There is an auto-deletion process that removes open, abandoned questions, and under certain circumstances, closed questions. But there are many closed questions that are preserved. Looking for those to review for rehabilitation or clean up is not always easy.

Let's say that I'm in the process of curating a particular set of questions related to a tag I'm interested in. I can see that I've got a number of deleted questions, but I'd like to review them for editing, retagging, reopening, or possible deletion, separate from the ones that the auto-deletion process will eventually take care of.

What query or queries can I use to find those deleted questions that will not be automatically deleted?


1 Answer 1


Live queries can identify all of the closed questions that will not be automatically deleted by the Roomba.

For example, let's look at the closed questions on MetaSE.

Here is how we can find the closed questions that will not be automatically deleted, organized into various reasons:

  • You don't seem to be accounting for the 365-day auto-deletion process. It will delete duplicates and other questions with scores of 0 or lower. See Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered zero-score questions after a year?. Apr 1, 2016 at 20:59
  • @404 Neat! I don't see isanswered in the Advanced Search Tips, although it was added to (and corrected on) the Advanced Search Help Page. That'll teach me for expecting consistency!
    – Mogsdad
    Apr 2, 2016 at 11:09
  • @Nathaniel - I've read over that post many times, and I can't find reference to auto deleting duplicates with scores of 0 or lower after 365 days. The only place 'duplicate' is mentioned is under closed questions, and it's a condition that blocks deletion. For example, there are 991 negative-scoring duplicate "discussion" questions here. Perhaps there's another reference? I'd like to incorporate that info, if possible.
    – Mogsdad
    Apr 3, 2016 at 14:04
  • 1
    Sure--it's simply that duplicates are not excluded from the "30 days" or "365 days" sections like they are from the "9 day" section. Each duplicate on this site has one of the exceptions listed: usually that it has an upvoted answer. The bottom line is that most unanswered, zero-score duplicates eventually get automatically deleted. Apr 3, 2016 at 20:34
  • @Nathaniel - Duplicates aren't mentioned in the 30 or 365 lists, but I don't think we can assume that means they aren't excluded. If they were, their usefulness as trail markers would be compromised. Quick test: "discussion" unanswered duplicates score <= 0 finds 752 questions without +scoring answers. This example from that list has an answer, and was closed as duplicate in May 2011, yet has not been automatically deleted.
    – Mogsdad
    Apr 4, 2016 at 15:26
  • ... Similar query on an SO tag shows that Meta is probably not unique in this case. From that query, this duplicate with two 0-score answers has been closed for more than two years. Maybe there's another explanation, but I don't see any conclusive evidence that duplicates are included in the 30 or 365 day cleanups. It appears that "duplicate" is the trump card.
    – Mogsdad
    Apr 4, 2016 at 15:30
  • @Mogsdad There are definitely a few in your first search that I can't explain, like this one. It'd be interesting to see what happened if it got a downvote; that might get it deleted tonight under the 30-day criteria. Apr 4, 2016 at 15:57

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