I'm writing this after my own experience with a closed proposal.

When a user creates a new proposal on Area 51, they are warned of related proposals that they might be duplicating. The same happens with questions on stack exchange.

Why doesn't it warn you of previously closed proposals? - In a way that would be more valuable.

If as you started typing the name, and it came up with a list of related closed proposals, and why they were closed, that would be very useful. It would prevent users from creating proposals that were instantly closed, when they could have realised before.

A problem that could occur is that users delete their closed proposals, or they simply get left, and then cleaned up. A way around this would just be to store whenever a closed proposal is deleted, or cleaned up, and then for this to be searched when a user starts typing a new proposal name.

If you have any ideas related to this please say

1 Answer 1


Good idea. We always showed closed proposals in the "related proposals" list, but now we include the closed reasons as well, and emphasize closed proposals in the UI:

before/after screenshots

  • interesting - when I first created my proposal that was closed because another one had already been closed, it didn't show up in there, there was only one suggested proposal, which was open, and not a duplicate of mine Aug 18, 2011 at 21:42
  • I see your Flight Simulation proposal -- which is the other closed proposal it's a duplicate of?
    – Emmett
    Aug 18, 2011 at 21:49
  • it got removed in cleanup Aug 18, 2011 at 21:55
  • Hiding deleted proposals from the list is actually by design. Most deleted proposals, including the one in question, are deleted by mods as part of periodic cleanup. They typically aren't deleted because the proposal is inherently flawed, but rather because that specific proposal will probably never gather the momentum necessary to advance to the next phase. In other words, they might succeed if re-created. (Some closed proposals, on the other hand, are left open to serve as warnings that similar proposals not be created.)
    – Emmett
    Aug 18, 2011 at 22:16
  • If it was open and deleted, then that shouldn't appear on the list. But don't you think if it was closed, left for a bit, then deleted, it should appear on the list of related closed proposals? - this was the case I encountered. Aug 18, 2011 at 22:30
  • Some closed proposals, on the other hand, are left open to serve as warnings that similar proposals not be created. Emmett, that may have been the case at one point, but not any longer; everything gets deleted eventually. @Alex, the difference between closed and deleted is that the latter no longer show up in searches. Saying that they should show up is the same as saying that they should not be deleted.
    – Dori
    Aug 22, 2011 at 8:07
  • @Dori - If something is closed and then deleted (automatically) - surely people should be warned not to create a related proposal? Aug 22, 2011 at 17:12
  • @Alex - to the best of my knowledge, there are no automatic deletions—they're all done manually.
    – Dori
    Aug 22, 2011 at 20:23

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