I would like to clarify something that I don't think is clear in the post on automatic post deletion rules.

The first automatic delete rule kicks in at 9 days for closed questions:

If the question was closed more than 9 days ago, and ...

  • was not closed as a duplicate
  • has a score of 0 or less
  • has no answers with a score > 0
  • some other criteria that don't matter right now...

Then, at 30 days, there's:

If the question is more than 30 days old, and ...

  • has −1 or lower score
  • has no answers
  • is not locked

This rule applies to both open and closed questions, but it doesn't mention the same exemption for duplicates.

I'm pretty sure that I've seen old, downvoted duplicates disappear on ServerFault (and that fits what the rule says), but I'm also sure I've seen lots of comments along the lines of "duplicates aren't deleted."

So what I'm after is a clear statement from a power-that-be or a clear reference that says "duplicate questions fall under the same 30-day automatic deletion rule as any other question." (or that they don't)

(Note: I realize this doesn't apply the stub left behind when a question is merged into another. Those "stubs" are locked and are never deleted.)

  • 1
    I really hope duplicates don't get automatically deleted, and that this won't change, considering how easily, and often incorrectly, questions get marked "duplicate" just because they pertain to the same subject as another question, even though what's being asked is fundamentally different in such a way that answers to the question that's supposedly being duplicated aren't even relevant to the question marked as a duplicate. If duplicates are to be deleted automatically, the threshold for marking questions as duplicates needs to be drastically higher.
    – Adi Inbar
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 5:01
  • I agree with this post -> meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32311/do-not-delete-duplicates
    – Dave Chen
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


Since it recently happened to me, and I found your question while searching for a specific reason why Community is deleting duplicate questions, I can confirm that duplicate questions without answers that are downvoted DO get deleted after 30 days.

My Community deleted duplicate is here, though it will require 10K on Gaming in order to see it: https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/138214/is-there-a-reliable-way-to-decrease-my-nightmares

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