There have been a number of questions such as this one:

Can there be done more to assure users that closing questions is not a Bad Thing?

I wonder if there is any data available that indicating what the tangible impact has been. Do the site's statistics show the affect on new users of having their questions closed during their initial contact with the site?

One measure I can think is users with only one or a few questions that were closed and their reputation points have stayed or their participation in the site has effectively ceased. There must be better ways of finding suitable measures, but this is what I have come with off the top of my head.

It would help discussions about problems of closure on especially new users if some figures were available.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know of queries off hand, but you could use SEDE to get that, I think. You'd need to compare users who came, asked one question, had it closed, and never returned to users who came, asked one question, didn't have it closed, and never returned -- SE sites get a lot of one-shot questions. $\endgroup$ Feb 19, 2017 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Thanks for the information. I had assumed only much more experienced and exalted WBers had access to the data. In my question I was only mentioning the information that might need to be found. Obviously, comparisons need to be made to determine if there is a signal buried in the data. I expect there will be a wide variety of short-term users, which will complicate things no end. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 20, 2017 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ I think @MonicaCellio is on the right track with her comment. Note though that SEDE data does (last I checked did) not include deleted posts, which may skew the figures because closed, abandoned posts can be deleted by the system, which would remove them from consideration in the SEDE query. (See How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion? on Meta Stack Exchange.) Bottom line, it might be a fun project to write such a query, but I'm not sure how conclusive it would be. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling Good point about deleted posts. Having looked at SEDE I find myself like someone who knows thermodynamics, so I can understand data systems in sense of knowing heat engines but can't drive a car. I've never used a data system like this, and there is no guidance about how to make it work. No techhead I. Such a query's result would be, most likely, indicative & not conclusive of any potential trends. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:11
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    $\begingroup$ @a4android there's a tutorial for getting started, though Michael is right that the absence of deleted posts will skew the results. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2017 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Thank you for the link to the tutorial. I'm not surprised the results would be skewed, but any answer would be an indication of a trend not an absolute measure of it. Some data may be better than no data. Assuming I can get it to work. Hah! $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


I'd have phrased this differently, since people's frequency or degree of participation can vary significantly, even if shy of formal account deletion.

For what it's worth, I'm spending less time here, because IMHO, the StackExchange format, plus the inconsistently-defined criteria for hold and closure, isn't really helping me build my worlds very well. I'll still look around somewhat -- but I find that too many interesting questions are closed and too many not-useful-to-me ones take up most of the bandwidth.
My $0.02 YMMV.

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    $\begingroup$ You have enough reputation to case close and reopen votes -- please use them. And always feel free to bring up specific questions here on meta. The community isn't completely consistent here, which happens when a community is large and closing (or reopening) takes only five people. No community will ever be completely consistent, but I hope we can do better. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2017 at 1:55

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