And close all questions posted prior to the year 2010 that start with the word "Best" as "Not Constructive?" Seems like half the flags I see now are about this. Why not just do it en masse and get it over with?

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    Please oh Please, don't do bulk closings like that. Some of those 'Best' questions have a lot of good answers. And good answers are the priority. – Lance Roberts Sep 14 '11 at 15:23
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    @LanceRoberts: This isn't a bulk deletion. They will still remain. But questions that are concerned about the "Best XYZ to ABC" are typically not acceptable anymore, and should be closed as "not constructive". – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 15:29
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    I'd be fine with that, it's how close is supposed to work, except that there are some mods who think that closed questions are just the first step in the deletion process. How about we Protect them? – Lance Roberts Sep 14 '11 at 15:36
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    @LanceRoberts: That's fine by me. There are many cases where we need a third way to handle certain situations. Handling classic questions that are still open yet would not be acceptable if asked today is one of these. Perhaps this will play a part in it. – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 16:00
  • Any particular ones you want closed? – bkaid Sep 14 '11 at 17:31
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    @OffBySome: All of them. I wish to hear the lamentations of their OPs and answerers. – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 17:48
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    @Won't There are 3200+ though. I'd also like to see about 40% of the current Facebook tagged questions closed/deleted. It's nice to want things :) – bkaid Sep 14 '11 at 17:54
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    Yes please, also add any question that has the word "favorite" or even "your favorite" in its title. – user149432 Sep 14 '11 at 17:56
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    Not all questions with the word "best" in them are unconstructive. Some of them are specific enough to be answerable. You still need to lay eyes on each one. – Robert Harvey Sep 14 '11 at 18:15
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    Honestly, I Think a query to close all that match might result in less flags to reopen, than flags we receive to close. Not a bad idea. Seems to me CHAOS might come in handy here, though so there's some review of the results prior to the closing. – Tim Post Sep 14 '11 at 18:19
  • @TimPost: BRING ON THE CHAOS! – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 20:20

Do not close questions just because their title contains the word best. In particular, about half of these are asking for “the best way to do X” and are generally reasonable questions, just formulated in a slightly dodgy way — they should be edited to read “how to do X”.

Some expressions are almost always worth killing on sight, such as “best practice(s)”. But not “best” alone.

(queries adapted from Chris's)

  • In addition, "best practices" tend to refer to what is accepted by a community and therefore can indeed be objective and quite reasonable (although technically I suppose an accepted "best practice" might not be the best practice). – Michael McGowan Sep 14 '11 at 23:29

I made a quick Data Explorer query for you. This would probably be a good place to start.

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    The cynic in me suspects that folks will now quickly flag this list of questions to cash in on flag weight using the incoming tsunami of close votes. :) – razlebe Sep 14 '11 at 17:46
  • @razlebe: Actually, if multiple people flag it makes the job of closing them pretty easy. Also, @Chris' query brings back evened the closed ones, which isn't exactly efficient of flagger's time. Added ClosedDate is null and got back 3.5k. Also closed the most popular result for Python. Hold fast for s*strom. – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 17:49
  • Thanks for pointing out ClosedDate, @Won't. I've updated the query accordingly. – Chris Frederick Sep 14 '11 at 18:00
  • @Won't: Good then. :) Cheers – razlebe Sep 14 '11 at 18:09
  • Uh, I think I derped. The difference is only 54 questions. – user1228 Sep 14 '11 at 18:14
  • Yeah, I noticed that too. Oh well, I still think it makes the query better. – Chris Frederick Sep 14 '11 at 18:15

Now that a bunch have been closed, the search box works better until the next data dump update:

wiki:0 closed:0 title:best

Same warnings apply (analyze each question to make sure it actually deserves to be closed).

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