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Several questions have been closed since the site started, generally because they don't meet our [FAQ] terms. My internal debate is - should we just let them be, or should we delete them as they aren't contributing to the site and are essentially cluttering up people's searches on Travel.SE.

Spam ones have been easy - both Questions and Answers have been deleted, but what about valid attempts at questions which have been closed as above?

EDIT

and what about answers on closed questions?

Thoughts?

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I would've thought this would be a matter of Stack Exchange policy or guidelines.

But without chasing those down I assume the way to do it is:

  • Delete spam, nonsense, trolling.
  • Keep closed questions asked in good faith because we can point to them as examples of the various kinds of questions that are not good for the site.
  • As we build up more closed questions and somebody tries to ask a new bad question, the system will be more and more likely to show closed questions in the list of links to similar questions so the askers will check those before posting.
  • Some questions closed in our very early days might be good enough to open again, possibly with edits, now that we are more comfortable with what we want to accept and reject. We've done it before.

But I'm very interested to hear from the SE people. I'm going to add the support meta tag for that reason.

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  • 2
    Agreed. I assumed there was a policy, but haven't been able to find one yet. I'm sure SE staff will add some direction on that :0 – Mark Mayo Nov 12 '11 at 10:40
  • I haven't heard of any SE site where closed questions are permanently deleted. – Ankur Banerjee Nov 12 '11 at 11:42
  • I concur with reviewing previously closed ones. I remember I've tossed a reopen vote on a couple a while ago. – Beaker Nov 16 '11 at 1:37
  • What about answers?? In theory we don't want answers to them, just a 'this is wrong, closed with reason' comment. – Mark Mayo Nov 21 '11 at 1:44
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Generally speaking, if a question is closed and there is no likelihood that it will be reopened, the question should be deleted. The only exception is duplicates, which are often useful as extra search fodder. You should delete most non-duplicate closed questions, and only delete duplicates if they really bring nothing new.

You should typically wait a few days before deleting a closed question, to give the asker or other participants time to notice and possibly contest the closure. This is not a precise time, a weekly or even monthly review of closed questions is fine. For egregious cases like spam or completely off-topic questions, don't hesitate to delete earlier.

The main official guideline is Jeff's blog post on the Stack Overflow question lifecycle. See also an answer I wrote on this topic on another site.

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I would keep them. People who search on google will find them and see that they are closed and not ask them again.

However I see an issue that there are that many closed questions in the "newest questions" list. It would be great to have a way to filter them properly.

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