of them to think that we will accept questions on nutrition. Typing what seems like a good question, posting it successfully and then getting it closed by a moderator is a very negative experience for a first time poster. Giving a warning that the question will be closed while the poster is still typing gives them a way to exit gracefully before putting too much effort into the question formulation.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 23:00
  • @rumtscho This is just triggering method. The message can still include the quick off topic reasons even if they have to be generic.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 23:11


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