I believe Roomba (aka automatic question deletion) is broken.

While working on some delete vote therapy(TM), I ran across 5 questions that met the criteria for being automatically deleted but had not been.

Per this answer and this answer the following criteria must be met.

  • Criteria:
    • Closed more than 9 days ago
    • Not closed as a duplicate
    • Score <= 0
    • Not locked
    • No answers with a score > 0
    • No accepted answer
    • No pending reopen votes
    • No edits in the past 9 days

And all of these questions meet those criteria.

But none of them were automatically deleted. Community members ended up deleting those questions.

And I posted to M.SE instead of MP.SE since the auto-deletion algorithm is universal to all SE sites, not just Programmers.

  • Unfortunately, I have yet to reach 10k+ on Programmers, so I cannot poke holes in your chosen list of problem posts. :-/ Jun 13, 2014 at 16:26
  • @MartijnPieters - Only ~3,300 to go... :-) Sincerely, I apologize for not providing screenshots. But it would be 4+ pages of just screenshots which seemed too much.
    – user194162
    Jun 13, 2014 at 16:31
  • 2
    @MartijnPieters enjoy the screen shots. I still wish it had the enhanced background though.
    – user213963
    Jun 13, 2014 at 18:03
  • @MichaelT: thanks. Most indeed look like they fit the criteria (apart from the June 3rd post). Perhaps another victim of the data center move (together with search). Jun 13, 2014 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


I've updated the query to check for nulls on the IsAnswered field - this will be deployed in the next build (rev 2014.6.16.1659, meta rev 2014.6.16.2312).

The query runs on a daily schedule, so may be a day or two before it kicks off.


Yes, it is broken. Not completely broken, but definitely broken.

Here's the query that implements those requirements you cite:

WHERE PostTypeId = 1 -- Question
    AND DeletionDate IS NULL -- Not already deleted
    AND MigrationDate IS NULL -- Not migrated

    AND ClosedDate < GETUTCDATE() - @deadlineDays -- Closed question - was closed before deadline

    AND Score <= 0 -- Low score
    AND LockedDate IS NULL -- Not locked
    AND AcceptedAnswerId IS NULL -- No accepted answer
    AND IsNull(LastEditDate, CreationDate) < GETUTCDATE() - @deadlineDays -- No edits to title or body in deadline date
    AND IsAnswered = 0 -- No answers with score > 0

Duplicate and reopen vote tests are omitted for brevity... and because the bug is in the last line quoted. IsAnswered is null on questions that've never had answers...

By my count, 246 questions should be deleted on Programmers once this is fixed, with comparable numbers on other sites and a bit over 9K on Stack Overflow.

  • Er, only about 246 bad questions did not get any answer? Wow.
    – Arjan
    Jun 14, 2014 at 11:02
  • @Arjan it's 246 for a limited time period while roomba has been broken (per my recollection, about month ago it was working just fine)
    – gnat
    Jun 16, 2014 at 18:05
  • 2
    Thanks, @gnat, that's very true of course! Also, I somehow managed to miss the part about "9K on Stack Overflow". Thanks for restoring my faith :-)
    – Arjan
    Jun 16, 2014 at 20:29
  • Broken again :( meta.askubuntu.com/q/11712/169736
    – Braiam
    Aug 7, 2014 at 15:53
  • @Braiam confirmed by Shog9, in case you missed this one.
    – user259867
    Aug 7, 2014 at 16:15

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