I mean real point?

There is even some sort of movement for closing questions. But what's the goal? What's the difference? "Closure is definitely not the end of the road for a question" - so, even being closed, a question remains on-site, sound and safe.

Let's take this unfortunate question for example. There was a vast effort spent in trying to close it. But what was the goal? What are the benefits? Imagine the civic duty succeeded. What would be the difference then? The question would become just some sort of protected, just in a more strict form of conventional protection. And so what? I doubt there can be another answer comparable to accepted one - so, even if remains open, it scarcely will be answered again. But again, even being colsed - will it lose anything?

Let's take another type of question - some real offtopic or too localized one.
Okay, it got closed and won't accept answers from eager volunteers anymore. What are the benefits again? I see none:

  • A closed question won't make the site less polluted - the question itself remains.
  • A closed question won't do any harm to already written and accepted answers - so, it never make a lesson for neither OP nor a rep-hunter. The former got their typo spotted and the latter snatched a couple of precious rep points way faster than question get even 2 closevotes.

I'd understand if a question got deleted. That would make sense (for the too localized questions I mean, as for the good answers it would be a catastrophe). But I see no point in such a closevote-craze. Especially considering the fact that only 1/10 of questions that deserved to be closed, got closed indeed.

Again, I'd understand a closevote as a preventive measure against some old-chewed topic to pollute the active questions list. But that's just 1%. And what's the point in closing questions which last activity were back in '08 then?

So, noone to read the question body before starting for answer? Well, as usual. *sigh*

  • 9
    And what's the point in closing questions which last activity were back in '08 then? Broken windows- newcomers regularly point to such questions as evidence that their new question should be allowed to stay open. Recently someone even compared his own closed question to the C++ Books question, despite the fact that there's an explicit instruction in the text of the C++ book question not to use it as evidence. Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 4:33
  • "Some" SO users tend to close long and definitive questions not because those questions are long but because they are lazy enough to read and understand such long and good questions. Can we make the privilege of voting to close question a 10k tool?
    – JW 웃
    Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 4:54
  • 5
    @JW: Cutting the number of users that can cast close votes fourfold (15k users to 3.7k) would make bad questions stay open much longer (not to mention what it would to do to the queue of 50k questions with close votes) Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 5:11
  • @DavidRobinson You are only looking on one side of the card. But how about the good questions that have been closed as Not a real question, really? (give me sometime to find that link). The reason for proposing about the privilege is because some SO users abuse it. There was a time when I was reading a long good question that was heavily downvoted and got closed by 3k-5k user rep. And then I started to think whether I'm a slow reader or not.
    – JW 웃
    Commented Mar 30, 2013 at 5:55
  • 3
    What I'm really wondering is why THIS question is closed...I've been wondering the same thing; is such a thought really so subversive? Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 10:17
  • 1
    Careful @KyleStrand, the zealotry brigade might pounce on you. In short, don't look for common sense in here, you won't find it.
    – AJB
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


Questions that are closed are signposts of what is not acceptable on Stack Overflow.

Allowing questions that are low effort, off topic, non constructive etc. to be answered encourages users to ask similar questions, since it indicates that there is no system of quality checks in place and that "anything goes".

This would deteriorate the quality of the site over time, in much the same way as we have seen other popular question and answer forums degrade into a cesspool of trivial questions and extended discussion.

Additionally, closing a question allows answerers to identify where their time could be spent more productively. It is more beneficial to the site to have users focusing on broadly applicable solutions to non trivial problems than to have them answering joke questions or participating in flame wars over what language is better.

  • 2
    On the whole, I agree with this answer, but I still tend to think that there's a significant number of closed questions that are not "trivial problems," "joke questions," or "flame wars over what language is better." And that's a shame. Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 10:19

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