(There's a TL;DR at the end.)

I'm currently having an issue over on Arqade. In theory, Stack Exchange should be a place to trade expertise over subjects, however, I've been noticing people without any knowledge of the matter in question overruling most questions.

League of Legends is a multiplayer game, which can only be played online. It suffers scheduled patches every two weeks, and some features are changed to balance / introduce new features. The current version is extremely different from versions that came out a while ago. While it is similar to Minecraft in those aspects, it differs in that League of Legends can only be played on the latest version, while Minecraft can be played in all existing versions.

In How do we encourage edits to obsolete/out of date answers? it was suggested that a special close reason for answers that are outdated could be added, and it was massively upvoted (245 on the question, 117 on the top Answer). Similar issues were raised in Can we have a red/status tag for “obsolete”? and How to deal with obsolete answers?.

Similarly, the same was done in Arqade's Meta, in What should be done with out of version questions?, the accepted consensus was that questions that was outdated should stay, because they can be relevant for players in older patches, and that dead content is interesting. This however is misleading for games where dead content stays dead, and new users can easily be misled by a question from 2012, and deeming the website as a bad source.

In How should we deal with out of date questions/answers? and What do you do with questions where the correct answer has changed after a game update?, essentially dictate that you should simply change the answer in order to fit the current game. This however is problematic as well, due to the vast majority of users not having a lot of reputation points. I, for example, was rearing 1,000 reputation points on Arqade. Currently I'm seating in the low 900s because I had to downvote some HIGHLY voted questions/answers, which barely did nothing but hurt my reputation points, and didn't even give any attention to the question/answer at hand.

I then posted a meta discussion regarding having a vote to close, specifically tailored for cases where the game is unplayable in older versions, and that questions that became obsolete should be closed in order to aid new users, or flagging as off-topic. However it is in the process of being closed for being a duplicate.

I then posted an example question of how a similar question (using the exact same words) is different from a question from four years ago, and, once again, it's being marked as a duplicate (my 2016 question vs 2012 question). While the name of the character and the game mechanic is the absolute same, the character itself suffered a major reword, and not a single of the character's mechanics is still the same, and as such, in order with what was defined on Meta and in rules:

  • The previous question could not be edited, the previous question referred to a character who could do X. This new question refers to a Character who can do Y. The 'X' character no longer exists. As such, editing would be not only pointless due to a four-year-old question not having any activity, but it also would be changing too much of the original poster's question, as the question is regarding a character who does X, while I'd have to edit it to be about the character who does Y.

Interestingly enough, the people who are downvoting and flagging are users such as:

According to this Meta user in My "Duplicate" Meta Question,

@Oak The last time this was discussed, the result was that common sense has no place in Arqade. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

According to This other Meta user on the same Question:

Yes, we have an issue with outdated questions. The current solution we have is to bounty them. Which, if you want an updated answer to a question, you can do. Heck, it's one of the bounty reasons!

To which I replied:

Which is really only useful is a) The original asker is still active, and b) if the question itself is still valid

No, you don't need the original asker to place a bounty; anyone can place a bounty on it. The second point, though, we have issues with. I'd personally like to delete all the outdated ones, but we've gone with, "Only mods can do it, so it's not feasible". So they stay

To which I said:

Precisely. On b) only moderators can do it, hence why I proposed this change/discussion. On a), while everyone can award a bounty, the answer really won't have much exposure if there's already a previously highly voted answer, which is now outdated/flat out wrong.

It's ridiculous because this is a serious issue which is being eclipsed by users with no proven knowledge in the area at hand, where users whose most used tags are Skyrim by a landslide, which is a game that can be played on any version the user wants to.

What can actually be done to prevent users with no knowledge from vetoing a relevant topic for areas out of their expertise?


Essentially, users with no experience in the affected tags are closing and vetoing discussions regarding that tag, due to being /similar/ to what a duplicate could be, despite the subject of the question being different. Due to the possible issues with having 'fake-dupes', several different suggestions were made regarding changing the community's VTC motives, which were downvoted and marked as duplicates of one another, while only allowing "let them stay" answers, who didn't take into account games were old questions would be off-topic nowadays, and could lead users in error

closed as off-topic by EnergyNumbers, ale, Billy Mailman, Werner, Nathan Tuggy Feb 16 '16 at 19:34

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – EnergyNumbers, ale, Billy Mailman, Werner, Nathan Tuggy
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Am I missing something? Can't you just edit the question to say "In version, released in 2012 and obsolete since Jan 2013, [original text of question]" ? You could do a similar edit or comment on each answer. This would help news users who might otherwise think it applies to the current version. As for the rest of your question you seem to be claiming you need knowledge in a tag to vote to close or reopen questions in that tag: this is a suggestion that comes up a lot and is always rejected. – Kate Gregory Feb 16 '16 at 13:16
  • The thing is that one user alone can't do it, because the question won't have enough activity to do so, likewise, if you answer it, it's going to be buried below highly voted, but ultimately wrong awnsers, and as such it doesn't help, at all. That is why suggestions regarding having options to remove answers that are no longer valid are highly voted (as I linked), since there's no other way (other than creating a new question) to provide current information effectively – Oak Feb 16 '16 at 13:19
  • 3
    Well I think that's my suggestion. Edit the old question to clearly include a version and timeframe. Ask a new question that pre-emptively points out the old question is not a dupe because it's for version and this is for and the behaviour has changed between versions. That level of clarity should prevent close-as-dupe. Demanding tag expertise will not. – Kate Gregory Feb 16 '16 at 13:29
  • 3
    @Oak - your TLDR doesn't help. – Deer Hunter Feb 16 '16 at 13:31
  • I can't sum it up further. The issue is with users who don't use x tag, for anything but downvotes and VTCs, even when the question is not off-topic and is good / has an issue that could be solved in Meta, but isn't because of those issues – Oak Feb 16 '16 at 20:14
  • "Interestingly enough, the people who are downvoting and flagging are users such as" I stopped reading when I read that statement, voting is anonymous, you have no way of know who is downvoting, for that reason alone. – Ramhound Feb 17 '16 at 0:17
  • By comments and VTCs (which are public) – Oak Feb 17 '16 at 0:20
  • I just wanted to say, as one of the users you pointed at, I did have a look at the duplicate and thought it was the same. I do apologise if I was incorrect, and if you disagree feel free to vote to reopen. – angussidney Feb 17 '16 at 9:35
  • The difference is that there is absolutely no reason to re-ask a question. LoL has one version. One and only one. The latest. No others can be played. So there's no reason to point out a version; it's irrelevant to the question. Based on that, the question is a duplicate; it's already been asked. It just needs an updated answer. – fbueckert Feb 19 '16 at 4:38
  • In which case, older question that if were to be asked /today/ would be obsolete, and also off-topic. However, in Meta they weren't considered to be so – Oak Feb 19 '16 at 12:53
  • I'm not sure how this is pertinent to only a specific website. While I used Arqade as an example, it's the same as someone doing the same at Harry Potter Questions, while never having read/seen anything JK Rowling has put out (Sci-Fi and Movies.Se – Oak Feb 19 '16 at 14:57
  • You're using a specific Arqade example. Countering that example is important. The details you're missing are critical to the policy. If there is only a single usable version of a piece of software, there are two ways of going about it: delete old version questions, or update answers. Arqade has chosen the latter. – fbueckert Feb 19 '16 at 16:33
  • Which is the problem, as the answers can't be updated without having enough attention – Oak Feb 19 '16 at 18:01
  • Which is what bounties are for. – fbueckert Feb 19 '16 at 19:09
  • Which I wouldn't be able to do after 9 questions – Oak Feb 19 '16 at 20:44

Nothing, actually. The only thing the community can do is vote to reopen.

In my opinion, if all you say is true (I can't judge that since I am not active on that site), your community has to step in to fix this behavior.

I would suggest to start a meta discussion on your own site to bring this problem up, there users can make a decision to either keep the current status quo, or change it. Moderators can step in to fix some incorrectly close questions too.

If you do post it there, I would suggest to bring down your text a little, since it is too much to read actually. (Or introduce a TLDR).

  • I tried to be as clear as possible by giving examples and providing several information, I followed your advice and added a TL;DR in the end now – Oak Feb 16 '16 at 12:33

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