I'm now have trepidation about closing, since that's the first step to deletion, and we all know how that's been going. I have always tried to do my part to close questions that deserved it, but feel that good answers shouldn't be deleted. In reference to the cases that Greg brought up, I would one day like to find the time to study functional programming more, and read those answers.

It also helps for people to find those questions in a search, and not create another one.

My solution to the problem is here.

I just wanted to bring up the discussion on how I could still go about closing, and yet protect the questions from deletion.

EDIT: With this solution now implemented, the Fear is Gone.

  • I'm +1 to the linked question, and -1 to the theory that we should stop deleting crappy questions that happen to have interesting answers, and thus +0 here.
    – Rosinante
    May 24, 2010 at 21:45
  • I think migration would solve a lot of the problems (except the search one, but I just thought of a feature-request I'll put up later on it). May 24, 2010 at 21:47

4 Answers 4


This discussion, spread as it is over three? four? threads, is developing a bit of a whack-a-mole character. Nonetheless:

There appears to be a universal consensus that we need to stop deleting questions as duplications when we haven't made arrangements to preserve good answers. Someone is still regularly nominating dups for deletion. Several of us are routinely flagging for mods when we see them in the delete pending queue. If there are still good answers leaking out this way then it's strong argument for your merge feature, or more diamond supervision of the delete queue. A diamond can always lock a question closed for deletion to preserve good answers.

That leaves Subjective&Argumentative, NotARealQuestion, and OffTopic questions. I am very much with John Saunders on the appropriateness of deleting these, regardless of the answers. Failing to delete them just encourages more of them, and leaves the perpetrators with their rep and badges, and advances the apocalypse when a whole slew of the people who love subjective questions get 10K. If that happens, SO won't be a Q&A site any more. It will be a discussion site with a few actual questions struggling to be seen on the front page.

Yes, that's overheated rhetoric.

A thought in response to a comment from Lance.

Let's be blunt. One reason to want to delete S&A questions is their traditional role as rep-magnets. I, for one, would be more comfortable leaving them around on the grounds of useful answers if the process made them, ahem, retroactively CW, or otherwise zeroed out 'ill-gotten' rep from them. At that point, the closed status makes the point that they are not the preferred activity of the site, and the advance of the muppets is slowed.

  • I agree on the NotARealQuestion and OffTopic (and of course on the duplicates). I think on the S&A, that it should be a case-by-case basis. May 24, 2010 at 22:20
  • @Lance: The problem is, would you consider this question off-topic? It received 4 delete votes, 3 undelete votes, 2 reopen votes and 5 close votes. May 24, 2010 at 22:30
  • 1
    @Daniel, I probably wouldn't since I'm ok with math questions, and programmers will always need to be finding that answer. The accepted answer to that question is great, and is certainly about programming. May 24, 2010 at 22:50
  • 1
    @Lance, @Daniel: strikes me as an argument about close, not delete.
    – Rosinante
    May 24, 2010 at 23:44
  • It actually passed from one vote from being deleted, to being totally open. May 25, 2010 at 0:43
  • How many current admins achieved their status through "ill-gotten" rep? A tour through many deletionists' profiles demostrates the answer is more than a few. Looks like some folks came through the door, then closed it behind them so others couldn't get through.
    – JohnMcG
    May 27, 2010 at 18:00

I don't have even remotely the amount of reputation needed to vote for closure, so maybe it feels a lot different when you're actually in the seat of the voter. But this is what I'd do.

I would assume that the primary reason that you would close a question with valuable information that should not be deleted is if the question is a duplicate in some fashion. Until we allow the ability to migrate answers from one question to another, we can at least settle for the current option, which is to get a moderator to merge it. You have a 2 day head-start over the people who will delete it: use it, and use it early. If you don't think it's worth a flag (which we know should be used primarily for pressing matters), then bring it up for discussion either in comments on the question or as a post on Meta if it's particularly disputable. The important thing is, do it early. Make the most out of those 2 days that the question has before people can delete it.

  • you have over 2K here and not 3k on the real site?
    – Rosinante
    May 24, 2010 at 23:44
  • @Rosinante I don't even have 1K outside of Meta, currently
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 25, 2010 at 0:19
  • that's fascinating. Are you a professional sociologist studying this phenomenon?
    – Rosinante
    May 25, 2010 at 0:36
  • @Rosinante What phenomenon are you talking about? I'm rather baffled as to how you came to such a conclusion.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 25, 2010 at 12:37
  • Well, it was a weak joke. Why would someone spend enough time and effort on meta to get 2k rep except to study the strange things that happen here?
    – Rosinante
    May 26, 2010 at 0:37

alt text

coffee's for closers only (nsfw language)

  • Apologies for hijacking the thread. I just had this scene in my head when I saw the blog entry for the API contest "first prize is a 30 inch monitor... second prize is a herman miller chair... third prize is you're fired." May 24, 2010 at 22:45
  • I definitely want my coffee. May 24, 2010 at 22:54

Can I just point out that there is nothing stopping the author of one of these "valuable" answers copy and pasting it as an answer to a more appropriate question . I can't believe the fits of the vapours that the thought of losing these so-called valuable answers is causing here.

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