I was trying to find a duplicate for a recent post, so I checked one of the "Related" links, which landed me on another post that wasn't quite what I was looking for. So from there, once again I check one of the related links, and it turns up a pretty bad post that was rightfully closed as "Not a Real Question".

I'm not asking how posts are considered related, but why are there "junk" posts showing up in the "Related" links? The question has no answers, and was closed two months ago for what may be the most "negative" option we currently have: Not a real question (NARQ).

I will note that this post had no downvotes until I cast mine. Was this the only thing keeping it in circulation?

I feel that "related" posts should try to be helpful in some way. What are the criteria for being allowed a slot in the related column? Should it be more stringent? For instance, not allowing questions closed as NARQ?

EDIT: Showing vote counts might give some indication of the value of the post, but doesn't prevent NARQ/off-topic questions from appearing in the first place, taking up a slot for something actually useful.

I've found this can be a good way to find posts eligible for the "Delete" button, but since not all users can do this - it isn't very valuable for this purpose alone.

I came back to bump the question because I still encounter this problem daily, clicking "related" links to help the asker, and finding closed garbage posts. Is this type of content legitimate sidebar fodder? Any comments or solutions to this? Is the auto-deletion of negative score posts enough of a solution, and we can close this feature request?

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    Don't forget that it was only relatively recently (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/84978/…) that closing for NaRQ attracted an automatic down-vote which would have made the question eligible for automatic deletion
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 10:09
  • 1
    So, are you confirming that the lack of downvotes was what kept it alive? I don't use the related links very often, so I'm not too sure if there are other closed and/or downvoted posts that appear there.
    – user159834
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 15:25
  • See this answer from Jeff - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/78048/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 15:29
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    Thanks ChrisF, reading the answer you provided, I guess this is already taken care of for the most part by the auto-downvote, but only after 30 days, and only if the question gets deleted. Still, I think closed posts (with the exception of duplicates) should probably not be in the sidebar. Basically, any close reason that says "this is not useful or appropriate" (NARQ, OT, too localized), regardless of how old it is.
    – user159834
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 15:39
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    It might even apply to the "linked" section: linking to some FAQ from a bad duplicate, doesn't really imply the FAQ should link back to that bad question.
    – Arjan
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


It would be good to show [duplicate] or [closed] note in linked and related sections, if the question is really closed. See Why doesn't the Related question list show that questions are closed?


It would seem pretty simple to just add a vote count in front of the Related Questions, so you knew before diving in.

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    This would help in any case, but for closed NARQ/OT posts - it still takes up a slot that could be used for something useful. Besides, not all closed posts have a negative score and not all open (legitimate, possibly useful) posts have a positive score.
    – user159834
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 12:40
  • I edited the title to more specifically target NARQ/OT posts, thank you for your answer. I think this would be useful in any case, a good separate feature request.
    – user159834
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 12:54
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    And the vote count is now shown.
    – Raedwald
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 7:43

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