I'm looking at a particularly curious case of a question deleted by nine users. (Due to the popularity of the question, the number of delete votes needed was increased.)

I happen to agree with the deletion - I think the question isn't very good or useful. However, I've noticed a stack of other similar questions that haven't received the same amount of delete-vote attention; for example:

The question I have is this: what criteria were used to delete the example question, and do they/should they apply to other similar questions?

Like I say, I don't disagree with the deletion; I'm just curious if it should be a more general/commonly-used practice.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The question is broad, and the 47 upvotes are undeserving IMO. But it is one of the most viewed posts. Some of the answer are quite creative too. Could we just keep it closed and undelete it? $\endgroup$
    – Rohcana
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Anachor There is an option called a "historical lock," which prevents any changes from happening to the question, and puts a banner on the question reading (roughly): "This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here." $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ I, personally, don't care when the question was posted, similar rules should apply to any question. It was a very bad question, and should not exist on this site. The same goes to any similar questions you can come up with. $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


I voted to delete that puzzle (and now this one as well, since I hadn't previously seen it) because the author didn't put any consideration into excluding silly edge cases. The other three you've linked at least give some specifications in attempts to narrow down the number of possible answers - obviously, this rarely works, but at least they tried.

To get down to the point, I think leaving the other open-ended questions like this on the site is fine as they're good examples of off-topic questions. Since the questions themselves I believe are adequate questions, I'd like to leave them on the site for posterity's sake.

As for the two questions I voted to delete, I believe they are bad examples of off-topic questions. I don't think the questions are worded well in the slightest, and I don't believe the authors have any intention of returning to fix the questions to make them "good".

tl;dr: The two questions I voted to delete are bad and off-topic. The questions I left alone are good, but off-topic. That's the distinction I've been drawing.


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