As this site is getting more and more popular, I forsee that more people will create one-time accounts, posting a question with a meaningless title (such as the above) and trivial content with no research effort (such as Japanese to English : need help with a sentence).

These questions currently get closed as "too localized" (as per What questions are not allowed on Japanese Language and Usage?) but still fill up the board in an unsightly manner. Since one-time accounts are used, etiquette considerations (e.g. How to title translation request) will not work.

I would prefer to move them someplace where they can get answered quickly and likewise quickly be forgotten about, so they do not obscure the more interesting questions. I am thinking of some kind of meta⁻¹ board ("meta" constituting a higher level of abstraction, meta⁻¹ therefore the "lower reaches").

How should we address rogue translation requests?

I think this will be more important going forward, as the FAQ has been replaced with the Help Center. I imagine very few new users will find their way to what used to be the top of our FAQ, describing what sorts of questions are off-topic. –  snailboat Jun 6 '13 at 14:09
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2 Answers

Auto-deletion should kick in for old (over a year) questions with zero or lower score, zero answers and one or less comments (see the Mothership for details). Moderators can also delete questions. Some time (48 hours) after closing 10k users can vote to delete, I believe (not sure if we have many/any of those here yet).

Closed questions can, in theory, be improved and reopened. We should aim for this - and most of these could be made into sensible questions with some editing and nudging of the poster. I would say:

  • Do not answer (removes any motivation for improvement of the question)
  • Comment, if more details are required from the poster to make the question into something sensible.
  • Edit, if it's just the title/formatting that needs fixing.
  • Flag, if it's obvious abuse of the system and needs deleting by a moderator.

If you want to see a list of the newest questions minus anything that's been closed, search for closed:0 then click "newest" or make this a bookmark. You can also use this with tags, e.g. the search [translation] closed:0 will show translation questions minus any that have been closed. Another is [translation] score:0 which shows only questions with a score of 0 or above.

ETA: just checked, access to delete votes takes only 2k here. I guess I don't check old closed questions.

Automatic deletion goes a little bit faster now under certain conditions. I don't think having the mods delete everything is a sustainable solution, and shifts a lot of the burden onto the moderators. –  Troyen Jun 18 '13 at 6:08
Sorry, I probably didn't make it clear - I would only think flags were for abuse like repeatedly posting new copies of closed questions in an attempt to get an answer or something like that. –  nkjt Jun 18 '13 at 7:47
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You can always downvote them. A score of -4 will push them off the default front page, both preventing them from obscuring more interesting questions and showing the few people that see them that these questions might not be a good idea (with a score below zero).

Alternatively, a more new user-friendly approach would be to just close the question as off-topic. When the new close reasons come out, we'll be able to specifically say "translation requests are off-topic" instead of the old closing as "too localized".

Thanks for pointing the -4 constraint out. That way we could quickly answer the question and get it off the screen. –  Jens Jensen Jun 18 '13 at 8:52
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