I sometimes run across questions like:

How to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days?

and noticed that there was some outdated information. But then I thought about the fact that a lot of visa-related questions can become outdated. But newer questions that may initially appear to be duplicates should not be dismissed as being duplicate because the information could have changed and therefore requires a new answer.

Enhancement: I propose that question related to visas and other categories that are subject to regular changes have more leniency when flagging for duplicates. Flaggers should be reminded that questions in certain categories are updated frequently. Perhaps it could be put on hold first for a week or so before automatically labeling the q off topic or duplicate. Also alert flagger that if a question or selected answer (whichever is sooner) is older than X weeks/months, then the information may be outdated.

Enhancement: Or there could be some notification either before the question or before the list of answers (after a certain time elapse since selected answer (or most upvoted answer, whichever is newest) was posted that says something like:

This appears to be a Visa-Related question and it is older than X months. The information may be outdated. If you think the answer is no longer valid, you may reask the question and link to this question.

This would be visible to all that visit that particular Q&A, not just when flagging.

  • The site model says that you should go back to the original question and add a new answer with the updated info. Once you have done that, start pinging people in chat or etc so we can up vote your new answer.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jun 25, 2017 at 15:59
  • @GayotFow Perhaps that is an inherent weakness of this structure. It works well with authoritative answers that will not update/change in the near future. [moderated] Discussion forums focused on the subject matter are better suited for immediacy or when rules/procedures/etc change quickly.
    – Jon Grah
    Jun 27, 2017 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


No, that's not how things are supposed to work on StackExchange. If you have new information or you think the current information is outdated, you can:

  • Ask the authors of the current answers to update their posts
  • If there's a community wiki answer, update it directly
  • Post your own answer and down vote the others
  • Add a bounty to the question to make it more visible
  • Add another question that is sufficiently different - e.g. ask if a new law X means you can now stay Y days in country Z

We don't want to get the same questions every year, even if things might change from time to time. Perhaps we could start to reconsider this policy when this site is 10 years old and the majority of the information becomes outdated.

  • But the A that was voted up may have been applicable at that time. You cannot reasonably expect to hunt down all the voters/answers/etc to update an answer beyond a few weeks. At a minimum, some visible flag on certain aged topics would give visitors a reminder that the most voted answer may no longer be applicable today.
    – Jon Grah
    Jun 27, 2017 at 3:39

Obsolete questions and answers are an inherent risk in the Stack Exchange model, and have been a frequent topic of discussion. Some past MSE discussions include How to deal with obsolete answers? (2009), Should Stack Overflow/Exchange have a mechanism for marking obsolete questions? and Adding "obsolete" and "outdated" voting options on questions (2011), With rapid technological change, some answers might have become obsolete and What do with those answers? (2012), and How do we encourage edits to obsolete/out of date answers? (2015).

If anything, such things happen more often on the technology stacks, where a new software release, API change, or security vulnerability can instantly obsolesce multiple answers that may each have hundreds of upvotes and tens of thousands of views. The standard reply has always been that such questions should not be closed, and the out-of-date answers not deleted, but rather that they should be updated as time marches on.

If the powers that be deem this situation acceptable for SSL configuration, they're unlikely to be moved by changes in visa policies.

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