What should be done if a question is no longer of any value for the original asker and probably neither for anyone else? For example this question was about a command not working which turned out to be not reproducible, the same command works now. Nobody else encountered this problem before and also the asker doesn't have the problem anymore.

So what to do? Should there be an accepted answer like "Nevermind, can't reproduce"? Should the question just be left open? Or should it be closed as invalid or something else?

(Possibly related to this question, but not quite the same.)


If a question (or answer) is not useful it should be down voted, as per instruction on the down vote button:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

Down voting a question has the benefit that it could make the question eligible for eventual automatic deletion by the roomba. If you're prepared and have the time for a conversation with the OP about finding the best way forward, by all means do so. You could offer the OP to self-deleted but I'm not a huge fan of Hey, delete this question! type of comments. Be nice, constructive and respectful of other opinions.

See also What purpose does downvoting questions serve?

Some sites have specific close reasons when questions are not reproducible. I see see gaming.se doesn't offer that option although you could argue that not being reproducible could fit under the unclear reason. But that is better fleshed out on the per site meta.

Which ever option you choose vote based on the merit of the post. Not on the reputation of the OP, not on current votes, not on comments. Just the content of the post is all that needs to be valued.

  • Nice, didn't know that feature. So far I only saw downvotes as "this is a bad question", but for example for this it also has other uses. Jul 21 '17 at 11:28
  • 1
    I'm not sure I like using downvotes as a way for the purpose of automatic deletion. It can leave a negative impression and discourage users from informing future readers that their issue was resolved. I'd much rather leave a comment suggesting to OP that they can delete their question if the issue was resolved without any clear solution.
    – Stevoisiak
    Jul 21 '17 at 18:01
  • 1
    I just noticed a problem with this solution: Even with my downvote, it was still not negative and will probably not become, because someone upvoted it earlier. Also, if a user with reputation >1 asks a valid question, but then it becomes obsolete, downvotes remove reputation from his account. But the problem with the solution by @Vascellaro is that some users could create an account just for this question and then, when they don't have the problem anymore, don't look at the page anymore, so it would not get closed by them. So should I make my action dependent on their reputation level? Jul 21 '17 at 18:02
  • @Fabian In this scenario, the OP seem to be actively responding to comments, so I would try letting them know before downvoting. It's also worth noting that questions like this may not be entirely useless if a future reader with the same issue stumbles across the post.
    – Stevoisiak
    Jul 21 '17 at 18:04
  • 1
    @StevenVascellaro I didn't say the purpose of down voting is to have it deleted, that is more or less a side-effect but due to no down voting at all you'll end-up with unuseful posts. Then it comes down to 10K-ers to use their delete votes.
    – rene
    Jul 21 '17 at 18:36
  • I just saw "This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error." as a close reason here: stackoverflow.com/questions/22513648/… Jan 12 '18 at 15:48
  • What if you want to leave the question up for posterity rather than delete it? Should there be an option to close as "no longer relevant"? Aug 21 '19 at 1:41
  • 1
    @KyleDelaney if the OP and the community feel the question can remain then it must have some value, right? Closing is not always the right tool. Maybe an historic lock if you don't want new answers but that is about it. no longer relevant can be hard to judge for anyone else. And even if you asked a COBOL question in 2008 that is no longer relevant for you today, it might still be for other (future) visitors
    – rene
    Aug 21 '19 at 5:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .