Bullet the blue sky
- There are just over 3K questions that require more than the usual 3 votes to be deleted
- There are just under 1.5K questions that require at least 5 votes to be deleted
- There are 170+ questions that need at least 20 votes to be deleted
- There are 36K questions that should be considered for deletion (closed, not duplicates)
- The percentage of closed-but-not-deleted questions doubled in the month following the implementation of the current voting system and has steadily gone up month-to-month ever since.
- The top answer on the question currently requiring the most delete votes? Yoda Conditions, on a question that would need 768 voters to remove. Poetic...
My opinions on deletion in general, and the suggestions made here so far
- If a question has been re-opened, the community hasn't yet settled on whether or not it belongs on the site. Deletion isn't supposed to be some "sneak attack" thing.
- I don't like the idea of allowing folks to delete a post while it's open - that defeats the whole purpose of closing. You might as well just skip voting to delete and try to slam it with "offensive" flags (a practice usually considered abuse).
- Delete votes should expire on some sort of schedule, just as close and re-open votes do. If you can't get a group of people to agree here and now (whereever/whenever that is), you shouldn't be able to do an end-run around them by scraping together votes elsewhere.
- The number of delete votes required on some of these questions is insane. INSANE.
- The current situation is a perfect argument for getting a few people together, making a good argument, and bending the ear of a moderator to your cause.
The real problem, and a real solution
IMHO, the root problem here is an extreme overreaction to mmyer's complaint - we went from a system where three people could effectively delete all closed questions that weren't re-opened within two days, to a system where it would take a concerted effort by scores of dedicated voters using all of their delete votes to even keep up with the worst of the worst. Meanwhile, the addition of the summed answer score to the question score inflates the worth of poll questions beyond all reason - why waste a precious vote on a question that probably won't ever be deleted without moderator intervention?
The slap was softened somewhat with the introduction of vote-limits that increase with reputation, but the number of votes required for the bike-shed stuff is still insane in comparison to the votes available.
So instead of trying to hang on to cast delete votes tooth and nail, I think the algorithm for calculating needed delete votes should be changed. If, instead of using the sum of answer scores the maximum answer score was used, the number of closed questions needing 20 or more votes to delete would be under 60. If the average of answer scores was used (thereby penalizing bikeshed questions...), there'd only be 20 of them.
This would still require a fair bit of effort to remove a very popular question with a very popular answer - but that's fine. It wouldn't do the same for a question with dozens of "meh" answers - and it would provide clear motivation for someone wanting to keep such a question to
- Vote to re-open it.
- Delete or flag any lousy answers on it (since they'd bring down the average).
Both of these motivations are currently insufficient or completely lacking.