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'Saviour' of Lost Souls

Meta sites, but especially Meta Stack Exchange, see a lot of 'lost souls', users who have no idea that they're on Meta (e.g. because of a suboptimal email or a Stack Overflow question ban) and post a question which might or might not be on-topic on another Stack Exchange site. For many Meta regulars, moderating these questions involves one or more of the following steps:

  • downvoting the question (because it needs to have a score of -3 or lower for fast deletion)
  • flagging or voting to close the question as off-topic
  • leaving a comment in the following style:

Hi [lost soul], welcome to Meta! I'm not sure which search brought you here but the problem you describe will not be answered on this specific site. To get an answer from users that have the expertise about the topic of your question you'll have to find and then re-post on the proper site. Check How do I ask a good question and What is on topic on the target site to make sure your post is in good shape. Your question is definitely off-topic on Meta and is better deleted here.

  • if the question is closed, vote to delete it

To minimize the effort involved in this process, I've created the 'Saviour' of Lost Souls. This userscript will add a link to the post menu, which (upon confirmation) will perform the applicable actions. The userscript works on Meta Stack Exchange, and upon request by πάντα ῥεῖ also on Meta Stack Overflow.

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Since the Ask a Question wizard on Stack Overflow has led to a huge increase in blatantly off-topic questions on Software Recommendations and Hardware Recommendations, version 0.5 of the script works there as well. The comment it will leave there is similar to

Hi [lost soul], welcome to Software Recommendations! This question does not appear to be about software recommendations, within the scope defined on meta and in the help center. If you think you can [edit] it to become on-topic, please have a look at the question quality guidelines.

Installation

developed & tested with Violentmonkey on Firefox

  • Can you please add a feature to post a [tag:cv-pls] link message in Tavern on the Meta? – gparyani Nov 17 '18 at 15:23
  • @gparyani excellent idea. IIRC one of the SOCVR scripts has a similar functionality, it should be easy to adapt it to this situation. – Glorfindel Nov 17 '18 at 15:25
  • I don't like this particular canned comment, and I don't want it to be in widespread use. Can you please un-hard-code it from your script, and instead add a blank prompt to enter it? It would also be great if you added a community wiki answer where users can compile and post their examples of comments. – gparyani Nov 17 '18 at 15:36
  • Yes, that will be configurable at some point. I chose this comment because I was already using it before the script; I was already using it because some other people used very similar comments. If you can arrange some kind of consensus among the Meta regulars, either in the Tavern or on Meta.SE itself, about what the comment should look like, I can update the script to use that as a default. – Glorfindel Nov 17 '18 at 15:40
  • Er, I was asking for a blank field, where the user can enter one themselves. We can compile examples in a CW answer, which is acceptable here on Stack Apps. – gparyani Nov 17 '18 at 15:41
  • A blank field would be one of the configurable options, yes. But then I need to mess with the Stack Exchange UI, which is a lot harder than executing simple POST calls. I'll let you know when this feature is available, but why not post a Q&A on Meta.SE right now, so that people without userscripts can profit? Similar to math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4925/228959 – Glorfindel Nov 17 '18 at 15:43
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If not available already, can we have a version of that user script applying for Meta Stack Overflow please?

We face the very same problem there frequently.

  • That would be rather easy, but not as easy as adding an @include rule. The 'button' is only active for questions by users with 1 reputation; on Meta.SO a different rule should apply since you can't post there with 1 reputation. Any thoughts about a sensible alternative rule (for MSO only)? – Glorfindel Jan 5 at 14:35
  • @Glorfindel It seems they can post even with 1 rep there meanwhile. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 5 at 14:37
  • If they ask about their own post, yes. (And they might get downvotes and lose reputation after posting on meta.) But the Help Center says 5 rep. I'm not that active anymore on MSO, but I remember seeing programming questions by users from 5-±100 rep who were either lost or question-banned (or both). The thing is, those are difficult to separate from low-rep users who have a genuine Meta question. Especially with the information on the page itself, I'd rather not have the script make a GET call to their profile page. – Glorfindel Jan 5 at 14:41
  • @Glorfindel I believe at MSO, the focus tends to users asking about their own questions. But I understand the technical obstacles you're challenging there. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 5 at 14:46
  • Yeah, maybe I should just show it if at least 2 of the 3 following conditions hold: 'New contributor' indicator is visible; the user has <100 reputation; or the post's score is <0. – Glorfindel Jan 5 at 14:54
  • @Glorfindel New Contributor seems to be a valid key. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 5 at 14:56
  • I've released version 0.2 with MSO support; the 'lost soul' link is shown under the conditions mentioned in my previous comment. I haven't had the chance to test it yet. – Glorfindel Jan 6 at 17:31
  • It's worth noting that users who are a member of a Team have the ability to post on MSO with just 1 rep (cc @Glorfindel) – gparyani Feb 5 at 11:01
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I often find a situation where clicking the lost souls link is applicable at an MSE/MSO question, but someone else already commented with a way worse comment than the stock comment generated by the script (missing the essential information and links).
If there's already a comment on the question, the stock comment won't be generated.

It would be nice to have an option to force generating the stock comment on confirmation (a simple checkbox at the confirmation dialog should suffice).

  • Maybe it could detect if any of the comments IS the stock comment and if not, generate it. – rene Jul 28 at 9:01
  • @rene I believe that's already done, and the stock comment is upvoted automatically. Though, if there's any other comment the script doesn't seem to generate the stock comment. Also I think there are comment styles that merely say the same, and do well equally to give the OP the necessary information. I'd prefer to sort out myself what to do or not. THX for your attention. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jul 28 at 9:05
  • This has been implemented in version 1.0, which also features a nice shiny Stacks dialog. – Glorfindel Oct 9 at 6:51

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