This post from 2014 was closed today. I saw it in the 'close votes' queue, but skipped it because I don't know what the convention is (if any) for posts that are so old. If that post was posted yesterday, then I certainly would have voted to close, but I wasn't sure if there was any point in doing so given its age.

If I understand correctly, the 'lacks context' close reason is there in part to discourage people posting homework questions without showing their attempts. In this case, I don't think seeing your six year old post being closed would do much to dissuade you from posting such questions (although it might dissuade others). I only ask this question because someone other than the OP might find that post useful, and there is a slight chance that someone could come along and provide a good answer to that question at a much later time. On the other hand, I think you could make the case that closing these questions demonstrates to people that Math.SE is not a place just for you to post your homework if you haven't put any effort into it yourself.

NB I don't necessarily think that the question I linked to is a homework question. However, it does have the same issue with it that many homework questions have—there is no information about his or her attempts, level of ability, why they wanted to solve this problem, etc.


1 Answer 1


The idea is that the focus of moderation should be on recent content, but curating old content is also important. There is certainly no rule against closing old questions.

There are some users that are against closing well-received old questions that add value, on the mere grounds that they arguably fall short of current standards.

I personally don't think the question at hand is an example of that. It looks like a model-case of a so-called PSQ (problem-statement-question) and is also of little intrinsic interest. At a glance it seems the one answer is rather good.

I personally would certainly be in favor of closure; I might not deleted it though.

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    $\begingroup$ This makes sense. I agree that the question I linked was probably not an example of a question that might be beneficial to someone else later down the road. Do you have any thoughts about old questions that are useful to others, but show no effort? I understand if you can only make these judgements on a case-by-case basis. $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 19, 2020 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ It can make sense to improve such questions. The following is somewhat relevant. math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32402/… $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Nov 19, 2020 at 22:38

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