I took a peek at the oldest Unaswered questions and most of them are either Too Localized or Not Real Questions (and thus impossible to ever answer) or Shopping Requests (thus not constructive or Off Topic).

Should we go through and close some of these? I can't vote yet so I rose some flags on the most obvious offenders but before I continue I'd like to know if this is something we want to do.

Honestly these questions in particular are unaswerable and are clogging up the Unanswered page for miles. Closing them means they don't count as Unanswered (because they can't or shouldn't be answered by us) and means the worst of them (zero/negative voted posts) will eventually be deleted by the system after closure.

  • The bottom of the votes and newest tabs are the best place to start, they're the worst questions or the least likely to ever be answered, and spot-checking confirms lots are close-worthy.
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 14, 2012 at 23:06
  • Flag them and one of us mods will look at them asap
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Apr 15, 2012 at 1:28
  • @BryanDenny so I have been, but I'm only one man :)
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 15, 2012 at 16:20
  • @BenBracka thanks, I took care of the ones you flagged yesterday
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Apr 15, 2012 at 20:35

2 Answers 2


Slow down, dude. I see over two dozen flags in the queue.

By and large, the community should decide whether questions should stay or go. While we Moderators are part of the community, and part of our job (especially early on) is to help guide the community, the flag queue is really for those situations that the community can't do by itself.

  • egregious spam
  • patent nonsense
  • good questions that are unfortunately in the wrong place and should be moved to a Stack Exchange site not listed in the Close dialog
  • questions or answers that no amount of editing will make into a good post

A lot of the stuff I'm seeing in the flag queue now are things that the community can deal with. There are plenty of people who can vote to close. We also have enough people to vote to delete. Certainly these questions deserve their downvotes.

So please only flag things that need to be dealt with by a Moderator's super powers. It's not like the site is "full". A question that's on an obscure topic may still get an answer some day. If it doesn't, then it's lack of votes and views will move it to the bottom of the list.

  • The "doesn't belong here" flag also brings posts to the attention of 10k users (though we don't have many), so they can be handled by the community. Visibility is also a problem; it's really hard to find the closeable questions here, and with all that noise it's hard to browse the Unanswered list for answerable problems. I'd cast close votes but I can't yet, and there's no other place right now to bring up the (many many) too localized/NARQs in the back log
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 16, 2012 at 14:11

I've gone through old posts and closed/deleted them before, but I think you have to be careful with ones you think are Too Localized. An old unanswered question featuring something you've never heard of will definitely seem localized, but that's actually different from the close reason. We close things that are Too Localized by nature, rather than by content.

For example, a shopping question will always become out of date and will rarely be relevant to others; a perfect candidate for Too Localized. On the other hand, someone's strange connection issues on a non-name tablet only seem localized until other people show up with the same issue. Hopefully we can see the difference.

I haven't looked at any of your flags yet so I don't know what you've considered Too Localized, but I think this is something we should keep in mind regardless. Edit: I see a number of them were owned by dead accounts and didn't have enough information to be answerable. With no one around to provide that information, flagging these is definitely the right thing to do.

I do agree with Al's general sentiment that if it doesn't need to be dealt with by a mod, then we can let the voting and so on filter it out. If you're flagging things that need it, though, by all means do so. I'd prefer a clogged flag queue over an empty one because at least we have a list of the things that need attention instead of being clueless :)

  • Many rode the border between NARQ/too localized and without the original asker we'll never answer the ones I flagged as too localized.
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 16, 2012 at 19:06
  • Unfortunately, many a OP just visited once to drop his question (and a Google Search often reveals, it was dropped not only here) -- and never return[s|ed] to check, so you can shorten that to "we'll never answer the ones", omitting the ominous "original asker"... :(
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 13, 2012 at 12:01

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