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Is there a cleanup effort on old questions going on? Today I got a comment out of the blue on a question I asked five years ago. This stack was a very different place then, and the question would be too broad if I asked it today. But it was relatively well received when I asked it, got some good answers, and the world moved on.

Today I got a comment and a close vote saying it was way too broad. Strange, but whatever. Then another comment showed up asking (probably rhetorically) why all these old questions are showing up in the review queue. This indicates to me that there's more than one of these older questions being flagged for closure, though I don't have access to the review queues myself to confirm.

So I figured I should ask -- is there a cleanup going on? Is there a discussion somewhere about this, about which questions should be closed as "too broad" by today's standards and which should have a 'historical lock' applied like we do on other stacks?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not linking to my question because it's not relevant, I'm asking in general. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ Community(special account) bumps old questions periodically(do mot remember why, see those regularly), so they get in active, which seems to be default sorting setting, which I like so much, so I see freshbies jumping in those periodically, so I recently commented on one of such, just to leave some info for those who may read the old answer in the future. So there is chance for a bundle of reasons $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 31 at 19:28
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Move Along! Nothing to See Here!
I think your question probably caught the attention of one of our deep-divers. There's no concerted effort or any kind of "official" clean-up effort underway.

My conjecture is that Meta discussions prod a certain kind of user to comb through old questions, looking for closure candidates based on current question criteria.

My opinion is that old queries should be left alone, unless there is really and truly some dire need to close them because they just suck that badly. If your question was originally deemed sufficiently focused five years ago, and it got answers, it shouldn't be further molested. I found it in the queue and noted as much in comments.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree, personally I think deep dives should have their main focus as to edit for formatting, spelling errors and improve accessibility. Some of the "Late Answers" that are of good quality and provide a starting point sometimes for those who chance on the site from a random google search give us new users (and me entertainment). A comment serves to highlight to those users quite how far we've come in terms of standards. I'd hate to see us lose all that. $\endgroup$ Aug 30 at 15:59
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One of the possible ways of sorting the questions on the main page is to have them sorted by Active

enter image description here

Editing and commenting on an old question makes it bump in the list, so whoever is sorting on Active will see that question will see it. This increases the chances of interaction.

More than a coordinate effort on cleaning old questions, I would say the above is what happened, unless you saw it happening in a systematic way on more old questions.

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Darn you Community!

@MolbOrg is correct, there is a robot user named "Community" that does a lot of different things, including popping old questions to the front of "Active" to renew interest. Good? Bad? Kinda doesn't matter 'cause it's operated by the Stack Exchange Overlords and any change to Community's behavior would have to be pitched through Meta.SE, which notoriously doesn't pay much attention to things they don't want to change.

However, it's also worth remembering that there are badges that reward people for digging into the depths of time. So, odd as it may seem, there are always a few people scuba diving the reefs of worldbuilding past. This isn't really a bad thing. Humanity tends to see the past as precedent for the present. It may be irritating that a question that was perfectly on-topic five or ten years ago is suddenly voted to close — but that may be necessary to keep people from using it as justification for complaining when their question posted yesterday gets closed.

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  • $\begingroup$ “would have to be pitched through Meta.SE” well, there’s always Twitter :) $\endgroup$ Sep 5 at 12:33

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