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Sometimes I run into questions that are unanswered and the author seem to just ignore the question. Let say author asked the question in sep 2009.

In dec 2010 someone comment for completion, without respons from author. January 2011 someone patiently asked "did you solved this question, how?".

Still there are no action from the author.

How to act? I would like to:

  1. Answer the question to make it more valuable then a comment field
  2. Vote for deletion

The first option, is to make a risk of getting downvoted. Those questions are often incomplete and there are a higher rate of guess.

Though, the question itself may be of help for other and not a subject for deletion. If it wasn't, it probably already voted closed due to not a real question.

How would you act here?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is the question in principle answerable by someone with sufficient knowledge of the subject matter, or is it a vague question which cannot reasonably answered without more information from the askwer?

If the question is answerable, why would you want to delete it? Answer it if you can, otherwise let it be. There is already an automatic job that deleted unanswered questions with negative votes, or with up to one vote if the question has received little attention. There's no need to be even more aggressive than that.

If the question is not answerable, close it as “not a real question”. Two days after the question has been closed, it becomes eligible for deletion by users with 10k reputation (users with 20k rep can delete sooner, but it's rarely a good idea). Deletion is the normal outcome for a closed question; the time spent closed but not deleted allows for someone (the original asker or someone else) to contest the closure and possibly improve the question.

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