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We have a lot of questions on Meta. The problem is that many are not useful anymore. For some, the usefulness is only ephemeral and many useful questions get drowned in a sea of questions that nobody is using as reference. Finding the good questions when we need them become harder because of that.

I am referring to questions like mine here: Linguistic synonym of language. The issue have been dealt with a long time ago and I feel we should get rid of it.

Now my question: What is the best way to deal with obsolete questions on Meta like the one mentioned above?


I see two solutions for this but feel free to share your thoughts about it

  1. Make a temporary list of questions that are obsolete and delete them upon agreement of the other moderators/high rep users.
  2. Use tags to classify the questions appropriately. A lot of questions seems to be badly tagged on Meta. Create new tags if necessary.

Or a combination of 1 and 2.

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Like Monica wrote, Meta serves as a useful record of our site's history, the decisions we have made and the reasoning that went into those decisions. We should not delete those just because we feel that they are no longer relevant. In many cases, for future reference the reasoning is a lot more interesting than the specific outcome.

Instead, there are other ways to indicate that the issue discussed has been resolved.

The obvious is for the poster to accept an answer. In questions that primarily seek community consensus, just accepting the highest-voted answer (after some reasonable period of time to allow for the community to actually come to some consensus) is usually sufficient, and doesn't take any real mental effort on part of the asker. In the case of support questions and friends, acceptance should work much the same way as on the main site: accept the answer that was most useful to you. This closes the loop on the question and lets us move on with good conscience. Most Meta questions are of the kind that can have an answer accepted just fine.

Diamond moderators and Stack Exchange community managers can use the various "status" tags: , , , , and as appropriate. If you come across a question that you feel is a candidate for any of these (hover to see the tag descriptions), then either do it yourself (if you have a diamond) or flag the question for moderator attention and suggest adding the tag you feel appropriate (also please link to an answer or possibly comment that supports your claim that the tag is appropriate). Note that these are primarily intended for something that requires specific action on the part of someone else; there is no need to tag a support request that has an accepted answer as "status-completed", for example.

Also, please let's not mass-edit questions; it bumps them to the top of the front page, completely drowning out new content. Sometimes it's best to simply leave the sleeping dog alone, even if it could sleep in a better spot. It's obviously comfortable enough where it is.

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I don't think we should delete meta posts just because they no longer apply. Meta is still useful as part of our history and so we can look up why we did something (if there was a post about it).

Moderators can add the tag, which is signal to anybody who comes across a question. Once questions fall off the main page, they'll only be seen if people search, look at specific tags, or follow links -- and in those cases, I think the presumption is that they wanted to see it. (Ok, technically Community might bump them, but Community only bumps old posts that have answers of score 0 or lower.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Want people to go through and flag questions that should be included? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ I think Michael is right that we don't need to use status-complete on everything. If a question has an accepted answer, that's a signal too. If, in the course of your normal use of the site, you come across meta posts that you think should get mod-only tags, go ahead and flag. Remember that retagging bumps, so a concentrated search-and-destroy mission would be, err, counter-productive. :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 20:51
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I'd go for a tag. Like "solved" or something like that. Don't we have some mod red-tags similar to that?

A question might appear useless at some point, but might be useful down the road. And I'd be wasted to have to ask it again.

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Search is here for a reason. Having a backlog of solved posts isn't a problem, and can actually be useful for dupe targets when people ask for the same thing again.

If you're concerned, being a mod you can add the tags (or , etc).

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