I came across this reopen review. It's clear that that question is 'not constructive'. However, because it got +18 votes, people voted to reopen.

Can someone please close that question forever? How do we deal with such questions? There are some really highly voted questions which do not belong to SO and get closed, but because people like these questions, they vote for reopen and it gets reopened.

How can we make sure people understand SO and how can we avoid such close-reopen-close dances on some popular, but wrong, questions?

  • 2
    Some people are just obsessed with keeping those really old questions open... – animuson Mar 16 '13 at 15:56
  • Now this is an example where deletion really is appropriate. – Pekka Mar 16 '13 at 15:58
  • Another case where the question deserves downvotes in spite of the answers. – user7116 Mar 16 '13 at 16:04
  • Another sorry case of a mod unilaterally deleting an old question. A few more dead links on the internet now, and a little history gone. – Lance Roberts Mar 16 '13 at 16:10
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    @Lance, it was deleted by the community. No mod involvement. – ben is uǝq backwards Mar 16 '13 at 16:12
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    @benisuǝqbackwards, amazing how it could happen so quick since I saw no accumulation of delete votes. The biggest reason I want to get to 10k is so I can see those, and cast the undelete votes. I'm now in the habit when I see questions closed that shouldn't be deleted of upvoting everything worth it on those questions to try and slow down them getting deleted. It's sad how perfectionist some people must be (and that's coming from a clean freak). – Lance Roberts Mar 16 '13 at 16:15
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    I 100% agree with you @Lance, not everything should be deleted. In this particular instance I just don't believe it was worth keeping (not that I could vote to delete as it had only just been closed). As to quick, there's quite a few high rep users SO users around MSO (and then a few more that are lurkers); they're not all moderators. – ben is uǝq backwards Mar 16 '13 at 16:17
  • @benisuǝqbackwards, yeh, I'm not saying it was great, I think the link issue ChrisF brings up is a good one, but I'm not going to really sweat this one. – Lance Roberts Mar 16 '13 at 16:19

That is a very old famous question (10k+ views) and the solution is to just lock it, which would keep anyone from closing and re-opening.

One of the reasons people feel the need to re-open is that too many people use close as a path to deletion, when historical questions like this should be closed and locked, but not deleted.

  • Here's the thing about historical locks: you can't get one unless you can prove that the question's status is contentious. This means there has to be some closing/reopening and/or deleting/undeleting. Personally I think this requirement is bollocks, that we should just be able to ask for it without having to play this song and dance. But the mods require it. – Nicol Bolas Mar 18 '13 at 14:23
  • @NicolBolas, yep, there needs to be a better process for getting historical locks. I just go turned down for one myself. – Lance Roberts Mar 18 '13 at 14:24

There are two ways to stop the question being reopening:

  1. Delete it.
  2. Lock it.

The first is problematical as there may well be incoming links to the question which would be broken.

The second should only be really used for good, non-constructive questions (if such a thing exists), so may not be appropriate in this case.

  • I also didn't want to lock it because that would stop the community from voting to delete it. – Flexo Mar 16 '13 at 16:00
  • 7
    I say delete it. If Stack Exchange, despite their mission statement to make the Internet a better place, don't give a damn about breaking incoming links, then why should we? (meaning that that's a problem for them to fix e.g. by showing the content to incoming traffic, but no one else.) This question is really just a link list, and doesn't look like a particular good one at that – Pekka Mar 16 '13 at 16:00
  • +1 for pointing out the incoming link problem. – Lance Roberts Mar 16 '13 at 16:00
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    @Pekka웃: That's a bad idea. Example: The Definitive C Book Guide. This is obviously not constructive, but is it really a good idea to delete it? These sorts of historical questions just need to be locked, not deleted. Our purpose is to make the Internet better, and those old, thorough but "not constructive" posts do. – Linuxios Mar 16 '13 at 16:03
  • @Linuxios I'm not saying delete all closed off-topic questions. The one you link to is a different caliber in terms of content. – Pekka Mar 16 '13 at 16:05
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    I'm normally against deletion in situations like this but I can't see that there's anything actually worth saving in this, one, instance. I'm with @Pekka, delete it and be done. – ben is uǝq backwards Mar 16 '13 at 16:05
  • @Pekka웃: I know you're not (sorry if I misstated). It is of a different caliber. But deletion feels like a somewhat radical path if a question has good answers. And this one seems too (correct me if I'm wrong). It also seems wrong to steal a non-community wiki 12 upvote answer from someone. I guess we're on the same page. – Linuxios Mar 16 '13 at 16:07
  • 1
    No stealing @Linuxios, the reputation is safe as the questions been 'round a while. You can't claim these are good answers. You can find most of them on the first page of a simple search. – ben is uǝq backwards Mar 16 '13 at 16:10
  • @Pekka웃: Well, it just disappeared. I guess that's over. – Linuxios Mar 16 '13 at 16:10
  • @benisuǝqbackwards: True, but 120 is 120 (although I guess not to the ~11k type users who answered that question). – Linuxios Mar 16 '13 at 16:11
  • @Linuxios, it's truly sad when a mod unilaterally deletes old questions like that. – Lance Roberts Mar 16 '13 at 16:11
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    @LanceRoberts - it was deleted by 4 10K users – Flexo Mar 16 '13 at 16:12
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    @Linuxios, no, the reputation will not get removed. There is no loss to anyone if the post has a score of 3 or greater or has been visible on the site for at least 60 days – ben is uǝq backwards Mar 16 '13 at 16:12
  • @benisuǝqbackwards: What do you mean? Is old reputation locked from old posts? Don't you always lose rep for deleted posts? – Linuxios Mar 16 '13 at 16:12
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    @Lance it definitely was deleted by Pekka 웃, sixlettervariables, bmargulies, Martijn Pieters 10 mins ago - only 4, though. Maybe my counted as a fifth closevoter? :) – Pekka Mar 16 '13 at 16:20

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