I posted this question, Does any science-fiction handle the ethics of teleportation ("kill and clone")? a long time ago and it was closed.

Now it seems to have been deleted. Why?

1 Answer 1


In general, closed questions are on the way to deletion. From Jeff's blog post on the Stack Overflow Question Lifecycle (excerpted, emphasis mine):

Why would you delete a question? Isn’t closing it enough?

  • 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.

On this site, we started out with a significant proportion of “list questions” — questions asking for works on a certain theme. After many discussions we eventually decided not to allow them. We closed the existing ones, and most have been deleted. Your question was closed then deleted as part of that cleanup.

Generally speaking, questions are either desired and kept open, or undesired and deleted. The closed state is an intermediate stage that's easier to reverse, as everyone can still browse and edit closed questions. If you think a question has been closed but shouldn't have, edit it to make it more acceptable, or start a discussion about it on the meta site; you can also offer your opinion in a comment, or discuss it with others on chat. And if you have enough reputation (500; will become 3000 after the site graduates from the beta), you can vote to reopen it. As it can be difficult to gather the requisite 5 votes to reopen, don't hesitate to flag a question if you've made a significant improvement that you think justifies reopening (this doesn't guarantee that the question will be reopened; we prefer to apply our binding vote only to hasten cases where there's a community consensus on the desired outcome).

If it becomes apparent that the question will not be reopened, it becomes ripe for deletion. Users with 2000 reputation (10000 after graduation) can vote to delete a question that's been closed for 2 days, and ♦ moderators can delete a question at any time; see the deleted questions FAQ for more details.

The various Stack Exchange sites differ in how aggressively they delete closed questions. I don't remember that we've discussed a deletion policy on this site. If you think we should keep closed questions around, you're welcome to start a discussion by advancing arguments for keeping them. (I personally think it's a bad idea for the reasons cited above.)

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