It's been noted that the Stack Overflow close vote queue has a few questions in it. More generally, it appears as though the Stack Overflow community cannot keep up with the volume of questions that need closing.
Community currently deletes questions after 30 days if they are negatively voted and have 0 answers. Closed questions that are 9 days old are also deleted if they have a score less than or equal to 0 and no answer with a score greater than 0 (and a whole lot of other minor stuff).
I propose adding an automated closing process between these two. A question would be automatically closed by Community if all of the following are true:
- There is at least one close vote that is at least 9 days old
- The question has a score of 0 or less
- There are no answers with a score greater than 0
There are roughly 18.5k questions that fulfil these criteria1 (this will be slightly out due to complications around close vote ageing)
Close Votes # Questions -ve Answer 0 Answer No Answer ----------- ----------- ---------- -------- --------- 1 10130 69 5649 4412 2 5094 50 3135 1909 3 2566 29 1639 898 4 723 13 495 215 5 3 0 2 1
This means that if a question starts to be closed then there's 9 days to either get an upvote, an answer with an upvote or 100 views. Due to the automatic deletion there would then be another 9 days to get some redeeming feature (re-open vote, edit etc) before the question was deleted. I would add similar conditions to closing so if a question with a close vote got edited it would get an additional 9 days grace period.
I imagine the main objection to this is that a single person can auto-close and then delete a question. It is already possible for a single person to delete a question and there are currently 25,893 questions where a single person can delete without oversight. This suggestion will actually give those questions a greater chance of survival whilst at the same time helping the site to stay "clean" better.
1. Whether it's time of day or summat this query was really difficult to run so sorry if there are problems.