There are a lot of questions that have already been asked (same title or something), or are just... not questions or are very poor attempts at questions.

Why aren't questions like these just deleted instead of being closed?

Closing them is just going to add another unanswered question to the website, and it doesn't look that good either when people see a bunch of questions like that floating around here and there.

2 Answers 2


Closing does not count toward the unanswered count.

Closed questions are either ready to be fixed, or just waiting to be deleted. It's the first step in making sure users know that they've had a fair crack at the whip and if they don't address any of the issues with the question, it will be later removed.

Duplicates, however, are a special case for their seed words. These are usually kept around to aid in the search as people have a way of wording the same problem in a variety of ways.

Duplicates though, can be merged with each other, and a few here and there are just deleted when judged by quality and word difference as to their overall worth.

  • I sometimes go hunting for questions that should IMO be deleted. I would be nice to have a way to find closed questions that are not closed as duplicates.
    – Nifle
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 7:22
  • 1
    Try this on for size: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19253/…
    – random Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 16:19
  • does not seem to work with closed:1
    – Nifle
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 21:02
  • 1
    @Nifle: If everything else fails you can always google "closed as off topic by" OR ....
    – Dennis
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 3:11

To address this:

Why aren't questions like these just deleted instead of being closed?

They are, actually deleted - but after some time has passed. That "time" varies from a week to a month to couple of months, but I do spring cleaning every now and then, and I know for a fact that few high rep users put in their delete votes.( 10k+ users can check existing deletion votes from here, or the link that Dennis provides

We don't do insta-deletes, except in cases where it's blatant spam or egregiously off topic - the intention is to provide the OP/community the option to revise the post so that it's acceptable.

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