This question already has an answer here:

Questions such as these should have been voted for closing/deleting instead of putting on hold, when it's seriously unconstructive, e.g.: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/214115/why-should-you-downvote-this-question

So my question is, why put on-hold instead of voting to close/delete them in the first place?

How should moderators decide whether a question should be on-hold or closed/deleted, what is the line?

marked as duplicate by ShaWiz, Arjan, Mat, scrblnrd3, ЯegDwight Dec 29 '13 at 16:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Before you can delete a question, you have to put it on hold. – juergen d Dec 29 '13 at 14:22
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    Because such questions should be given a chance to be edited too. If they are not edited, then they'll be auto-deleted if they have a negative score, later on. – Martijn Pieters Dec 29 '13 at 14:22
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    And when it just disappears, the OP would not learn anything? (And might even come back with a question about the lost question.) – Arjan Dec 29 '13 at 14:22
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    @Arjan Only that this OP is the same as that OP. I wonder if this question is also not constructive. – Antony Dec 29 '13 at 14:24
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    @Arjan Or just reask the same question because they thought there question just magically disappeared – psubsee2003 Dec 29 '13 at 14:24
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    (I guess this question is the proof that a single heavily downvoted question does not get one a question ban. Although, of course, this is Meta with some relaxed banning.) – Arjan Dec 29 '13 at 14:27
  • I see you're serious about getting down to 1 rep and/or getting yourself question banned here. You're making great progress so far. – ShaWiz Dec 29 '13 at 14:29
  • Often such questions do disappear from meta quite quickly. Frequently I click on question links and see "removed for reasons of moderation" Guess it's largely just luck how many people with the required priviliges are around. Also they might hold back in this case to avoid depriving a reversal badge. – Martin Smith Dec 29 '13 at 14:31
  • @shadowwizard, not for this question, i'm seriously questioning the differences =) – alvas Dec 29 '13 at 14:32
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    @2er0 "on hold" is result of closing, what made you think otherwise? Even when done by a moderator, the act of closing mark the question as "on hold". – ShaWiz Dec 29 '13 at 14:33
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    Marking as dupe since reading the answer there would've prevented your initial confusion. – ShaWiz Dec 29 '13 at 14:34
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    And I see it has gone now anyway. – Martin Smith Dec 29 '13 at 15:33
  • given that that question is deleted, should this be too? – alvas Dec 29 '13 at 15:36

Firstly, on hold==closed, it's just a term used so users don't go "Oh no, my question is closed. I guess I'll just leave it there forever". Secondly, most posts have to be closed to be deleted.

Deletion is usually reserved for questions that have no merit at all, and nobody will get anything out of. I think some people will get an example of what not to do from your post, aka meta-trolling.


Being put on hold is the same as being closed. The only difference is time. When a question is closed, it is listed as "on hold" for the first 5 days and then it switches to closed. This was done to make the closing seem less final and let the OP fix the question, rather than reasking a new question because they think closed means closed forever.

In general, deletion is reserved for questions after they have been closed (or put on hold). Only moderators can delete a post before it is closed, and more often than not, moderators will reserve that for questions that need to disappear, and they will let the community handle deletion for most questions.


"On hold" means "closed"; it's just a rewording for the first 5 days so the OP doesn't think it's closed forever. It's just a different term so that the OP knows it's not final.

A question must first be closed to be eligible for delete votes.

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    @Arjan I meant "rewording," not "terrifying"... argh answering from mobile is annoying – Doorknob Dec 29 '13 at 14:31
  • levenstein('reword', 'terrify') is >>> though – alvas Dec 29 '13 at 15:38
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    @2er0 umm... what? – Doorknob Dec 29 '13 at 17:51

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