I would not expect the editing of closed questions to be allowed. If the question need something to be redacted, would it not be easier to do this before closure? It brings a bit of noise to the SE:academia landing page. What is the official view on the utility of this feature?


1 Answer 1


The theory is that closed questions should be edited and re-opened. Questions that are truly unsalvageable should instead be deleted. So, questions that are closed before they are answered will be automatically deleted if they are not edited and reopened within a certain time period. And thus, editing old closed questions is not really a thing, just as you suggest.

In reality, of course, there is a snag: many questions find themselves in the awkward place where they are correctly closed and should be deleted, but they have already received several upvoted answers. These closed questions tend to stay on the books "forever", since there is no way to salvage them by editing, but we do not want to sacrifice a well-received answer. But the best-case outcome for these questions is still that someone could make a valid edit and the question could be reopened.

It's true that minor edits to closed questions tend to clog up the homepage. But, our homepage is not exactly overrun with thousands of posts per day, so I'm not too concerned about it. I suspect this is a bigger issue on some of the larger sites. Certainly I would not want to discourage people from making genuine improvements to their questions, even closed ones. What we do strictly disallow is "vandalizing" old questions (which people resort to because the system won't let them delete).

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