When an answer doesn't cite a source, below steps are followed:

  1. Users flag the answer to Moderator's attention; Moderator will add a banner to that answer, as suggested here: What kind of banners (notices) do we use?
  2. After few days, even if the answer doesn't provide source, then the Moderator may delete that answer depending on re-flagging from the users, as suggested here: Official policy for deleting answers that don't cite sources

Now, many answers are posted without sources & it's trivial to determine that. A flag with "No sources; add banner" -- to Mod with description is just boilerplate work. Shouldn't we automate the step-1 from above?

I suggest following:

  • Add an answer flag for "Source not cited"
  • Optionally if possible add an auto comment, "Welcome to Hinduism ... Answer should be backed up ..." -- at least for less reputation users
  • If N [=2 or 3] users raise the same flag, the appropriate banner is added automatically
  • The flag to Mod has to be raised only if the answerer wants to dispute for removal of banner

This feature is very much required for the sites like ours, which demands source backup with an answer.

  • 1
    If you think there are other sites where this feature would be helpful, this is apt question for Mother Meta In my opinion. Moreover, searching for a source is a manual thing to do so, I think there should be some check from a moderator. We don't demand scripture backup, just some authentic sources need not to be a scripture. Dec 13, 2017 at 4:25
  • @NogShine, there may not be other sites as of yet or there might be. I am not knowing anyone except this site. However, the site specific features are possible. For example, many extra formatting facilities are given in math.SE. Also, what we are asking in this feature, is merely a flag and the automated bannering. It should be an easy one. Didn't post in the mother meta, because first I wanted to see, if other users in our site wants/agrees this feature or not. If the response is good enough and can't be handled locally, then Mods may migrate to the main meta, as done in past.
    – iammilind
    Dec 13, 2017 at 4:28
  • The problem with this is it lacks nuance. Folks can read a comment. And as a mod elsewhere - the whole point of a flag is to get someone to look at it and decide. What's the flag/banner going to that a comment dosen't. There's an existing citation needed banner that would work - and a mod can decide here? May 28, 2018 at 3:43
  • @JourneymanGeek, I couldn't get your point. However, we have a convention in this site, where if an answer is not providing a source citation, then it's expected from the users to flag that post to moderators & moderators would add a banner to that post. If the post, doesn't add any sources even after that, then after certain period, that post will be deleted, depending on another flag. Please refer this post: Official policy for deleting answers that don't cite sources. Please see the updated Qn to get more context above.
    – iammilind
    May 28, 2018 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


Currently we have following 4 choices for flagging an answer:

enter image description here

I recommend to add 1 more choice selection button, which reads something similar to "Banner needed for no source citation".
Depending on the flagging user's reputation &/OR number of flagging users, the answer will be automatically have a banner for lack of source.

This will make moderators' job easy.

  • It will make moderators job easy but developers job difficult. Flags like these need to be handled manually by moderators. Automation doesn't help here. Even NAA flags doesn't have auto action. Do you believe that a source citation will get auto action like Rude flags? May 25, 2018 at 15:10
  • @Sarvabhouma like how 5 close votes closes a question, few spam flags delete an answer, in same way 3 citation flags should add a banner. Besides adding a banner is quite non invasive compared to other actions.
    – iammilind
    May 25, 2018 at 15:15
  • Which I think is less possible. There are only 4 options for flagging network wide. Only our site is asking for fifth option which is highly unlikely to get which needs change in design of the answer dialogue box. Considering they are busy in other works (like Privacy policy, Teams) and ours is a beta site, we may get it late. May 25, 2018 at 15:23

Post notices (which what this essentially is) help mitigate but not solve the problem. If users keep making un-cited claims, the best way to deal with it is to... well use downvotes, comments and deletion to encourage the behaviour we want. If you're feeling charitable, and feel its in the spirit and intent of the poster, maybe add the citations in question yourself.

If you don't have a massive number of posts that need a citation, it can be handled manually. If you do, you have a broader problem of post quality that needs to be taken care of.

  • We have several posts, which are written without any source citations. Sometimes, they are upvoted by the fellow users. Though it's not a problem, but some of the answers even lack the sincerity. Conventional way is to write a monotonous line such as "The answer is without any source citation". That goes to Mod queue & is processed further. The intention of this meta post here is that, we want to automate the process of adding banners. Can you suggest any better alternative?
    – iammilind
    May 28, 2018 at 6:14

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