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This isn't to debate whether questions should be deleted or not. Rather I would like to know a ballpark estimate as to when to expect a popular question that may or may not have been closed by a moderator.

Some questions for example

Remain visible.

While others (no supporting evidence at the moment, not at 10K yet), are nuked within a week or more of closure. I understand that there may be subjectivity at play as to inherent value within some posts as compared to others, though it would be great to have an ETA to Trogdor and his followers.

The reason for this is that, I would like to extract the content to elsewhere (offsite) under cc-wiki before deletion to preserve content I deem valuable.

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Unless a moderator intervenes, it will probably live forever. I don't think there are enough voters available to delete this by a community decision. –  Bo Persson Feb 12 '12 at 17:55
    
@BoPersson so it safe to assume that all closed questions currently on the first page of stackoverflow.com/questions?sort=votes will remain there indefinitely? –  phwd Feb 12 '12 at 18:08
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@phwd: I don't understand why you want to know how fast questions get deleted. What does that change for you if you want to mirror them? Just grab them now. –  Mat Feb 12 '12 at 18:19
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@phwd: No, you can't make that assumption. –  Robert Harvey Feb 12 '12 at 18:30
    
@Mat: I think phwd wants to preserve questions that haven't been asked yet. –  Robert Harvey Feb 12 '12 at 18:30
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@RobertHarvey: Tricky that. The Q's 2nd sentence might be missing a few words. –  Mat Feb 12 '12 at 18:38
    
@Mat hold on I am going to mirror them all now </sarcasm> –  phwd Feb 12 '12 at 19:18
    
@phwd: clearbits.net/creators/146-stack-exchange-data-dump - has them all, and more. –  Mat Feb 12 '12 at 20:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's no way to make that estimate.

Periodically, one of these old, but popular questions gets flagged for deletion consideration. If the moderator agrees, the question gets deleted. There's no way to know when such a flag might come in, or if a moderator will take the deletion action.

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I routinely flag high-vote, flagrantly contra-FAQ, closed questions for moderator deletion. I have no way to tell how often a diamond agrees with me and pushes the button.

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In addition to what Robert Harvey said, I'll add the following:

These type of questions (old, massively upvoted, not constructive and out of current scope for Stack Overflow), closed or not, can (and may) be deleted at any time.

If it's old crap that is beyond salvaging and can only be dealt with (given the site's current direction) by deletion, then one should expect that the maximum notification that will be given is zero/none.

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