How about we create a new status, Archived.

A moderator could Archive a question. This would allow rep from the question to still be counted, and a special search 'isarchived' could be used to find it, but it wouldn't come up in normal searches, and would be marked so that Google wouldn't use them for search results.

This way old questions that aren't currently relevant, but were good for their time and have historical interest and maybe good discussion could be looked at by those who are interested, but those who just want to search for current stuff won't be bothered by them.

Note: This is for Meta sites only, and maybe for those huge subjective monster questions on SO.

  • Related: meta.superuser.com/questions/1251/…
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 12, 2010 at 19:24
  • @Ivo, perhaps that belongs on meta.stackoverflow, because it is about the Engine proper.
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 19:28
  • Is there any moderator willing to do this ? If not I don't see the use of this.
    – HoLyVieR
    Aug 12, 2010 at 19:35
  • @HoL, there have been plenty of questions worthy of archiving that have been solely deleted by a moderator; it shouldn't be anymore work to hit an archive button. Aug 12, 2010 at 19:36
  • Diamonds, feel free to migrate my question too if you migrate this one. Aug 12, 2010 at 19:38
  • Why not just introduce an "isdeleted" operator for 10K users, and avoid yet another status? If you really need archives, there's always the data dumps...
    – Shog9
    Aug 12, 2010 at 19:40
  • 2
    @Shog9, that would be fine for my historical curiosity, but I think the users that posted the questions and answers should be able to keep their reward for the time they put in. I can afford to lose the 1500 rep I'd lose with a recalc, but it really sucks for those trying to make 10k. Aug 12, 2010 at 19:46
  • @Lance, I think "Closed & Locked" would be a better option than creating a new functionality.
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:00
  • @devinb, yeh, but then it would still be found when people searched for it, which I think is one of the reasons they're cleaning things up, so that people don't get swamped by non-relevant hits Aug 12, 2010 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Lance, Locked posts should be removed from searches. They're locked for a reason.
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:08
  • 1
    @devinb, Now that's a fine idea!. Aug 12, 2010 at 20:10
  • Huzzah for common ground!
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:15
  • @Shog9 Please don't mention data dumps. Some of us don't have time to setup a database and run our own queries. We like ready made web pages. Jun 13, 2012 at 21:01
  • 1
    A later development (2021): Introducing Outdated Answers project Nov 5, 2022 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


I completely agree with @devinb that this shouldn't apply to Stack Overflow. However, based on your latest edit, I think that having such a feature for meta-sites may, in fact, be a good idea.

The Gmail archiving model can be applied here, such as for old bugs and feature-requests that are [status-completed]. There should be a viewing mode that hides them from search on request.


Some people have suggested simply locking and closing (or even deleting) old posts. This isn't the way to go. Instead, we should have a viewing filter, where old bugs and feature-requests that were completed are hidden (at will). People can still contribute to those posts if they see fit - locking/closing wouldn't allow that.

On another note, I'm all for closing/locking massive "poll" posts.


I believe it should apply to Stack Overflow. Just because a question is no longer valid, does it mean that people who put time into it should lose reputation points because it's deleted?

There are two different issues here: 1) The content 2) the time and effort put in by people, which is rewarded with reputation.

Just because a question is no longer valid, does not mean that the time and effort put into it becomes invalid as well.

I don't think this applies for poll style questions. That's a different matter in that they are not, in fact, much effort.

  • 2
    @George, I think we are overestimating how many people and how much reputation. Keep in mind, the people who asked the most famous poll questions probably SHOULD lose their rep.
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:05
  • @George, I think you (and Lance) are equating reputation with "effort" When we both know that they are certainly only roughly correlated
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:07
  • @devinb You make a good a point about poll questions. However, that's a slightly different issue. There the issue was that they provided a great way to get rep for little effort. As I understand it, that has changed with the policy that such questions would be community wikis. That doesn't necessarily apply to the general case. That said, you also make a good point that we may be talking about a very small percentage of the questions. However, it may not necessarily be a small percentage of any one individual's rep. Aug 12, 2010 at 20:08
  • @devinb Shouldn't they be correlated? At least with the notion that rep is a reward for effort. Now, it's not just for effort, it's also for the correctness of an answer and such. However, that still comes down to one's prior effort put into learning a subject and their ability to remember the correct information. Aug 12, 2010 at 20:12
  • @George, The policy that such questions should be CW is only on StackExchange 2.0 sites, it is not official policy on SO (even if it is mostly the way it is). Aug 12, 2010 at 20:13
  • @George, they should be correlated, but we can't guarantee it. Also as I mentioned in my now defunct answer (became irrelevant, got deleted :D ) it is about content. If the content is no longer good, the it no longer belongs. We can't give reputation to people for things that don't exist. No matter, Lance and I have reached a consensus on Locked Posts not showing up in searches.
    – devinb
    Aug 12, 2010 at 20:17

A counter can be added, so that users can set that the specific question is old thus helping the moderators identify easily which questions should be archived.

  • Please note you've just responded to a feature request that's 12 years old.
    – Mast
    Nov 6, 2022 at 13:40

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