Recently Borror0 deleted a couple questions (one he has posted and one I had). My question asked whether economic bubbles could be predicted, and his was whether the extinction of bees would cause the human race to die off within four years.

I don't have issue with whether those questions should have been closed as being non-constructive (I defer to Borror0 to decide that). However, I wonder if deleting them was the proper course since both questions had a number of answers that required significant effort. I was wondering whether it was the proper course to keep the questions around so as to not destroy the efforts of those who had put significant work into their answers.

I'm just posting this just for thought and discussion, because I think this is important and I wouldn't want those who posted answers to our questions to feel their efforts weren't recognized or appreciated.

2 Answers 2


As I said in a comment before deleting, addressing the future isn't strictly off-topic. In fact, I could see a question tangential to yours being asked in the future.

The problem with the two questions is that they had everything against them: they were rather old, were not phrased properly, and already had answers with several upvotes. I figured it would be better to just mulligan those topics, and I deleted to avoid confusing anyone who searched before asking.

  • Thanks for the edit & answer; I think you've got good reasoning, and I don't disagree with your decision. I just wanted to raise the concern about those who put effort into answers feeling those efforts were unappreciated. How much of a valid concern this really is, I leave to the other readers to discuss. :) Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 0:11
  • I agree, after checking them out, those two probably needed to be put down. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 5:28

I have seen other sites close or lock older questions to prevent further activity but keep them around for historical purposes. They typically added a header like such (stolen from this SO question):

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here.

More info: https://stackoverflow.com/faq

Since we are still in beta, I don't think deleting them is inappropriate but as the site matures I consider the above approach more tactful.

  • 2
    It's the solution Stack Overflow moderators have found to avoid the outrage that deletion would create yet still denounce the questions as bad. I don't think it would make sense to copy the policy unless we have questions of the same caliber, where deletion would cause a major uproar. Personally, I don't think that policy has any merit at all, but I'm not a Stack Overflow moderator.
    – Borror0
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 16:49
  • @Borror0: Fair enough. I present it here mostly as another option. :)
    – MrHen
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 17:05
  • 1
    @borror we still delete many, many old questions on SO that reflect an earlier time. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 5:27

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