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Change the way really old questions are deleted

Look guys, this is nuts. Here's a question:


It was asked two and a half years ago. it accumulated 8 upvotes and 8 answers with a total of 40-odd upvotes.

Two and a half years later it's first closed and then deleted.

Change the policy, well, maybe. Move it to the Crypto board, I can understand. but deleting it two and a half years later is idiotic.

  • See this post as well meta.stackexchange.com/questions/124309/… – JaredPar Mar 3 '12 at 17:33
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    I'm quite sure Crypto wouldn't want it. You guys keep assuming SO is draconian and all the other SE sites would love these posts -- it's the opposite. All the other SE sites have never wanted these posts, and SO is starting to move in that direction – Michael Mrozek Mar 3 '12 at 17:36
  • I'm with you man, See this:meta.stackexchange.com/questions/124342/… Now, let the oppositions tell us why they disagree! – undone Mar 3 '12 at 17:39
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    And by the way, I don't understand why the particular question you linked to was deleted, and I just cast the 5th undelete vote. So your "raising a flag" here on Meta was worthwhile, but I still think this is in spirit a duplicate of those other three Meta posts. – jscs Mar 3 '12 at 18:32
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    @Josh: that's why I tagged it specific-question (see the tag wiki). While that may not have been what Mr. Martin intended, I support this use of Meta as a place to raise attention for and debate the worth of older deleted questions. Be aware, these are by nature very localized and therefore subject to closing (and of course, deletion at some later date). – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 18:40
  • @Shog: Fair enough. I definitely overlooked the [spec-quest] tag. I am aware (and likewise supportive) of the use of Meta to "raise flags". – jscs Mar 3 '12 at 19:09
  • @JoshCaswell that was indeed part of my motivation. But I've seen this on several other questions recently that were very old, where someone trolling through old questions either got a sudden flurry of delete votes (how do a group of many delete votes suddenly appear on a question 30 months old?) or was simply deleted by a mod. The obvious solution is a grandfather date. – Charlie Martin Mar 3 '12 at 19:12
  • @Charlie: I would guess this "Math for Crypto" question came into the crosshairs because it bore the career-development mark: Mass cleanup of [career-development]. Partly for that reason, and also because I simply don't think it applies, I removed that tag from the "Crypto" question. – jscs Mar 3 '12 at 19:21
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    As for "grandfathering", you might consider making that a feature proposal. Auto-archiving of old, very upvoted questions is a possible resolution to this issue that seems to be occupying Meta. – jscs Mar 3 '12 at 19:24
  • @JoshCaswell Good point. I also think adding a grandfathering policy would be appropriate and I've just submitted a feature request to that effect. – Charlie Martin Mar 3 '12 at 19:25
  • @JoshCaswell hah, beat you to it. :-) – Charlie Martin Mar 3 '12 at 19:27
  • @MichaelMrozek - just wanted to say that I agree with you. Migrating old off-topic questions is simply wrong. – Adam Rackis Mar 4 '12 at 2:52

This question was deleted by community vote. 5 trusted users disagreed with your assessment of it and voted to delete. Note that in order for this to be possible, the question had to have first been closed - which it was, for over a month.

If four trusted users feel it should not be deleted and vote accordingly, it will be restored. If five users feel it should be re-opened, that will be done as well, thereby making it ineligible for deletion.

So you need only to convince the Stack Overflow community that the question - or your answer - has something to offer.

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    I agree with most of the purging that is going on, but the issue remains that this stuff should be available somewhere if their original sites don't want it any more. Is there any official word on that? Jeff seemed inclined towards an official archive a few days back here (or at least, no longer as disinclined as he used to be.) Are there any concrete plans in regards to that? This is needlessly pissing off a lot of people, and I can kinda see their point. Especially if you have <10k rep – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 17:40
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    @Pekka: there are concrete plans in the works, but they will take time - and a lot of effort - to come to fruition. Expect more details as we hash them out... That said, this will almost certainly be a manual process: we've no intention of creating a public trash dump for everything that gets deleted (currently over 400 questions per day on Stack Overflow) - so it will still require someone to step up and say, "This question and its answers provide something of value that we must not lose". Which they could - and should - already be doing. – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 17:43
  • heck yeah, it would absolutely have to be a manual process. A possible archive must be for the gems only. – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 17:46
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    @Shog9 Would it be worth it to be slightly more public about it? (No details if you can't give them. Just "we are working on something") Just to prevent some of the recent "Mods are teh evilz" vs. "Why is this crap back?" questions in recent weeks. It's getting slightly annoying, especially in the light of the fact that I still think everybody is trying to help improve SO/SE in their own way, although our definitions of "improve" might differ. – Bart Mar 3 '12 at 17:48
  • @Bart: I'm working on a post right now. That said, everything I'm making oblique references to is already being discussed publicly here on MSO (somewhere...) - our job is to figure out what to implement and how to implement it... We'll let you know once we've done that ;-) – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 17:51
  • This is a really divisive issue, that's for sure. I've never seen as many posts before that were simultaneously so massively upvoted and downvoted as there are over this – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 17:56
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    @Pekka'sReputationBordello "A possible archive must be for the gems only." That's exactly where the problem lies. One man's gem is another's turd. Where do you draw the line? – Lorem Ipsum Mar 3 '12 at 17:56
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    @yoda well, true. But in an archive, there could be somewhat relaxed standards. Different from the live sites, votes and views could work as an indicator of worthiness there - not the only indicator, but one of them. – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 17:58
  • It's been divisive for years, @Pekka. The first really bitter argument I had with anyone on SO involved deletion... And that predated MSO by a fair bit. – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 18:01
  • Relaxed standards... Think, levels of hell in Dante's Inferno. – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 18:02
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    @Shog and why not? As long as it's far away enough from the rest of the network, what's the harm? And as long as you can't ask new stuff there, and a question getting there is subject to rules a single author can't control (pretty much like in a museum), I can't see it turning into a Google Answers of some sort, which seems to be the general worry here. (The archive I'm envisioning won't even be allowing new comments.) – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 18:04
  • @Pekka: somewhere, there has to be a line. I've too many examples of sites that've gone down the tubes because there wasn't... What's important is that the community has a strong voice when it comes to deciding where, exactly, that line lies. – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 18:15
  • @Shog yeah. I don't really disagree with you there. – Pekka Mar 3 '12 at 18:56
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    @Shog9, the fact that it lasted 2.5 years and accumulated 40 answer votes would seem a prima facie case that it had some value. – Charlie Martin Mar 3 '12 at 19:13
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    @CharlieMartin - that can be a good indicator, and the system does recognize this by making such questions harder to delete, but votes alone don't necessarily indicate lasting value. It should result in extra scrutiny though. – Shog9 Mar 3 '12 at 19:45

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