I have this question in blackberry tag. It has been closed. While there is very similar question here in android tag which is still open with a lot of votes. Please could any one explain why its biased?

  • 1
    That question was originally asked on November 2010, when such questions were still tolerated.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 11:54
  • Ok. Now if those kind of questions are not tolerated, why aren't they closed now? Please help me understand. thanks
    – rfsk2010
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 12:30
  • 2
    It might get closed now. It already has 2 close votes, probably thanks to you pointing it out.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 12:31
  • 3
    People don't have time to continually check old content to see if it matches the current rules and guidelines. If you spot something flag it for moderator attention or post here. It will soon be dealt with - as indeed it has in this case.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 12:41
  • 4
    Yep it's been closed now. Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention!
    – JNK
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:41
  • Removed "support" tag as it does not pertain to one of the site's features, unless you want to say the moderators and users are a "feature". =)
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:43
  • 3
    Are there any other questions similar to yours that we can also close?
    – user1228
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


As has been implied in the comments on this question, this is a somewhat common situation in the Stack Overflow community.

Being a few years old now, the community has seen a lot of growth and a lot of change. What this boils down to is that questions were asked in ye olden days which were at the time:

  • On-topic
  • Interesting to the community
  • Good contributions

But the definitions of these things have changed as the community itself has changed...

  • On-topic - Stack Overflow used to sit alone as the Stack Exchange site for asking questions about software development. That is no longer the case.
  • Interesting to the community - Some of these old questions are kept around for historic value. The one to which you linked is not destined to be one of those questions. It might not get deleted, but it's definitely closed. (And don't take the down-votes on this Meta question personally. Users here disagree with the suggestion that your question is on-topic, that's all. We do entirely thank you for bringing that old question to the community's attention so it can be closed.) Even though the argument can be made that they contain useful information, that doesn't mean they belong here. The Parenting SE site contains useful information, but its questions don't belong here either.
  • Good contributions - This definition has also narrowed over the years. It's reached a point these days where the FAQ explicitly states that one should:

    avoid asking subjective questions where …

    • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
    • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
    • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
    • ...

It presents an interesting problem, as you've now experienced. Old questions tend to be highly up-voted questions simply because they've been around for a long time and many people have stumbled across them. Given this, it can be accurately stated that:

A question's up-votes do not directly correspond to how welcome it is in the community. But rather to how appreciated it has been by the community.

This is... unintuitive. But given how successful Stack Overflow has been, it's apparently become true. (And, indeed, it seems like a good problem to have.) We can appreciate content while still closing it with dignity. (As with down-votes, closings should also not be taken personally.)

To summarize... For any given Stack Exchange site (indeed, for any community in general), don't rely on old questions as an example of what to ask. Rely primarily on the FAQ and additionally on current content.

  • Thanks for that answer. that pretty much explains and clears my doubhts. So were do you think these type of questions should sit? The android question and answer is a very useful thread , and its hard to digest the fact that such a useful thread has no place in SO.
    – rfsk2010
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:30
  • @rfsk2010: That's a question that's been asked many times around here. (I don't have any references right now.) Basically, there's currently no answer. Does it belong here? No. Where does it belong? Um... not here. That's about it. You can certainly propose a site like that on Area 51 (if there isn't one already). It's tough to create a "catch-all" site in the Stack Exchange model, but if you can define the criteria for what's on-topic and what isn't for such a site then it stands a good chance.
    – David
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:35
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    @rfsk2010 It should be noted that with content that is this old, but still useful to some parties (with a reminder that "useful" is a subjective term when it comes to these kinds of posts), we don't delete it outright, we simply close the question. The question still exists, but it's now a signpost saying "we know this doesn't belong here" without actually deleting it. It's not the best solution, but it should be interpreted that it could go in the future, when it's generally agreed that the post has outlived it's usefulness.
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:46

The claim:

Please could any one explain why its biased?

Is at best, a misunderstanding.

In your particular case, a moderator closed the question because there was a flag on the question indicating that it might not be appropriate for the site.

As a general rule, the brunt of moderators work is to be based off the flag queue. We are discouraged to explicitly hunt for content.

That said, the question which you are referring was never flagged that it was inappropriate for the site. That's not to say that it isn't, but with a site that gets as much content as Stack Overflow does questions like this do have an opportunity to exist in the wild.

Which brings up my second point; posts existing in the wild which should be closed but aren't are not justifications for any post to be open when it should be closed.

So in reference to your statement, there was no bias, it simply was a matter of no one getting around to it yet (until now, of course).

That said, coming to meta is a perfectly valid way of approaching this, as you can see it's been effective and the other post you've referenced has indeed been closed (as it should be).

However, I think there are more efficient ways that you can achieve what you want, depending on the privileges one has:

  • Vote to close (if the post is particularly old and doesn't get much attention then if you are able to do this do it, and then perform the next option)
  • Flag for moderator attention

In doing so, we'll see the flag in the queue and then take the appropriate action.

On the flip side, if you feel that your post was closed improperly, you can always flag your post with a custom moderator message, making your case as to why it shouldn't be closed (but please make it a constructive, civil argument).

  • thanks for the explanation. My intention wasnt to close the other question, but for some one to explain the reason why mine was closed. Thanks for your answer.
    – rfsk2010
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:54
  • 2
    @rfsk2010 No problem, and your question is not invalid in the least, but just thought you might benefit from knowing there are more efficient means to address either situation (your closure, the lack of closure on another question, etc).
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:56
  • yes indeed it did benefit me. thanks
    – rfsk2010
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:57

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