In a recent discussion the issue of scale of deletions was brought up. I remarked there that over the $12$-month period ending in February this year, $10$K users deleted $218$ questions altogether, about $0.6$ questions per day. Meanwhile the site was (and is) getting $400-500$ questions per day, a number of rather different scale.

Things have not changed much since February. The current situation in numbers:

  • the site has $258$ users with $10K$ rep (some inactive)
  • there are $4231$ closed questions, excluding duplicates and locked questions
  • yet, only $125$ of those questions have any votes to delete

It's true that closure is not only about putting the question on path for deletion: there are some closed questions that should stay for historical reasons. Yet, the majority are of a rather different kind; the kind that contributes to the denominator of the site's signal/noise ratio.

One problem may be that $10K$ tools offer a list of closed questions that goes fewer than $24$ hours back, when it's too early to cast a delete vote. After trying several things, I found two sources of hit targets:

  • SEDE query Questions with most delete votes (this is where the number $125$ comes from). These are probably of the higher priority in the delete queue.
  • Search query for closed, non-locked, non-duplicate questions with score $\le 0$. This queue currently has $2850$ questions.

My question:

Is there a better way to look for delete-able questions? How do other $10$K users find them?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The way to repair the pipeline is to not completely ignore the democratic process through which deletions are carried out by users. I must remark that this question seems to be essentially the very definition of chutzpah. $\endgroup$
    – user61527
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ Won't these questions be cleaned up by Community automatically? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 9:12
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Rebecca: Some of these questions have accepted or positively scored answers, and the system doesn't remove these questions except in exceptional circumstances (e.g., the account which asked the questions is destroyed, or is deleted and the question has a negative score). The MSE deleted posts faq explains how automatic system deletion works. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 9:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ A good question. I cannot recall when was the last time I saw a non-empty LQ review queue. I don't know what's wrong with the queue (or my settings, or my approach - I don't review very regularly). Some questions appearing on the lists here are IMHO not to be deleted. Particularly those with highly upvoted answers. In spite of a question being closed as off-topic it doesn't feel right to cast a delete vote, if 60 members felt like upvoting an answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 16:08
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Mind you, I think this thread will serve as a test of honesty. In the previous discussion many people were expressing their disgust of the fact that the act of a single person may result in deletion. Now that the accused party is trying to get the community to partake in the clean-up process I would expect a more positive response. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 16:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But to answer the last question: I don't find them on my own at all. Either this is by design, or the LQ questions exit the review queue too soon? I don't know. Also my own opinion of what is "deletably bad", and what is only "to be closed -bad" has not converged. Not even after three years. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 16:16
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen LQ queue is where answers get deleted, my post here is about questions. There is no queue for question deletion, which may be one of the reasons why things that get closed and never improved just keep piling up. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ah! Thanks for clearing that up. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 17:05
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Ok. It turned out that I have failed to look at the Tools-menu in addition to the Review-menu. Live 'n learn. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 8:26
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen I imagine you are not the only one 10K user who does not use /tools regularly. Sure we can't all be Asaf, but I think some degree of involvement in site moderation is desirable. It does involve stepping on someone's toes on occasions... Since you mentioned 60 votes on answers, I'll observe that the meaning of votes depends on the nature of the post and the timeline of events. On certain posts, upvotes are a near equivalent of Facebook likes on a cat picture. If people truly care about the math version of lolcat, they can vote to undelete. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 21:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Bad questions" (highly down-voted or otherwise closed) are not an altogether "bad" thing to have hanging around. They serve as excellent examples of what results when poor questions are posted: a warning, so to speak, to new users. I'm not suggesting that having the site flooded with such posts is a good idea, but I think having both "good" questions and "bad" or "badly asked" questions on this site are living examples of the consequences of posting questions, be they good or bad. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 13:37
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy In practice though, an answer is usually given before the question is closed. And it's those questions that hang around, while unanswered ones are automatically culled. So I'm not sure they actually give good examples to new users. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 14:04


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