How should we handle questions that:


Should we automatically delete such reposted questions, or keep them (since sometimes reposted questions may actually receive a positive score, since other readers may have a different opinion, and 1 downvote can pretty much happen anytime for whatever reason)?

  • 8
    Shog has stated that it's actually OK to repost Roomba'd questions in certain cases. That answer is linked from the Help Center, by the way. Aug 27, 2019 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


I'd say that it's OK to allow the reposted question to continue, provided that the author is making some effort to get an answer to the question, and isn't repeatedly reposting the same question again and again.

Per the help center page on the Roomba, the main intent of the script is primarily just to clean up the site and reduce the annoyance to other users searching for solutions:

Abandoned, unanswered questions can be a nuisance for readers when they appear in search results. While every question deserves a chance to be answered, at some point the annoyance to those searching for a solution outweighs the increasingly-small chance that an answer will be provided.

The help center page also links to this answer from Shog:

Monica's advice on fixing the question is solid - anything you can do to correct whatever caused it to not get the necessary attention the first time around is worth doing.

In particular, take this opportunity to add what you've learned in the time since you first asked.

But then... Just re-ask the question. Sure you can vote to undelete it, or flag it for moderator attention, or bring it up on meta... But all of that requires a lot more time and effort - yours and others' - to accomplish the same thing that re-asking it would.

And re-asking means everything starts fresh. You don't have to familiarize yourself with the myriad rules for automatic deletion that might kick in again, or drag along the increasingly-irrelevant history of the question as it existed prior to its deletion.

So basically, as long as the question isn't being repeatedly reposted, the question is on-topic for the site, and the author is making a clear attempt to honestly get an answer to their question (e.g. by editing it with their own research, by putting bounties on it, etc.), I'd say that it's OK for an author to repost a question that ended up not receiving any attention beyond a single downvote (or instance of Tim Post losing his keys).

Personally, I have a lot of bones to pick with the system categorically deleting all negatively-scored questions without any consideration for anything else, as it has a lot of edge cases, such as if the author is actively improving the question or if it's on a meta site and the only reason for downvotes is because people disagree with the post. But that's for another time.


As long the new post shows a significant improvement compared with the previously deleted post, it should be treated as any other new post.

But, if the question doesn't show any significant improvement , practically it the same content as the previously deleted post, it should be closed using the custom close reason, including the link to the deleted question and asking the user to add considerably more details, like a brief description of significant efforts made by the OP to find the answer/solution by themselves.

Another option in case the OP has more than 10,000 reputation points is to flag the question for mod attention asking to merge the new question with the deleted question using the deleted question as master. The advantages of doing this are that the OP will be able to undelete the question and will make it easier to track the "actual" question history.

Also, we could tell the OP that if their question is not getting enough views to keep it open, they might

  1. offer a bounty with the reason "Needs more attention",
  2. share the question with people that might be interested on it,
  3. reword the question to increase the chances to be placed on the top results of web search engines (Google, DuckDuckGo, etc.)


  • 2
    "merge the new question with the deleted question using the deleted question as master." -> that's a bad idea because 1) needs to get enough undelete votes 2) if by some miracle the question get enough undelete votes, it'll get automatically deleted again within a few days. Jan 11, 2021 at 4:27
  • 2
    "asking the user add considerably more details" -> that's too much to ask from the user because Roomba causes the deletion of too many questions with score = 0 on smaller sites. The fact that some websites have some issue to attract enough people shouldn't make it more painful for existing users to repost questions. Jan 11, 2021 at 4:29
  • 2
    I'm surprised by the downvotes on this answer given that it is clearly meant to apply to those questions which fail to meet the criteria of the other answer here, those that don't show any significant improvement indicating effort by the poster to get an answer. I don't buy the "small communities" exception for the Roomba. For small communities it's also a pain to get questions closed/downvoted repeatedly that the community doesn't like. It's rude when a user makes things harder on the community by not improving their contributions and continuing to resurface them without effort. Jan 12, 2021 at 22:55

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