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The sandbox is a mess, let's clean it up!

Here are some solutions. Vote on them to express agreement.

Also, sort by votes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I was actually planning to suggest a similar policy but then somehow forgot about it. I'm definitely in favour of deleting negatively received and abandoned posts. The timeframes you propose seem reasonable to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Jun 9 '17 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ However, for the initial mass deletion I wouldn't edit the deleted posts. That would lead to the first 6 pages being deleted answers. If individual posts are deleted in the future based on this criterion, I wouldn't mind editing them, but if they're abandoned they're not on the front page anyway, so it doesn't matter whether they're edited down. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Jun 9 '17 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ As for "how you can help": if we implement this policy it would be easiest if people just flag answers that satisfy the criteria so a mod can delete them. I doubt that the meta review queues get enough attention to accumulate enough delete votes. (Not for the initial mass deletion though, please. We can find the relevant questions easily enough on our own.) \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Jun 9 '17 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes, that's probably best \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Jun 9 '17 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your query for posts older than 2 years is also restricted to score 0 or less. Did you forget to mention that in your proposal? \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Jun 9 '17 at 13:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think owners of these sandbox posts should be notified and given at least a week to refactor or delete the post themselves. \$\endgroup\$ – Poke Jun 9 '17 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ A score less that -1 seems too strict. It's easy for a sand-boxed post to get a -1 score and have that reviewer not revisit the post even after changes are made. I'm sure I've had sandbox posts sit for at least a month before. I propose something a little more lenient like -5 to start. We can always tighten this up later. \$\endgroup\$ – Poke Jun 9 '17 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with @Poke about notification first as I believe the author doesn't get notified automatically when a post is deleted. I work through my own sandbox posts most popular first, so I have many sandbox posts that haven't been edited in a year but I still intend to get to after the more popular ones. I'd appreciate warning before any of these are deleted (some have 0 votes). \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 9 '17 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it's just too early for me, but all this less than sounds confusing. a score of -2 or less is easier to parse than a score less than -1. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Jun 9 '17 at 13:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Devil's advocate questions where OP posts a load of answers without justification as a straw poll are discouraged on this meta. And I'm not even sure why you did it, because you started taking action after making this post and before waiting for the community to vote on the answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jun 10 '17 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ "sort by votes" - yet the majority of the "answers" you posted need to be read in sequence in order to understand the context. As with other Meta questions dealing with consensuses, each answer should be a self-contained proposal. \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Jun 10 '17 at 13:22
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What about the good but abandoned proposals?

Ask for permission, adopt and post all posts that have a score > 1 and no activity for a month.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There are 409 of these \$\endgroup\$ – NonlinearFruit Jun 9 '17 at 15:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ A month isn't nearly long enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Jun 10 '17 at 12:30
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Give people notice first

Before VTDing a post, comment this:

Canned message to comment to to-be-deleted posts:

This sandbox post has had little activity in a while and little positive reception from the community. Please improve / edit it or delete it to help us [clean up the sandbox.](https://codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/q/12792)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I suppose you could do this automatically using a bot which is commenting through the Sandbox account \$\endgroup\$ – Beta Decay Jun 10 '17 at 7:59
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Go slow

Whatever action is taken, if it isn't "No action" then it has the potential to be incredibly disruptive. The same principle applies as with big retagging projects: if everything is tackled at once then it floods the first page with trivial changes, burying new content.

If 50 posts are edited as a result of their owners responding to warnings about possible deletion then all recent sandboxed posts will be pushed back two pages, and the amount of "new" material will be so much that some of the ideas which people are trying to save will not be reviewed.

In short: doing this badly will exacerbate the problem it's trying to solve. Do not rush.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We could place the sandbox on hold as we do this as to prevent any new proposals coming in \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Jun 10 '17 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing, I think the problem Peter is trying to highlight here is the mass necroing of old challenges creating too much noise in the steady flow of new challenges. \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Jun 11 '17 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shaggy I see it as: "Too many old challenges getting bumped; no one can find the new challenges" and so if we put the sandbox on hold while editing old ones, new ones can't be posted and then get lost \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Jun 11 '17 at 9:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing, so what would people with new challenges do? Almost certainly skip the sandbox. Besides, even if no-one posts new ones, part of my point was that if people necro 50 old challenges then they won't be reviewed properly. We don't really want more than 5 or so necroed challenges per day. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jun 11 '17 at 15:15

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