Note: This question is mainly about closed questions that haven't received any answers. Questions with answers should potentially be treated differently.

First the numbers:

Duplicate questions:

  • 226 questions are closed as duplicates (including questions with answers)
  • 71 questions are closed as duplicates (not including questions with answers)
    • 37 have a score of zero or less
    • 47 have a score of one or less
    • 63 are more than one month old
    • 37 are more than one year old

Closed questions (not duplicates):

  • 434 questions are closed, but are not duplicates (including questions with answers)
  • 70 questions are closed, but are not duplicates (not including questions with answers)
    • 5 have a score of zero of less
    • 27 have a score of 1 or less
    • 64 are more than one month old
    • 39 are more than one year old


Closed questions (not duplicates) with zero or negative score get deleted fast. Hurray! Duplicate questions with zero or negative score tend to stick around a bit longer. Many positive scoring questions are kept, even though they have been closed for quite some time.

In my opinion, most of these should be deleted.


Negative scoring closed questions get deleted already. But what about the duplicates? And what about closed questions with a few positive votes?

Is there a reason for keeping them around, or should we delete them if they're older than, for instance, a month?

Maybe there are some exceptions that should be kept even if they're closed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you only including posts with 0 answers in your counts? You should at least mention that in the post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because deleting questions with answers seems like a bad idea (in general), since that would delete the effort of many people answering questions. A question can some very good answers, but ultimately get closed as off-topic, or something similar. On a general basis I wouldn't vote to delete a question with answers, but there are exceptions. An example to illustrate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some queries on SEDE for finding questions with delete votes: data.stackexchange.com/codegolf/query/143162/… ;; data.stackexchange.com/codegolf/query/141131/… (these will show incorrect results because I recently cast a bunch of the last-needed delete votes on these questions, but SEDE doesn't update instantly) \$\endgroup\$
    – cat
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


tl;dr: Don't worry about it.

For off-topic posts such as general programming questions, there's no reason to waste your time and delete votes on posts that will already get Roomba'd automatically. This goes for any post that's closed and downvoted, indicating it's a poor fit for the site.

The idea of typically avoiding deletion of duplicate questions is so that they can act as "signposts" for future askers challenge-writers. There's no harm in having one post point to another so that people can find the dupe target more easily.

Otherwise, for questions that are closed but upvoted, well, clearly since they're upvoted at least someone found them interesting. There's no reason to delete positively-scored content (serving as a rough indicator that it is high-quality and contributes positively to the site) just because it's been closed (however unlikely it might be after several years, they can always be reopened again eventually).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The end of this answer was sort of rushed—I have to go now, but I'll come back later to expand on this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 12:43

No, current deletion system is ok

For more details about automatic deletion see How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

  • Duplicates are useful for the search engine.
  • Why a nice answer (made before the question was closed) should be deleted and forgotten?
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is essentially a link-only answer, which is low quality \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego, how link to metaSE be considered as link-only? \$\endgroup\$
    – Qwertiy
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most of the content of your answer is links, and the rest doesn't add anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego, it's metaSE. Do you think I have to quote that answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Qwertiy
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ meta.stackexchange.com/q/225370/307833 \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego, why only local links and links to metaSE are automatically unwrapped into title? Not links to other stackexchange sites? metaSE is expected to be referred from other se-sites. \$\endgroup\$
    – Qwertiy
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 21:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ The point is, simply including a link in an answer doesn't actually provide an answer. You have to expound on the contents of the linked posts/sites/whatever in order for your answer to actually be an answer, rather than a collection of links. The non-link text in this answer doesn't provide any additional insight/explanation beyond the links, so this is essentially a link-only answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – user45941
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 20:52

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