I get irritated on the amount of the migrated, duplicated and closed questions that seem to fill the feeds quite often. What ever you ask nowadays you'll head up seeing such master pieces.

Should there be a graveyard where all these should be dumped to keep the forums clean? Then you could give a dump explanation and then the discussion will stay in the correct place. Out of topics and such discussion would stay out of the way of tough value adding questions and would not irritate anybody. Interesting discussions and jokes can be told on behind the scenes and they won't disturb others.

Pieces of the content behind the graves could be later given as "a voice from grave" back to the real forums, if some diamonds have been found on the off-topic discussions - probably on questions and answers that are more suitable to the forum and give value to others.

This is not a ready suggestion for a new forum instance but at least this could be the one, from where the diamond is then migrated to appropriate feature request - later :)

The name of the new forum can be also behind-the-scenes or what ever, depending on which manner the topic is out of the topic.

My discussion questions:

What should be the place for dumping closed, migrated and duplicated questions? Could they stay in forum with a tag or should there be separate places for them? What kind of benefits there would be of some dump or behind the official topics forums? Any ideas, that we could build further together?

  • I still don't understand what you are suggesting.
    – Trufa
    Jun 13, 2011 at 19:55
  • 1
    Stack Overflow is not a forum, and your problem is that you think it should be. Off-topic content should be deleted, and we shouldn't be encouraging people to post it.
    – user229044
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:11
  • Note also that questions can be reinstated; Meta also serves as a sort of "appeals process" for this. This would change the "why was my question on X deleted" into "why is my question on X in the trash" - hardly a significant change from this perspective. Jun 13, 2011 at 20:25
  • For me it irritates to see off-topic questions, where people want to know things, but happen to ask it in wrong place and the only thing they get is a sort of ban instead of polite answer.
    – mico
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:45
  • Do you know anyone who got a ban from asking occasional off-topic questions? (Chronic offenders need not apply.) There's a huge difference between closing questions and banning.
    – sarnold
    Jun 13, 2011 at 22:59

4 Answers 4


I hope not. I haven't been a user on SO for long time, but I've learnt the reasons behind a post being closed, or migrated, or simply left behind (and not because of its answer being really really specific and hard).

While giving a chance to redemption should be granted to everyone, I believe that creating such a dump would be kind of "umiliating" for the person who has already had his post unseen or closed, and, moreover, it would give the question a chance it doesnt (generally) deserve; it sounds like a message saying: "write whatever you want and in which manner you want, you'll be banned from the main site but your answer will be considered legitimate and valid in that limbo, next time you don't have to improve your partecipation and your standards, limbo has always some merciful soul that will help you no matter what".

Of course there will be questions that won't deserve this treatement, questions that fall into this filter by mistake and needs salvation. But the percentage, I believe, would be very low and doesnt justify the existence of such place.

Another thought: I've been a forum administrator and one of the decision was to make a thread just for trash talking and off-topic materials. It quickly became a mess of random content that obscured the on-topic threads out there, making the whole forum more difficult to manage.

Oh, SE network ISN'T a forum, its' a Q&A sites. And Q&A are supposed to be meaningful and not a place where you exchange your ideas.

  • +1: Your "cite"-marked story explained well that my idea seems not to be so good one. Points about good explanation. Also thanks for correcting my false view of SO as a forum.
    – mico
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:43
  • +1 - Very insightful answer. Jun 13, 2011 at 23:53

I was thinking the same thing ("http://dumpster.stackexchange.com"). Offering a place for lower quality questions and off-topic and borderline issues would not attract it, but help weed them out. (With the real possibility to migrate questions back if they have been salvaged content and quality-wise.)

But I believe that's currently unwelcomed in the Stackexchange network. Because that's perceived as beneath the aspired site niveau. And the automated filters and manual clean-up work are currently very sufficient.

  • 1
    I don't see the benefit of a "the worst questions on Stack Overflow" site. Who really wants to browse the unanswerable run-off of SO?
    – user229044
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:13
  • Totally unanswerable posts don't need any salvaging whatsoever of course. But I would sign up for browsing and answering lower quality posts (= which would actually be more tutoring before answering I guess). And such a site would have a more significant secondary purpose however. There are many exceptionally interesting questions and topics being deleted on SO, because they clearly fail the objectivity criteria. But I think some would deserve sort of a "graveyard" as OP put it. (=Keeping SO clean/professional without losing on other discourses.)
    – mario
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:28
  • @mario SO isn't a forum. It's not supposed to be a catch-all place for all forms of IT discussion. There are other places for that kind of thing. Why does Stack Overflow can't be everything to everybody.
    – user229044
    Jun 13, 2011 at 21:30
  • @meagar: I did not say 'forum' nor did I suggest a discussion site. SO itself isn't, but SE is very much supposed to be an mostly-IT Q&A network.
    – mario
    Jun 13, 2011 at 21:33
  • @meager, I've been stunned by seeing awful questions get awful answers and the original questioner says "Thanks! This helps a lot!" (though usually with worse grammar and punctuation abuse). Somehow a lot of the dumpster.stackexchange.com denizens understand each other.
    – sarnold
    Jun 13, 2011 at 23:01
  • 1
    @mario: See stackoverflow.com/review then? There you can see questions that are of potentially low quality, and you can improve and/or answer them. Jun 14, 2011 at 9:24

I miss the crucial component of any SE site in your proposal: committed users; people who will enthusiastically contribute to the site. So: who is going to sift through the piles of questions and answer them, and why? Note that those would be questions that would have already been rejected from some site, for being unwanted no less.

Again, we are hitting the one scarce resource of SE: people who are willing to do stuff, for free, in their own free time. Please refrain from suggesting "it will be the duty of X people" - e.g. the diamond mods you mention already have enough on their plates without being saddled with sorting the trash - again: Note that most of such "dumped" questions would have already gotten deleted through the usual means - flagging and close+delete votes. These mechanisms serve to keep SE sites free of noise, whatever that is; a trash dump would just re-duplicate the functionality redundantly, again.

Your proposal seems to suggest creating a "this is what we already threw out once" virtual landfill; I fail to see the use of that.


It depends. Some questions are eligible to be posted on Programmers.StackExchange.com. Others simply do not have a place. Without some examples, all we can say is it depends.

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