There are currently 32 users who have enough rep to vote-to-close a questions and 3 users who can delete a question on Area51 Discuss but there are a ton of questions that are either not relevant or not useful anymore.

The questions I'm referring to usually fall into 3 groups:

  • updates to the proposal description (no longer necessary after the change is made)
  • requests to merge (which linger after the merge is completed)
  • vote to close proposal (which linger after the proposal is closed)

Most of these questions are only useful in the short term until changes to a proposal are made. Afterward they just linger around as unnecessary cruft that makes it harder for users to see questions that are more current/relevant (such as new requests to close duplicate proposals).

Considering that:

  • votes to close a question are only locked in for a short period of time
  • The number of users who can actually vote to close or delete a question is extremely small
  • As Area51 releases more sites and its active community is shrinking

I think it's necessary to either lower the cap to close/delete questions, or provide a means to dispose of old/irrelevant questions on Area51 discuss.

The high likelihood that most/all of the questions on discuss will quickly become irrelevant means that sufficient facilities need to be added so the active user community can trim the cruft.

  • 2
    We should get rep for Discuss, like we get on MSO. My massive amounts of upvotes need to be converted to rep!
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


I just started pruning out "irrelevant questions" when I delete abandoned proposals. When proposals are deleted, the related discussions (as long as they no longer hold relevance) go with it.

So that solves a big chunk of the problem.

In the meantime, feel free to flag discussions that are no longer relevant.

What I am discovering is that finding these "irrelevant questions" is largely mechanical: Deleted proposals, launched proposals, status-completed, etc. This pruning might better be handled through a script or other automation. Community moderation might not be necessary to solve this problem.

We might need some changes to the way reputation is earned in Area 51. But my gut feel is that Area 51 Discussions should not be part of that equation.

  • Users who are opening discussions are the type who want to help new communities grow, in general. I suspect that rewarding these people will only help. Apr 1, 2011 at 21:04

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