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I browse the site looking at the Related Questions list and I often come across old, upvoted (and to me, useful) questions which were closed, perhaps because they were apparently abandoned by the asker (without the improvements the Close voters requested, such as this question). Still the questions are on the site, and interest me.

Is there a guideline on whether I should bother to vote on things that were closed long ago but not removed? (If I can vote on them, then in what sense are they "Closed"? Does the word really mean anything if there is no removal from the site? Why have a Closed status? OK, that's 4 questions, so only look at the first one, please.)

  • Concerning closure, questions are closed 1) to prevent (new) answers 2) to give the OP a chance to correct the issues with them (if possible) and 3) to prepare them for deletion in the even 2 does not happen. – Kendra Sep 16 '16 at 14:26
  • It seems odd to say that the site is about questions and answers (and therefore generally useful info) not about personalities, yet a question is beholden to the asker to "correct" it. In the case of the one I referenced above, could someone else edit the question to remove the close vote? Likely not, because it is about a particular event. So... is it about questions and answers, or about people? "You can't have one without the other." – user291305 Sep 16 '16 at 14:27
  • @Kendra so in the referenced question, the asker is apparently long gone. They will never be back to fix the question. Why not simply kill it off? It was closed long ago, yet it persists... Will it ever be deleted if it was upvoted and has good answers? I think that in this case the Close vote is more a sigh of resignation than a call for action, like suing someone who is deceased. This is an inconsistency that I cannot sort out. Can you? – user291305 Sep 16 '16 at 14:29
  • I can't answer for the specific question as I know nothing about the site it's on and its scope. I actually haven't even visited it. It could just be no one with the ability to vote to delete on the site has really noticed it, it could be that the users of the site find it useful enough to keep even though it's off topic, or it could be something else. It really all comes down to community decision on what happens in each case. Most closed questions I see on Stack Overflow do end up deleted, but that may not be the case at The Workplace. – Kendra Sep 16 '16 at 14:32
  • @Kendra "Most closed questions I see on Stack Overflow do end up deleted" Not really. There are over half a million closed questions on Stack Overflow. Even excluding questions closed as duplicates, it's still over quarter a million. – Michał Perłakowski Sep 16 '16 at 14:36
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    @Gothdo I qualified that with a "that I see" for a reason- I couldn't possibly hope to see every closed question through browsing when I have issues or wish to answer a question. My statement is more meant to be taken as a "this is what I see over here" type of statement. – Kendra Sep 16 '16 at 14:39
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There's nothing wrong in voting on question that were closed long time ago. Just keep in mind that you shouldn't upvote a question just because it's interesting. You should focus more on the usefulness. For example, if a question lacks details and it makes it hard (or impossible) to answer, it isn't really worthy an upvote.

Closed questions prevent people from answering it. They aren't deleted immediately to give the OP some time to fix the issues with it. If they don't, the question should get deleted.

  • How much time do they have? What if the user profile is no longer active? The actual close reason was flawed, if the OP is no longer a user. My example is a question that was closed years after it was asked. Why prevent more people from answering at that point? Also, I upvote questions that are interesting, because it makes them more likely to be found or noticed. Can't "interestingness" be a value to the site? All of these considerations seem to lead to some contradictions, in my opinion. – user291305 Sep 16 '16 at 14:48

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