There are approximately 20 users in this community who have the ability to delete bad questions (questions with a net negative score.) I think (not certain) I might be the only one casting delete votes.

When a question has a net score of -8 from the OP or adequate edits from users, it's probably time to get it off the front page.

Bad questions have some educational value (they show visitors what not to ask), but to have the really bad ones sticking around on the front page, especially if they have a reopen vote (or 4) might be the opposite of the desired educational experience; it might encourage people to ask bad questions anyway.

Is it time to start casting delete votes?

Edited to add: I don't wait for the question to appear in the queue. If it's a terrible question, and it has a negative score, I VTD immediately on seeing it. The reason is a hope that it will be deleted before it gets reopened, which happens frequently. Some would call that a power play. I call it making the site more focused on better questions.

  • Don't they drop off the front page after sufficient downvotes?
    – apaul
    Nov 15, 2017 at 16:51
  • 1
    18 people over 4k. the others have to wait a day after the Q's are closed and they can't have upvoted answers iirc.
    – Magisch
    Nov 15, 2017 at 16:57
  • 1
    @apaul yes. -4 pulls them off the front page, though the app doesn't.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 19:00
  • 1
    "I think (not certain) I might be the only one casting delete votes." You are not alone (and no, I'm not referring to the Poop Police ;-)). Nov 15, 2017 at 19:06
  • 2
    I regularly check the tools section. Today, I took a look at closed:yes, and cast a few delete votes around. You might want to check your tools section ;-)
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 19:33
  • @AnneDaunted. Tinkeringbell - That's good to know! Nov 15, 2017 at 21:11
  • As of right now we have 45 people with 2k or more reputation. Everyone with at least 2k can delete questions that have been closed for at least a day.
    – Magisch
    Nov 17, 2017 at 7:01
  • Personally, I VTC or VTD in the review queue anytime I believe it needs to be done. Be it a Q or A, from NAA to VLQ, but I'm more careful with comments as, often, I miss time to read the whole stuff, therefore, don't want to make a mistake or be an idiot. I'm roughly satisfied with the way the community handles, as I can't see bad stuff being here for a too long time.
    – OldPadawan
    Nov 17, 2017 at 13:28
  • 2
    I'm always deleting stuff. Ooo... Somebody.. stop me.
    – NVZ
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:31
  • @NVZ I will definitely delete garbage when I see it, when I get the rep to do it. :-)
    – user1856
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:37
  • If the question in question (I never tire of typing that) has low score but 4 reopen votes, doesn't that suggest there's lack of consensus as to what to do with it? Might that call for a meta question to settle it?
    – akaioi
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:40
  • @akaioi - Yes. Nov 17, 2017 at 17:33

3 Answers 3


[...] I might be the only one casting delete votes.

But you are not alone. I am here with you. Always.

When a question has a net score of -8 [...]

A question with a -4 net score drops off of the homepage automatically (not off the 'questions' tab though.)

[...] especially if they have a reopen vote (or 4) [...]

In such cases, maybe a meta post for that question would benefit the community. But one is free to use their votes regardless.

Is it time to start casting delete votes?

It's always a good time to start. I started ages ago.


Deleting is always a judgement call. Sometimes it's worth keeping a few bad examples, and sometimes it's just merciful to delete a user's early stumbling so that they don't get the ongoing discouragement of downvotes.

With that said I think some of the posts you're worried about will be swept up by the roomba anyway.

See: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

Specifically the bits about automatic system deletion:

By the system:

  1. The system will automatically delete any post flagged six times as offensive or spam.

  2. The system will automatically delete closed (not as a duplicate), unlocked questions with zero or negative score having no positively scored or accepted answers or pending reopen votes, that were closed 9 or more days ago and haven't been edited in the past 9 days.

  3. The system will automatically delete rejected migrations (questions created as a result of a question being migrated from another site, and later closed for any reason other than duplicate) that are at least 30 days old.

  4. The system will automatically delete unlocked, unanswered questions that have negative score that are at least 30 days old.

  5. The system will automatically delete unlocked, unanswered questions with score of zero (or one if the owner is deleted), fewer than 1.5 views per day on average, and fewer than two comments that are at least 365 days old.

  6. The system will automatically delete any question (and its answers) or answer with a negative score when its owner’s account is deleted.

  7. The system will automatically delete questions migrated to other sites that are at least 30 days old. Note that this applies only for the original question created on the original site (the “migration stub”), not the question newly created on the other site as a result of the migration (see number 8 above). Questions autodeleted under this criterion still have their revision histories visible to everyone, and links to them redirect to the new question instead of showing an error page.

  8. Answers with zero or negative score that receive six recommend deletion reviews (four on Stack Overflow) in the low-quality-posts review queue are automatically deleted “in review”. Answers can be kicked into this queue either automatically or with very low quality and not an answer flags, and can be removed from the queue if enough looks OK reviews are cast against them.

    See: The Community user deleted my question! What gives? at Help Center

  • Most of these men the bad question will be around too long, frankly. Also, they tend to gather reopen votes (heavens! On a -8 score), and answers if not quickly closed and deleted, which is another encouragement Nov 15, 2017 at 21:12

I think we should refocus our deletion activities on the questions that won't get automatically deleted by the system, namely:

  • Closed questions
  • That have been closed for more then a day
  • And that have positive scoring or accepted answers

We have quite a lot of those, and with the low amount of delete votes we all have, they take a while to get through.

  • Isn't one day kind of a short time? I know a lot of people visit SE daily or nearly so (guilty!), but I imagine many folks would drop off a question then pop back in a few days to rake in the answers...
    – akaioi
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:52
  • @akaioi Not spend your every waking moment on SE? Preposterous. But seriously, if questions can be made on topic, we should always do this instead.
    – Magisch
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .