Ever more frequently I find in the "close votes" review queue questions which are a few years old. Many of them already have accepted answers, and one can see that they were well received at the time when they were asked.

I'm sure that the site and its notion of "good question" have been changing (and will keep changing) over time. I thus think that old questions must be protected in some way.

Do others agree with this? And if so, how can this be implemented?

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    $\begingroup$ "I thus think that old questions must be protected in some way." Why? $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that it usually doesn't make much sense to close old, answered questions. Though occasionally there are exceptions, e.g. soft questions which start to attract low-quality answers, so forbidding closure of old questions would probably not be good either. A reasonable compromise might be to make an old question not enter the "close votes review queue" and not be listed on any list of questions with close votes when a close vote on them is cast -- this way it would only be closed if 5 people independent of one another come across the question and find it "worth" closing. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl, that has the issue that close votes expire if there are no more votes within four days. Those five voters-to-close should act almost simultaneously on an old question, which sounds rare. See this: meta.stackexchange.com/q/56614 $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes those are review audits, not real closure votes. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ @JoonasIlmavirta: Yes, of course. -- That's on purpose -- I think an old question should usually only be closed if it is a nuisance to a couple of people within a short time (which may happen if a question is bumped up by low-quality answers). $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ As I see it, the fact that close votes expire after a couple of days is already a strong protection of old questions, and no further limitation is needed. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


If a question has positive score or an answer with a positive score1, closure will not imply deletion (and closure is not necessary for deletion). Thus good old questions are not lost even if they get closed, so I see little reason to introduce additional safeguards (although I see no compelling reason to close old questions, either). If someone finds an interesting old question which is closed but which they could answer, they can always flag the question for moderator attention or bring reopening up at meta. Otherwise closures of old questions can be mostly ignored.

I think it is for the best if all questions, new and old, remain open to criticism, including closure. Of course (new or old) questions that begin to attract wrong kinds of public interest can be protected or even locked, but I see no need for other kinds of apotheosis (or apocolocyntosis) for MO questions.

1 See the exact autodeletion conditions here.

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    $\begingroup$ Ok, you changed my mind, although I still find some closing votes absurd. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 9:45

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