What is this community’s take on deleting closed questions? What are the criteria for deletion?
In the past few days, I have voted on deleting some of the closed questions that seemed to have absolutely no value to the site (way off-topic, way too localized, that kind of stuff). I do it on other sites, as part of the “janitorial” activities of high-rep users.
The questions gathered no other delete vote, so I flagged a few others (e.g., here and there). The mods declined to delete, saying “there's no need to flag a question as low-quality if it's already been closed”.
So, I wonder: does this site have a deliberate policy of not deleting these very low quality closed questions? Argument has been made in other parts of the SE network, including by the SE team itself, that deletion is the final destination of many closed questions. For example, see here:
Why would you delete a question? Isn’t closing it enough?
- Some questions are of such poor quality that they cannot be salvaged. They’re literally nonsense. Not every byte of data that is created in the world is infinite and sacred.
- Some questions are so incredibly off topic that they add no value to a programming community.
- The mental cost of processing these closed questions is not zero, particularly for users who are actively engaged and scanning questions to find things they can help answer.
- If users see a lot of closed questions, they’ll note that we don’t enforce the guidelines, so why should they? Without any final resolution, asking questions that get closed becomes something we are implicitly encouraging — a broken windows problem. If this goes on for long enough, we’re no longer a community of programmers who ask and answer programming questions, we’re a community of random people discussing.. whatever. That’s toxic.
- If enough of these closed questions are allowed to hang around, they become clutter that reduces the overall signal to noise ratio — which further reduces confidence in the system.
Or see there:
Closed questions should be kept on the site when:
- They are a duplicate of another on topic question. As there are many ways of asking the same question it's good that we have the different examples on the site.
Well that's it really.
I could see no meta post on the topic, hence I create one. When does the community feel it is appropriate to delete closed questions?