Can't old questions with no accepted answers be 'cleared' when it is obvious there was an acceptable answer? Speaking specifically about the OP's negligence of accepting an answer, or a comment was source of answer therefore question can not be 'signed off"? Also their long absence from Stack Exchange.

And is it unethical to ask these questions again when the original question was already asked, but forgotten/forsaken?

  • 11
    what does 'cleared' mean? I.e. what do you want to happen to the question? Deletion? Closure? Something else? What do you want to achieve by asking the question again? If you want an answer why not put a bounty on the original question? May 13 '21 at 18:44
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    The OP accepting an answer isn't important in the grand scheme of things.
    – Kevin B
    May 13 '21 at 18:47
  • MY mistake. I was referring to a moderator able to accept an answer in the absence of the OP.
    – user728672
    May 13 '21 at 18:48
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    This wouldn't work on many sites, Worldbuilding, Writing, Culinary sites, DIY - to name a few. If implemented it would need to be done selectively, presumably "toggled on" by the mods. Many would argue it doesn't fit with the ethos of SE, to keep a permanent repository of knowledge - some is inevitably obsoleted by developments and new research. I'd argue against it altogether. If something is bad, vote it down or flag for closure and the Roomba will take care of it. May 13 '21 at 18:48
  • I have been trying to contribute more by browsing unanswered questions, and often come across many where it was obvious in comments that they accepted one.
    – user728672
    May 13 '21 at 18:51
  • And I believe I was intending the question to refer to questions that wouldn't be fluid or changeable over time. Black is black, white is white and 2 +2 will always equal 4.
    – user728672
    May 13 '21 at 18:53
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    Related question (but I don't think it is a duplicate): What to do about old orphaned questions?
    – ColleenV
    May 13 '21 at 19:13
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    "I was referring to a moderator able to accept an answer in the absence of the OP." You probably didn't know, but it has been established moderators don't want this responsibility. It's not their task, nor should it be.
    – Mast
    May 14 '21 at 6:41
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    In case you misunderstand the purpose of answer acceptance: "Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for them personally." Regardless of the accepted answer being pinned, OP's answer acceptance is usually less important than the community's votes. May 14 '21 at 13:31

Questions that have no answers and were not automatically deleted by Roomba might have a positive score and / or several comments preventing their deletion.

  • If the comments are not helpful anymore, flag them.
  • If an old comment has the answer and is helpful, post it as an answer to improve the visibility of the answer. Before doing this look at the corresponding per-site meta to see if the community prefers that these kind of answers be marked as Community Wiki or not.

Regarding reposting a question, despite the discussion about the ethics of that, please bear in mind that reposting a question is not allowed. You might improve the post or post a similar question if you are able to make it really better than the "original" i.e. you made a significant research effort and tried things that the "original" question doesn't mention.

Regarding questions having unaccepted answers, if the answers are helpful upvote them, if not, downvote them. If it's meh, then ignore them and if they are really bad or cause harm, flag them. If you have the close to delete privilege, vote to delete them.



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