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Things move forward. That's great. And it's uncharted territory.
This is about the expected and perhaps even already ongoing cleanup.

Currently my impression is that whenever community-diamond bumps an old question to the homepage (active tab) there is almost a frenzy to close it down. Even if those questions were "good" within the old scope and did fly: receiving answers; and upvotes on both.

That may be good or not, but it seems to be a group dynamic that was not discussed enough beforehand.

On other older sites many questions just get locked and marked as "being kept around because of historical significance for the site".

Then, we are now not finished transitioning to a new scope. Yet it seems to me that those close votes come in as if it were a settled matter. In my opinion, they are not yet.

In any case, I think we need to document here how we deal with old questions that clash with a/our new, future scope, and maybe what we should do with them now?

The actual questions here, which I think should be discussed as two separate but obviously connected things:

  1. Now that things move, how do we deal with old questions?
  2. When things have moved and hopefully settled in: what shall we do with old questions then?

One thing to consider of which I just assume a mechanism without knowing much about the technicalities: my understanding says that locked posts do not receive those bumps?

  • 2
    As I write this, a historically-active (but not recently-very-active) member @PillsNPillows is bumping dozens of old questions by editing them. Some are in scope, others not. Are we prepared enough with our new scope to close down those that don't fit? Should we discuss bumping questions? – DoctorWhom Sep 25 '18 at 22:23
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    @DoctorWhom Has she been made aware/had achance to read on meta? –– That flood is indeed hard to follow. / My 2ct: offf-topc old is in any case off-topic now. Haven't got a chance to read all that now… So, unsure for those walking the line. – LаngLаngС Sep 25 '18 at 23:28
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    I commented on medicalsciences.stackexchange.com/q/15441 about the issues of bumping a large number of old questions. She had good intentions (linking questions to tags) but bumping lots of questions pushes new questions down the 'active' queue. I would suggest not bumping many at a time. – Chris Rogers Sep 26 '18 at 8:48
7

I'm not a regular of this site, this answer will be --at best-- a general advice, further ideas should be discussed by the site's regulars.


Stack Exchange has a special lock, "historical lock" for this particular case. To summarize it,

What is a historical lock?

A historical lock is a mechanism by which moderators can mark posts as historical artifacts.

What is the purpose of a historical lock?

A historical lock preserves content that was very popular when it was originally posted, but is now off-topic or otherwise out of scope for the site it is posted on. Historically locking a post ends the debate over whether a question should be kept on the site or deleted, and is often the final state of a question that has been deleted and undeleted more than once, or subject to a close or delete war.

When is it appropriate to lock a question for historical reasons?

Questions can be historically locked when:

  • The post does not meet the current guidelines for a good, on-topic question, and
  • The post is stellar, in spite of its off-topic nature, and
  • There are a large number of views, upvotes and inbound links on the post, and
  • The post is contentious; e.g., it has been closed and reopened at least once, or deleted and undeleted at least once.

(Further info can be read on the linked post on Meta Stack Exchange)


The next section will be my personal opinion as someone who has seen a similar event of rescoping on another SE site

Anime.SE had a rescoping of not accepting identification request questions anymore, and one of the proposal that got accepted was to:

  1. Close new questions as off-topic immediately
  2. Blacklist the tag
  3. Delete old questions with a score less than 4 and not having an answer with score at least 3

While this is certainly on a different scale (site rescoping vs single tag blacklist), I hope this proposal can give some ideas to the community:

  1. On this case, closing would probably be moot since they would be locked in the first place
  2. Whether the community feels like a need to clean up the tags that might be 100% off-topic now
  3. Whether the community wants to take this as a chance to do some quality control, like deleting questions that aren't really useful, so that the site won't also be cluttered with bad historical questions.

(Again, this is just my idea as an outsider, the community should discuss this)

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