As per moderator request making a separate question.

The citation banner is a special feature in our community. This banner can only be added by mods. Recently we faced a shortage of mods due to which some low quality content may have been overlooked. Further at time mods maybe busy to handle flags. As a result, I’d request an option whereby the community themselves can vote to add a citation banner, similar to the close and reopen review queues. 3-5 votes to add citation banner. This will save the moderators’ from a headache.


1 Answer 1


The post notice system - which is what the banner you mention is part of - is one that we believe should remain under the power of the moderators alone. For this reason alone, we're declining this request.

That said, I'd like to talk a bit about how this site is using these banners. While I understand that there were some issues in the past that caused posts to go without such a banner, I think there may be a misunderstanding about the intended use of this banner.

Post notices in general should be very rarely used. The citation needed post notice should be particularly rarely used or else it loses all meaning. If y'all have answers with this post notice from years ago and those answers have not been deleted - you're telling visitors to your site that the post notice actually means nothing.

For example - this answer received the notice over three years ago! The answer has not been edited to add citations and yet it sits there with a score of +3 and the author is now deleted - there's no reason for that answer to still be on the site.

If no one is going to monitor these posts that get the banner to actually ensure that they're either improved or deleted, then using the banner is pointless and is, in fact, likely doing more harm than good!

Y'all have over 1800 answers with a post notice of some sort on them - for context, Stack Overflow has only 162. Many of these were added far after the post was created such as this one where the answer was posted in 2014 and the notice was posted in 2020 but the user who answered the question hasn't been here since 2014!

Please, if there's an old answer that doesn't cite sources and your site requires sources - just delete the answer!

If the answer:

  • is old (more than 3 months)
  • is answered by an inactive user
  • fails to minimally source the content
  • can't be simply edited by a current user with a link or citation

Just delete it and make room for someone to write a better answer that has citations. This is particularly the case where the answer may be one of two or more answers that say generally the same thing. If there's a cited answer already existing on the question, then just delete the unsourced answer.

When moderators are going through these answers, they can leave a comment telling the author to flag the answer if it's improved and a moderator will undelete it for them but, please, don't use these post notices like this.

Hinduism has ~16k answers, which means more than 10% of the answers here have this citation needed banner - can you understand how bad that may look for visitors to your site? How many of them have been improved as a result of the banner? Does the banner get removed from those posts?

Yes, I understand that there's a feeling of wanting to be welcoming and giving people a chance to improve content rather than just removing it but if you just leave the content here, and never look back at it again, you've not actually improved the content on the site.

Please, don't try to rescue ancient, low-quality content. Recognize it for what it is and work to actually improve content by removing the bad - maybe then people will create new, better answers to the questions that now look like they don't have answers at all.

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    Hi! Please find the closely relevant discussion at here. Can you assist us with deleting those answers effectively?
    – Pandya Mod
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 11:20

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