Continuing with my push towards more liberal stance on deleting questions (we are developing here some deletionists vs. inclusionists issues, I guess), let me ask the following:

Suppose we've got a trivial, localised, or otherwise not-that-good question, but thanks to a slight shift in its interpretation and seeing through the question somebody provided quite valuable, even though only tangentially related answer. Should we delete such a question?

Before diving into the review of (currently 43! proposals to close), I would like to get an idea of the moderators'and the community's opinions whether my, openly inclusionist, stance has any merit and approval.

I am referring to questions, such as these:

In the first one, the answer by Charles is something worth to keep, and in the second one it's the rmounce's reply.

  • 1
    Following the usual meaning of downvotes on Meta sites, I am downvoting not because the question is bad (it is good to ask it), but because in my opinion the answer is no, we should keep such questions, they add value to the site.
    – F'x
    Feb 11, 2013 at 16:30
  • 1
    I agree. Questions with useful answers should be kept!
    – aeismail
    Feb 11, 2013 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Distance Learning vs Free Online Education

This seems to be a very good question which happens to be worded very poorly. If anyone cares to edit this, I think it's well worth salvaging. To me, the close votes only reflect that the question body does not reflect the title. The question in the title seems to be a good question.

Funding for Belgian student to do a PhD in UK?

Again, to me this question just looks like it needs a little editing. The current question is actually fine—"what alternative funding sources exist?"—but it could use some editing to make it read smoother.

Broadly speaking, just because someone voted to close doesn't mean any closing is necessary. As a beta site, anyone can vote to close, and lots of questions with close votes are perfectly fine. This is particularly true of the older ones you're looking at, as we were still defining the site scope when those were asked.

  • 2
    +1 for all of it. A vote to close is a vote to get rid of the question (in most cases, it will be deleted). If there is a good question hidden behind the current state, don't close-vote, edit it!
    – F'x
    Feb 11, 2013 at 16:29

We have good strong guidelines, the FAQ, and the wider Stack Exchange culture.

The only criteria that matter for old questions, are the same criteria we apply to new questions: if they are off-topic, not constructive, or not real questions, they should be closed.

If we leave open questions that are not in line with those criteria, then we're leaving broken windows around, and the site will decay and fall apart. Bad questions should be closed, then either deleted, or ideally edited to a fit state and reopened.

Both the questions you've cited are not appropriate as they stand. So let's close them, and then see whether they get deleted, or edited & reopened.

We should also be a lot less precious about crowd-pleaser questions that are not constructive. Yes, lots of people are tickled by them. But if they're not constructive, or not real questions, or off-topic, they should be closed.

For example, What are the advantages or disadvantages of using LaTeX for writing scientific publications

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