An "unlisted" question is deleted for all practical purposes, except it's visible to people who have a link to it. This would allow us to have a graceful way to "retire" questions about topics that are no longer relevant to the world here and now but have been in the past.
- They don't have to be deleted from the internet; they don't have broken windows, people whining at each other or questions that just don't belong on the site.
- They also aren't questions that you want indexed or otherwise readily accessible: I'm thinking questions that have become outdated and thus irrelevant as time evolved and new versions became available. Think "What is the difference between old style and new style Python classes" in five years or so (when the then-obvious assumption it's Python 2.5 the question is talking about has dissolved), or "How do I make a minecraft booster reset itself?" (which has stopped being relevant 1.5 years ago).
There's no reason to remove the latter kind of questions from the internet; there's no need to break links to such questions and there's also no reason to expose outdated (a.k.a. wrong) information to the internet.
As for how to handle the process of unlisting, the idea is also simple:
- When a question is open, a successful "delete" vote makes the question go "unlisted."
- When a question is closed, a successful "delete" vote actually causes the post to 404.
Additionally, this should go with a
unlisted:1 search option available to 10kers to go with the
deleted:1 search option available to moderators.