A few times I have noticed that, to reduce clutter, people have taken it upon themselves to reduce the body of sandbox posts in bulk. While, I don't disagree with the practice of decluttering, by editing 10+ posts all in one go, you create even more clutter.

Instead of finding the newest posts on the first page (when sorting by active, as suggested), you may have to go to the second or third pages to get the new posts. This is extremely incovenient and infuriating.

Anyway, I would like to propose a limit of decluttering in batches of 5 or 10. Large-scale decluttering is very bad practice.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this suggestion. Another thing I would propose is to make deleted posts automatically stay at the bottom. I mean, they're deleted for a reason... \$\endgroup\$
    – user42649
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 21:46
  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ To make it explicit for those who don't see deleted posts: editing down and then deleting a post still leaves it at the top of the list when sorted by "active" (which is the most convenient way to view the sandbox). So if you do this for 10 posts, then although they look like they have disappeared, for high rep users they are still there. So it inconveniences the experienced users who we most need feedback from. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 21:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino they are also visible to high rep users for a reason, so that would be counterintuitive on those rare occasions when someone is looking for a deleted post. I'd love the option to toggle whether deleted posts are displayed though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax That was also what I had in mind. I might make a userscript to do that, or ask Taco. :P \$\endgroup\$
    – user42649
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant to hiding deleted posts: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/38145383#38145383 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ For those who don't want to click the link, you can hide deleted posts by adding (filler space...) .answer.deleted-answer { display: none; } to your styler. \$\endgroup\$
    – MD XF
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm suddenly very worried about getting upvoted twice. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 21:52

3 Answers 3


We can fix this problem by decluttering sooner

I agree that mass decluttering is an issue. It's an issue caused by the decluttering not having been done in the first place; if a challenge is decluttered as soon as it's posted, there's no need to declutter it later, and it isn't decluttered at the same time as other challenges (thus meaning that we don't get the "block of red" that makes the sandbox hard to use).

At present, I think there's some reluctance to decluttering other people's posts. If we have an explicit rule that "as soon as you see a deleted Sandbox post for a recently posted challenge, you should declutter it", that would help the declutterings be spread out in time; the more people decluttering, the less "clumpy" the declutterings get. (Or to put it the other way round: the reason we get declutter clumps is that few people are decluttering and they don't do it very often, meaning that a large amount of clutter builds up in between each decluttering event.)

(Note "recently posted" here; if a challenge dodges a declutter for a long time, you should probably delay decluttering it until there haven't been any declutterings recently, as the OP suggests. Additionally, if a challenge dodges a declutter for a long time, it'll probably be several pages back, and thus decluttering it will be less important.)


Don't declutter posts that have dropped off the first active page

The entire point of editing down deleted posts is to reduce the clutter on the first page when sorted by active, where they take up too much space between the challenge proposals that are still being worked on. Once the deleted post is no longer on the first page its impact on the usability of the sandbox is minimal and editing it down is more detrimental than just leaving it, because then it can actually push active proposals off the first page.

So by all means, edit down your own posts as soon as you delete them, as well as other deleted posts you may find on the first page, but once they're off the first page, just leave them as they are.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly how I think it should be. The sandbox was like this previously and it worked \$\endgroup\$
    – Beta Decay
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 6:18

Don't declutter, delete.

Yes, a deleted post will still be visible to most of us, but it's decidedly marked and can be skipped by the reader. Also, with any luck, the post was left in the sandbox (unedited) for so long that, at the time of going Main, it was no longer on the first page anyway. Editing it (at time of posting on Main, or any time theresafter) just brings it up again without a clear purpose.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have had, multiple times, my deleted posts edited by 2k+ users to declutter. The real solution is @ais's: declutter AND delete when you post to main. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:25

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