I wondered if there was any merit in a system that encourages original posters to 'close' their questions by either selecting a 'correct' answer (as already done now) OR marking the original question as 'not solved' etc. This might lead to more questions being 'tied up' rather than apparently abandoned by the original poster with no feedback from them. Perhaps a 'n' point deduction from the original poster's reputation for every week(?) they do not 'close' a question?

Any thoughts?

  • Thanks for the feedback folks. I specifically chose a points deduction system based on the premise that someone who has abandoned a question, or their account, will not care whether the points go down, but if we consider someone who does care, a lack of action will result in a points decrease which they may wish to avoid. If, on the other hand, there is a merit/reward system and someone who cares does nothing they are no worse off. Ignoring behaviours you do not want ensures that the effect of someone choosing that behaviour is neutral to both them and the desired outcome.
    – Linker3000
    Jan 10, 2011 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


'Punishing' users is a really bad way of getting users to do what you want them to do.

Most of the abandoned questions are indeed abandoned so this user won't come back, no matter how much rep you take from them. So I don't think this will solve the problem.


In my experience, the only way to reliably get the behaviors you want is this:

reward the behaviors you want to encourage, and ignore the behaviors you want to discourage

You certainly don't start punishing folks --- that has entirely the opposite effect!

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