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http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1995113/strangest-language-feature

Why was this question deleted? It had some pretty interesting "hacks" and things in it. The question has ~1k upvotes.

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It was not a good fit for any Stack Exchange site and was closed some time ago. –  ChrisF Jan 19 '12 at 15:16
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The definition of "on topic" has simply changed over the years. It was a cool question, but it's no longer a good fit. Just housecleaning, nothing more. –  David Jan 19 '12 at 15:16
    
@David: I guess. That makes sense. –  Rocket Hazmat Jan 19 '12 at 15:19
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The fun police snagged it... –  Adam Rackis Jan 19 '12 at 15:24
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@AdamRackis: That's right, StackOverflow hates fun :-P –  Rocket Hazmat Jan 19 '12 at 15:25
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@Rocket - I just wish Jeff would create a legacy subdomain, and push all these questions over to legacy.StackOverflow.com as read-only. Done. Everyone's happy. –  Adam Rackis Jan 19 '12 at 15:26
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Maybe we could use a move entirety of question to chat. –  Grant Thomas Jan 19 '12 at 15:33
    
The poor question was innocent victim of raging battle that's all. Worst part was the beginning and ever after, moderators and high rep members fought among themselves. –  Shadow Wizard Jan 19 '12 at 15:34
    
exact duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/114908/… –  meagar Jan 19 '12 at 16:10
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I find this quite sad. I vividly recall being drawn into the site two years ago by this specific question, and others like it. I wish there were some way to preserve this content for future (low rep) users while still discouraging the creation of similar questions. I wish the policy in these cases was to close/lock and mark as "historically significant", rather than out-right deletion. –  meagar Jan 19 '12 at 16:12
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Holy Snit what a honeypot of NC –  Won't Jan 19 '12 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Basically what Mr Disappointment said. More generally, it's tagged with . Almost everything in this tag automatically sucks by simple nature of being a poll, which are now explicitly off-topic for stack exchange:

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite __?”

Other forms of this:

  • What's the best?
  • What's the most secure (minus context which might allow us to answer that objectively).
  • What's the worst.
  • What's the craziest.
  • What's the most boring.

You might wonder "but there's interesting information in there". Yes, that's a given. However:

  • Finding that interesting information is not easy. The reason we encourage so many questions and answers is that each one makes someone else's job of finding relevant information easier. You don't "stumble" upon what you need to by chance - you find and read a question that has various answers there.
  • They attract a ton of junk answers, me-too comments and other phpBB-derived behaviour. In other words, finding the relevant information in those questions is hard, as above.

The best thing to happen would be for interesting snippets to be their own question and answer.

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Oooh... a nice tag to look for junk to clean up! (some of the "polls" questions are about creating apps with polls, but many are using it as a meta tag. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 19 '12 at 15:30

Because it got the required deletion votes, a decision made by the community:

deleted by Gilles, skaffman, Bo Persson, HoeHoeHoe, bmargulies, Anna Lear♦ Jan 13 at 6:29

Anna's vote would have been binding anyway, but she didn't act unilaterally in the capacity of a moderator, but rather as a contributor in agreement with other members of the community.

Likewise, the community (those with high enough reputation to see the question, at least) can cast undelete votes - if they gain traction, then so be it.

It was more of a Reddit-type thread, anyway. Had this been asked today, it would have been closed nigh immediately, and then a candidate for deletion by implication, and the FAQ sums up why:

It didn't concern:

  • a specific programming problem
  • a software algorithm
  • practical, answerable problems that are unique to the programming profession

Note that I'm not lying by omission when leaving out software tools commonly used by programmers, it's just that you could stretch that (with a great imagination and wicked tongue) to encompass this, but alas, it doesn't do justice in way of any of the other requirements, with no particular specificity to be practically useful.

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In a way, it both was and wasn't a unilateral move. Other people voted, but a question with that many upvotes and answers could have never realistically been deleted by community consent. –  lunboks Jan 19 '12 at 15:28
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Except that "A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted" when you vote to undelete. –  Dennis Williamson Feb 18 '12 at 22:46

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