As per Stack Exchange policy, unanswered questions older than 365 days that meet certain criteria are periodically deleted in a reversible manner.

I have no problems with this policy, but I would like to get an email notification, say, a week beforehand that my question is going to be deleted. That way, I can make the decision to either voluntarily delete it myself or take steps to improve it. I feel like a better citizen when I get a chance to clean up after myself, as it were.

As a point of comparison, I've had a positive experience with the way the bounty system works, wherein I get a reminder email when the time is about to expire, even if it's not a bounty on my own question.

This differs from related discussion because I am specifically talking about remove abandoned questions, not deletions in general.


  • 4
    Why not take steps to improve all your unanswered questions whether or not you get an email? – Robert Longson Jul 12 '19 at 13:41
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    @RobertLongson Fair point! I am a strong believer in continuous maintenance of questions and answers. But sometimes it's hard to know the difference between "this question needs improvement" and "this question just needs more time for the right person to see it." – Nathaniel M. Beaver Jul 12 '19 at 13:53
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    Also, posts with a net score of <= -3, which have been closed, with no upvoted or accepted answers, get auto-deleted in 9-10 days post closure. Notifying each such an asker one week ahead of time is asking a lot. – amWhy Jul 12 '19 at 15:37
  • The post I am linking may not seem related but it is exactly the worst type of scenario: a post with no answers submitted, closed as a duplicate but then edited by its author, because they do care, it gets automatically deleted by the system without any notification of any kind. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328351/… – Mari-Lou A Jul 14 '19 at 7:15


The SE sites strives to be a canonical collection of knowledge based on the content that is provided by Questions and their Answer(s).

The content is valued by the community by casting votes and by views.

Based on that premises the onus is on the poster to make sure their content doesn't reach the very low threshold to prevent automatic deletion.

If the poster or the wider community didn't "care"1 about their question enough to verify if it got views or votes, and edits deemed insufficient or care to offer a bounty on it, why should the system care for that post instead?

If this future was implemented my bet would be on very few actual improvements that salvage a question and many more meta posts from users that find out after the fact that their question was deleted.
The net value of this feature is at best zero. Until the other features that do help to improve content are implemented I propose to postpone this one, probably indefinitely.

1. no insults are intended. YMMV

  • Here is an example of a user who cared about their closed post but had no idea it was eligible for deletion or that it would be automatically deleted by the system only 12 hours after being edited. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/328351/… to make the assumption that a poster couldn't be bothered to check the progress of a post over 14 months old is insulting. – Mari-Lou A Jul 14 '19 at 7:23
  • @Mari-LouA I think a better solution would be to not immediately delete questions that get a single downvote. The current criteria essentially weight a single downvote as a unilateral delete vote. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 14 '19 at 16:07

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