So often there are questions that are answered in the comments. Standard MSE policy is that we post the comment as an answer in the form of a community wiki so that the question can be accepted by the OP.

However sometimes the OP basically does a "hit-and-run" and never reappears again leaving the question permanently "unanswered" (ie not accepted). Seeing that this is sometimes a problem, would it be useful to consider a "no longer relevant" flag to close such questions? Maybe we could impose some guidelines as well on when such a flag should be used.

EDIT: Actually I looking at this question I see Martin Sleziak's point (refer to comments). Can this be an example that falls under no longer relevant?

EDIT: Some questions don't have enough information in them to be answered. However flagging it as not a question doesn't seem entirely appropriate either. One such example is this question. A new "no longer relevant" flag would be appropriate for such circumstances, I think. I tried flagging this question as not a real question but my flag was disputed. This would remove a grey area in flagging.

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    $\begingroup$ Are questions without acceptances the problem, or is it questions without an upvoted answer? I thought the Community user only bumped the latter. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes it's not just the community user. Sometimes the questions that have answers turn up when filtering for unanswered questions. $\endgroup$
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I never do that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ Probably this is also about questions which are unclear and the OP did not give clarification even after being asked in comments. So it is kind of stalemate - such quetsion cannot be answered, since it is not clear what the question is asking. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak I agree that is a problem. Could that be covered under "not a question" though? $\endgroup$
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


There's no need to close such questions, while having the OP accept an answer is nice, it is not necessary. If any answer has a score of +1 or higher, the system considers it answered, so it won't e.g. appear in the unanswered tab anymore.

Just upvote such a CW answer to at least +1 if you see one.

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    $\begingroup$ What if there's one upvote and one downvote. Is it considered unanswered still? $\endgroup$
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Eugene The score is important, not the number of upvotes itself. A post with one upvote and one downvote has a score of zero, it wouldn't count as answered. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 8:59

I have used the "unanswered question" filter, myself, so I think such a flag might be useful, in principle. In practice, though, it is (of course) impossible to say whether a given user will never appear again (only that they haven't yet posted a question, answer, or comment since their last), so I suspect such a flag would prove problematic in some situations.

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    $\begingroup$ That's why some guidelines should be in order. $\endgroup$
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 4:46
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, if such a flag were to be implemented. That said, I wonder how a list of such guidelines could be assured to be complete? (Or even "representatively complete"...if that makes any sense.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ A year makes sense right? So if we were to shrink that lower bound, what would it be? $\endgroup$
    – Eugene
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ It makes sense to me, yes (and evidently to you), but on the other hand, I've visited the site daily (and have been active nearly as often) since I obtained an ID, so perhaps my "sense" is an uncharacteristic view of what is "reasonable" insofar as frequency of contribution/activity. I'm certainly open to discussion on the matter--that's why I stuck in my 2 cents--I'm simply cautioning against haste. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 5:04

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