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Motivated by the review I've just seen of this:

http://stackoverflow.com/review/close/1493474

The question probably is a NARQ/Not Constructive but its also valuable enough that it's been protected, with massive upvote/viewership figures, as have at least one of its answers. Its probably not the best one to use as the basis for this question (as its clearly closable), but the overall point stands.

Should these old posts that are massively upvoted (and with answers that are also massively upvoted), but not necessarily currently conforming questions be closable? And, by extension, what is the process to query whether then should be preserved for posterity?

A few of these have appeared for review lately.

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I suppose it just feels like its closing off questions that form part of the "reference" backbone of the site. –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 9:27
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It's not locked, it's just protected. It's a huge difference. Anyway, questions that no longer match the FAQ but do have value get "historical lock" over them, it can be issued only by moderators. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 11 '13 at 9:35
    
@ShaWizDowArd: Good point. Is this a candidate then? or should I assume that any question not already locked as such is fair game for closing? (ie what's the process for nominating these?) –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 9:38
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I honestly think this is a terrible question. Not only is treating a DIV as a link semantically horrifying, but I don't see how, by any standards, this could be considered a "real question". It deserves to be closed. Whether or not it gets historically locked or deleted should be up to the community. –  animuson Feb 11 '13 at 9:38
    
@animuson: The community vote count/views implies that it is a good question (whatever I might thing about it's vagueness/incompleteness - which I agree about you on). How can these be nominated? –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 9:42
    
As far as I'm aware, Meta discussions are what bring about historical locks. Try the historical-lock tag. –  animuson Feb 11 '13 at 9:43
    
Is it worth a feature request for some sort of flag to be available for these then - A meta discussion on each one seems onerous. –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 9:44
    
Wow, questions like that, make me think, upvotes are more like a popularity contest... (I still want to be in denial) –  Toon Krijthe Feb 11 '13 at 9:45
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@JonEgerton: The flag will be declined. They really do need discussions. Upvotes don't always directly correlate to "this should continue being displayed here". It really is something the community should discuss and come to a conclusion, not something to throw at a moderator to decide on their own. –  animuson Feb 11 '13 at 9:54
    
@animuson: Ok. Am happy with that. Post is as some sort of answer so I can close off. –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 9:56
    
...but its also valuable enough that it's been protected... --> This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 11 '13 at 10:36
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@JonEgerton: The community vote count/views implies that it is a good question... No, it means it has been upvoted, vote-counts do say nothing about how good, bad or on-topic a question is. –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 11 '13 at 10:38
    
Should these old posts that are massively upvoted (and with answers that are also massively upvoted), but not necessarily currently conforming questions be closable? See Do we really want to automatically close every “subjective” question - like asking for resources? –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 11 '13 at 11:00
    
Popularity is the same as quality? So does three nights sold out at the local arena mean that Justin Bieber is the top quality in music? –  Bo Persson Feb 11 '13 at 17:49
    
@BoPersson: It means that his offerings are of great value to a great many people (although it might be said that they're all wrong). If they didn't think so, they wouldn't go. –  Jon Egerton Feb 11 '13 at 22:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Look at the answers. Forget about the question for a minute. Are the answers valuable?

If they are, then edit. Edit trumps everything else: if a post is useful but flawed, edit it to make it better, in preference to any other tool.

If the answers aren't worth keeping, delete. Do allow at least a couple of days after closing before deleting. More on an old question where the closure might not be noticed immediately. Before voting to delete, check if the question has been edited since closing: it might now be worth reopening.

Protection doesn't mean anything about the value of the question.

Historical locking doesn't apply here. Historical locks are for content that shouldn't be on the site (favorite cartoon as a programmer, that kind of thing) but is kept around just because it's been upvoted. Here, there's valuable technical content that needs to be curated.

Here, there are useful answers. The question shows no research effort and is unclear. The first defect is a reason to downvote but not to close. The second defect can be corrected by adapting the question to the answers. I've edited it.

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