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I am talking about the contents of a box which sometimes appears during the writing a question:

The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed

How has the system managed to show this alarming box? Which words or sentences have been remarked as subjective terms to the system?

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  • Good link! Thanks! But this question has not gotten convincing answers by mods or sire's programmers/developers and it seems they like to keep it as their own secrets! Why I think like this? Because I didn't use suggested words and again I saw that box! – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 10:26
  • What are you typing, if you don't mind my asking? Maybe they've changed it since that question was answered, which was back in 2009. – snailplane Mar 12 '13 at 10:38
  • Sure! The problem is I cannot remember all cases but for example I am sure about not using "you" or "your" or those words in the words lists of repliers on that page. – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 10:42
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    I wouldn't pay much attention to it. Whatever algorithm the system employs is designed to recognize terms which are likely to be out of place in questions about computer programming and IT (which is 90%+ of the traffic on SE). – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 12 '13 at 10:59
  • But I am a researcher! ;)) – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 11:04
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    1) Keep in mind that this doesn't mean "I-the-mindless-machine am likely to close the question"; it means "This question looks to me-the-mindless-machine like a question which Real People might close." 2) We don't really want to see the algorithms for things like this and sock-puppet detection and serial-voting detection published; that is of no use to anybody except the people who are trying to beat the system. It would be like posting a sign for burglars: "Hey, guys, here are my lock IDs, so you can go out and get keys made instead of breaking in." – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 12 '13 at 20:39
  • @StoneyB My mind knows it! This is a strange expectation of a mindless machine to decide about it itself in a world which even you can not expect the same of people's minds! about the other sentences by you I have no idea which it is off topic. My question was about something else however sometimes I am wondering about people who follow the others to downvote them or insult them like a idiot buzzer and even get helps and some encourage them! – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 21:19
  • I hope People's minds try to find all people will not stay silent when they are using ugly wrong methods to impose their ideas to the others and they have to respect if they expect respect. They have to judge fairly if they expect to be judged fairly and there is no difference between a user who create 100 trivial questions in half an hour to get more votes and mod tools and a user who has joined the site less than one month! About sock puppets I agree with you as I think there are some users who have several Ids and surely have high scores! ;) – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 21:27
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    @ctype.h +1 Thanks for your edit. – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 21:59
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    Related question: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/139/… – Andrew Grimm Mar 13 '13 at 4:24
  • @AndrewGrimm Thanks! I agree with you about that. – Persian Cat Mar 13 '13 at 7:51
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See What algorithm does Stack Exchange use to determine if a question may be subjective?. Here is an excerpt from the highest voted answer there by Adam Davis:

Don't use the following words in a subject title - it connotes subjective question.

  • Best
  • Worst
  • Hardest
  • You
  • Your
  • Favorite
  • Favourite

Jeff posted the regex in uservoice (As of May 2, 2009):

Regex.IsMatch(s, @"\bbest\b|\bworst\b|\bhardest\b|\byour?\b|\bfavou?rite\b", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);

This was posted in 2009, so it may or may not have changed since then.

Because ELL is a language site, these warnings will often be irrelevant. For example, a question such as, Is "Where was you?" ungrammatical? My book says it is, but I often hear native speakers say it. would probably produce the subjective question warning even though it is definitely not subjective.

The warning is intended to prevent users from asking questions such as Which dictionary do you use? or What is your favorite thesaurus?, as such questions are subjective and would probably be closed within a few minutes anyway. However, since the warning is bound to produce false positives, it will not prevent you from posting a question.

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As the meta answer explains, the algorithm is pretty much just a list of red-flagged words:

  • Best
  • Worst
  • Hardest
  • You
  • Your
  • Favorite
  • Favourite

In particular, the algorithm can't tell apart a personal "you" ("what do you think?") and an impersonal "you" ("how do you say [...]"). The former probably indicates a subjective question; the latter, not so much, but they both get tagged with the same brush.

The good news is, you can totally ignore the subjective warning: the system will still let you post your question, even if your title manages to hit all of the flagged words.

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  • :)) Yes! Really good news! – Persian Cat Mar 12 '13 at 19:44

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