I am fairly new in the Super User community, and I am still trying to understand how things work. So forgive me for asking this question which may seem a bit silly to some members.

This is becoming more and more common. A user creates an account, asks his first question, often without bothering to put enough details into the question or make any effort to find the answer on Google. Typically with multiple formatting mistakes. And then the user disappears straight away. Never bothers to come back and check for answers, upvote/downvote, or mark as solved.

Members spend their time to edit the question up to the standards of Super User. Then members invest their time and effort into answering the question, sometimes also doing some minor research work. Meanwhile author never bothers to attend his post.

Sometimes, if the question is good, and it receives enough attention, then it accumulates enough useful information even without OP's attention. But much more often it is a question of type "How do I get something very obvious and not very useful done in an application X that no one really uses anyway?"

What is the policy about such questions? Are they automatically or manually deleted at some point? Are they a subject to cleanup?

  • 1
    Not that it changes matter of the question, but just for the record - upvote/downvote require a particular level of reputation which new users do not have yet.
    – VL-80
    Jun 24, 2014 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, they don't get removed unless there's a very good reason (i.e. obvious spam, sock puppet used for voting irregularities, etc). We appreciate content, and with the CC-WIKI license of all the stuff you post, it belongs to Stack Exchange Inc. and the world! If it is potentially helpful, it will stay on the site.

If it's blatantly unuseful, then it may be downvoted, or closed, or potentially deleted. It won't happen automatically if there is an answer, and at least an upvote. As well, it needs to be inactive for a period of time with no positive reputation, I believe for 6 months (someone will need to confirm that?).

The main policy is, treat the question as a valuable piece of gold, if necessary. Can it be fixed up? Can it help future visitors? Great, leave it! If it's unlikely to help others (My computer crashed. Can you fix it?) due to lack of information, or something extremely intermittent (On every 4th year, for 2 seconds, my mouse freezes. Why?), then it should be closed, and people can vote to delete it. EDIT: Found this link asking about deleted questions. Take a gander at the answer posted.

If in doubt on questions, you are free to join us in the Chat room (either Root Access or Ask a SU Moderator), and we can guide you. You can also use flags, but only SU mods will see the CUSTOM reason.


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