I have noticed a few questions that have been closed as offtopic and do not have any answers. However the community(those who can) is not deleting these questions.

I would like to understand if this is because they disagree to Delete, or are finding it difficult to locate questions that need to be deleted. For example

are not deleted for about a month now.

Edit: One more question

  • 2
    It is happening, but not all at once. I deleted a handful last week. Oct 10, 2011 at 12:38
  • 1
    Agreed. You have been taking time to do it. I was looking it to be more broad based with quite a few users now (20 odd) who can vote for delete, and are we all having trouble with finding the questions or are we forgetting or have we reviewed and deleted all that was to be deleted.
    – Dheer
    Oct 10, 2011 at 12:49

3 Answers 3


I think those questions tend to be forgotten, since they fall of the front page forever.

The best way to deal with questions that should be deleted is by bringing up the issue in a question here on the meta site. (Ideally, one question per candidate for deletion, so that they can be discussed if necessary.)


Questions should be deleted when their content no longer adds value to the site. I would be careful about preserving posts because of their view count. Users will imitate what they see, an low-quality posts cause others to leave the same.

Failing to clean out these low-value posts has been the primary reason this site has not yet graduated. It needs a lot of cleanup. You shouldn't be so hesitant to do this routine maintenance and upkeep to increase the total quality of the site.

Posts are closed for a variety of reasons, so consider these close reason to help determine whether whether they should likely lead to deletion:

Exact Duplicate:

It depends; Look at the context of how they are asked.

You'll want to keep the post if the wording provides another way for a search query to find the content. It's a bit like a "see also …" entry in an index.

Delete it if the duplicate does not add terminology or alternate phrasing to find the question. It may not be worth cluttering up the system with this exact duplicate.

Off Topic:

Almost always delete it.

Off topic usually says "This shouldn't have been posted here in the first place."

Not Constructive:

This is a judgment call.

Keep it if it says "Fair question but we discourage this so, while it's worth holding onto the information, we couldn't let it continue."

Delete it if it says "this is nothing but a 'broken window' and we should get rid of it."

Not a real question:

Almost always delete it.

Closing it before deletion provided ample time for the author (or community) to fix it up. If it wasn't re-opened by this time, it should probably go.

Too localized:

See "Off Topic".


One way to search for closed questions and those with no answers is to search on 'closed:1 answers:0'.

However, simply deleting all those resulting questions isn't necessarily advisable .. some of those closed questions may be keyword rich and bringing traffic to the site. i.e. the ones with a higher # of views (in the hundreds) are often pointing to a canonical version of the question, but still worthwhile because the question title uses different wording that matches some search engine queries better.

So, I think we should be careful and only remove those that also have a low number of views.

  • Agreed. We should be selective in deleting. Didn't know about search on closed with one answer. It would help quite a few of us.
    – Dheer
    Oct 10, 2011 at 12:45

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