Roomba, i.e. the system that takes care of automatically deleting supposedly low quality questions, is used in both main sites and meta sites. However, in meta sites, the voting system is different: people may downvote questions when in disagreement with the standpoint presented in the questions, despite the questions be of interest. But Roomba automatically deletes downvoted questions (with a few more criteria). Should Roomba have customized rules for meta websites, since the voting system is different?

For example, we could remove the Roomba's criteria on downvotes. Example of useful meta questions that it would save: https://lifehacks.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2679/12

enter image description here

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    There is a similar [status-declined] here
    – rene
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:43
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    @rene thanks, I see, 30 upvotes, 4 downvotes, and declined. Typical. Aug 21, 2016 at 20:44
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    I ran this quick query because I assumed that the deletion percentage on meta would be lower but that is not the case (between MSO and SO)
    – rene
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:50
  • @rene Interesting! Is there any way to filter by deletion reason? Aug 21, 2016 at 20:52
  • Deletions don't have reasons.
    – ale
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:54
  • @AlE. That's a pity, a lot of insight is lost there. Aug 21, 2016 at 20:54
  • Perhaps you're thinking of closures?
    – ale
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:55
  • @AlE. No, deletion. Possible reason could be deletion by owner, admin, roomba. Aug 21, 2016 at 20:56
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    I played a bit with this query. It shows ~time (hours * 100 + minutes). Roomba runs at 03:00 and you can see the spike there. Approx 383 (97 + 31) are deleted by roomba on MSO. The query does show a lot of spikes after midnight, I'm not sure if those also occur because of some script.
    – rene
    Aug 21, 2016 at 21:08
  • Without specific rules (and ideally examples of useful stuff they'd save), this is identical to the previous request.
    – Shog9
    Aug 22, 2016 at 22:50
  • @Shog9 added, please reopen, but typically discussions then focus on the example and not the main idea. Aug 22, 2016 at 22:58
  • I addressed the main idea last time. So yeah, if I reopen, I'm going to focus on your example. If that's not what you want, let me know now so I don't bother reopening...
    – Shog9
    Aug 22, 2016 at 23:05

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure if the problem is serious enough to warrant different rules.

Here are the times when posts get deleted for a couple of meta's with the number of posts deleted, from this query

enter image description here

You can see the spikes when the Rooomba script runs:

Based on these results I won't say that there is an unhealthy amount of posts deleted by the scripts.

In SEDE the table postswithdeleted doesn't contain taginfo for deleted posts but maybe a CM can give some insight in how many roomba deletes there are per tag on meta sites.

I have also run this query for a few sites and the percentage for deleted posts is not alarmning.

If valuable but down voted posts run the risk of being deleted maybe that community can rewrite those posts in to FAQ posts. That keeps the value around while the roomba can still do its work.



For instance, s are likely to be heavily downvoted just because they're not viable as a feature. Deleting such posts would prevent them from being examples of what does the community dislike.

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    Most bad feature requests get an answer, that will be upvoted and with that prevents deletion, no matter how many downvotes are casted on the question
    – rene
    Aug 22, 2016 at 8:26
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    @rene Most but no all, especially when meta aren't that active, it's easy to get one downvote and no answer for 30 days. Aug 22, 2016 at 15:21

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