Here's our Future Works policy: Should questions about future works be closed as Primarily Opinion Based?

One of main and effective point of it is that Closed Questions can be Reopened.

But, if the question has negative votes (which is likely), it's get deleted which isn't desirable. After the question gets deleted, community has very low chance of finding it, so it has less chance of getting opened again (after undelete) unless that question is in someone's memory.

So, don't delete such questions in auto-cleanups.

Implementation can be slightly tricky. Future Works can be marked in Closure menu. Or, community can suggest better option.

  • <comments removed> Take the on-going discussion to chat, thanks. – user1027 Apr 17 '15 at 20:19

I think there are a couple of ways to respond to this suggestion.

First, the most practical and immediately relevant: this is something you would have to take up with the Stack Exchange developers, and would likely need to be a code change, and would likely impact the entire Stack Exchange network. All to deal with a single, subjectively-assigned category of question that you're asking be treated "differently" that all other questions. Regardless of what any of us in SF&F think about the idea, I'm betting your suggestion would get no traction at that level. If this is really a problem for us, we'll have to come up with a way to fix it that we have a real chance of implementing.

(@Keen's suggestion to just flag them for undelete when you see them is a good start, and I'm not sure we can do any better right now.)

Second, I'm not convinced that it's really a good idea. We are effectively setting up a category of questions that will never get deleted, many of which (IMO) are terrible. The bigger problem is, I can't even tell if it's a good question yet, so I don't know if I should upvote or downvote it. Suppose you saw the trailer, and thought "huh, I wonder who that character is?", so you came here and asked. And then you watched the movie and they show up in the first scene with a "Hi, my name is ___" name tag on. Your future-works question now becomes a bad question, deserving of lots of downvotes. But if you saw the movie, and you still don't know who that character is, then it's probably a really good question, and now it might even have an answer. But there's no way to know that ahead of time.

Lastly, just in general, as my own personal opinion (which I realize is not site policy, but there it is) is that future-works questions are silly. I understand that people are often antsy to ask questions as soon as they think of them, but asking a question that has a near certainty of not having a canonical answer is just a bad idea. Even if we get the answer from leaked scripts, or unofficial blog posts, or whatever, who's to say the answer doesn't change before the final product comes out? How do we even know we're not being intentionally lied to? Until it shows up on-screen, there cannot be a right answer. Is it really that hard to just be a little patient, watch the movie like everyone else, then figure out what you want to ask about it?


Flag them if you see them get deleted. There's an auto-deletion script that deletes negative-scored closed questions, and there isn't anything we can do to prevent that. We just need to undelete things that it catches, given our current policy towards these questions expects a future reopening.

  • How exactly would I get to see my question deleted? We don't get notification of that. And, nobody keep tab of question numbers. Not to mention, people may not visit the site for long. – user931 Apr 17 '15 at 18:43
  • Reading this, can mods lock the question? If so, it seems that it may protect it from being deleted. – phantom42 Apr 17 '15 at 19:48
  • @phantom42 We can, but locking comes with other side-effects. Firstly, it adds a canned banner to the post, and none of those match this usage. Secondly, no one can post comments or vote on the post. Thirdly, no one can post answers (not a big deal in this case, but I'm being thorough). – user1027 Apr 17 '15 at 20:16
  • So you can't unlock it later? My thought is to close it as opinion based and lock it until such time that we can answer it. – phantom42 Apr 17 '15 at 20:28
  • @phantom42 Yes, we can unlock them later. Sorry, thought that was a given. – user1027 Apr 17 '15 at 20:43
  • sounds like this is probably the most ideal route, imo. if OP can't flag it for unlocking/reopening, they could ping a mod in chat or bring it up on meta and get it unlocked/reopened. – phantom42 Apr 17 '15 at 20:50

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