Do closed questions ever get deleted and, if so, is reputation recalculated (subtracted) for that question and all its answers?

What happens here in meta, given that feature request "questions" are closed when they are completed?


4 Answers 4


see https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/the-stack-overflow-question-lifecycle/

Why would you delete a question? Isn’t closing it enough?

  • Some questions are of such poor quality that they cannot be salvaged. They’re literally nonsense. Not every byte of data that is created in the world is infinite and sacred.
  • Some questions are so incredibly off topic that they add no value to a programming community.
  • The mental cost of processing these closed questions is not zero, particularly for users who are actively engaged and scanning questions to find things they can help answer.
  • If users see a lot of closed questions, they’ll note that we don’t enforce the guidelines, so why should they? Without any final resolution, asking questions that get closed becomes something we are implicitly encouraging — a broken windows problem. If this goes on for long enough, we’re no longer a community of programmers who ask and answer programming questions, we’re a community of random people discussing.. whatever. That’s toxic.
  • If enough of these closed questions are allowed to hang around, they become clutter that reduces the overall signal to noise ratio — which further reduces confidence in the system.
  • Is the closing enough? NO! The question is useless, shouldn't be answered, and go on to lower my points, preventing me to use the site. So NO, just NO. (sorry for shouting out, but it's a big No).
    – Quidam
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 16:44

Users with the access to moderator tools privilege can vote to delete a closed question after 48 hours and it takes at least 3 delete votes to delete it. Trusted users ignore the question age requirement, but the question must still be closed.

After that it can be voted to be undeleted by users with the same privilege. It takes 3 delete votes to undelete a question.

As far as I know, rep is NOT recalculated, which can make it a little confusing since you will have rep awarded or lost at some point but you will not be able to see how.

Diamond ♦ moderators can delete and undelete any post at any time.

  • Note it's not reopened, it's just undeleted. Then you need 5 votes to reopen it. Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 15:24
  • I have not seen it happen enough to know for sure, so I revised to include what you said.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 15:25
  • Reference: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/… Part B stated when undeleted you start at step 7 (which is a closed state) Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 15:44
  • 1
    Which really means, unless a moderator deletes it right away, that it never happens. Really, how many times will 3 people go back and look for questions more than 2 days old that are closed, just to delete them. People with 10K rep spend their time answering questions, not looking for stuff to delete.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 15:58
  • 1
    Don't underestimate the power of a 10k user who has hit the rep cap.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 17:11
  • 2
    If I happen across an old and useless question, I'll vote to delete it. I also check the delete-votes tab of the moderator tools every day or two. It seems the most active deleters (other than the moderators) are John Saunders, Gulzar, Shog9, and I.
    – mmyers
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 17:26
  • 1
    I do the same as mmyers. When I see other questions that already have some votes applied, I'll check them out and then follow through mostly.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 17:29
  • 1
    @mmyers: Thanks for the mention. I actually think deletion isn't happening enough. Commented Jul 14, 2009 at 9:16

Do closed questions ever get deleted?

Yes. Questions are only deleted if they are very low quality, spam, illegal, very localized or doesn't add value to the community. A moderator can delete it right away, high rep users can vote to delete it.

is reputation recalculated (removed) for that question and all its answers?

Yes. Not right away, but when there is a rep recalc this is fixed for each user.

What happens here in meta that questions (features requests) are closed when they are completed?

They are not closed, they are tagged as . If there are answers you can accept the one who best describes the feature that was added and how it works, or something like that.

Denied features are tagged or . More info about it here.


I believe by default they are not deleted, but a moderator can delete them. I think this is helpful, especially in the case of dups because there are many ways to ask the same question, so it provides more "pointers" to the question. Additionally, I believe deleted questions do eventually result in recalculated rep.

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