I usually gravitate to the 'unanswered' section, but I find that there are always some old questions laying around that no one is ever going to answer. Some of these are a couple of weeks old, some are much older.

For instance, it was stated in the comments that this question was basically never going to get answered, but it is at the top of the 'unanswered section. I'm sure that I'm not the only one, the question has a lot of views for such an old and long post that no one has answered.

Is this the proper venue to propose an expiration or some other solution? I have tried to wade through this section to find things that I can knock off the list, but I tire of reading the same old threads.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So go ahead an nominate it for closing. That will put it into the review queue, and it will probably be closed in short order and taken out of the "unanswered" category. Or if you don't have the rep to cast a close vote, flag it instead. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 9 '16 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ What sorting are you using? If you sort by votes, then its not wonder they never change \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Mar 9 '16 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do we nominate for closing? i see no such option... \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 9 '16 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH I usually sort by 'no answers, but I often try all sort methods. I just don't believe that questions that have been abandoned by the askers and aren't likely to get answered should be at the top of any list when I'm feeling helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 9 '16 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ For finding questions to answer you can use answers:0 in the search box and then sort it any way. Also that way you can use tags to search on things you might know about like [pic] answers:0 \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Mar 10 '16 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Like I said, if you have less than 3000 rep, you can't directly vote to close a question. Flagging is the only option available to you -- but please use it sparingly, because it adds to the workload of us moderators. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 10 '16 at 22:52

There is zero reason to close a question just because it has gone unanswered. If it's in topic, and of good quality, it should stay open. Do not abuse the close vote just because there is no answer.

Unclear what you're asking is not short hand for um idk lol, so it should be closed.

As a Caveat, unanswered in the context of the Unanswered question tab, means any question without at least 1 answer with a score of 1 or higher OR an accepted answer. Any question with 0 or negative score answers are still considered unanswered. System wide, not just EE.SE.

The system does prune old, down voted, unanswered questions after a period of time. Notice there is no old negative score questions in the Unanswered questions list.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that there is no reason to close a question b/c it has gone unanswered. I do believe that a question that has been abandoned by the asker and has no answers in the last few months should at least be sorted down so that it isn't at the top of multiple sorts for months. It is no big deal for one question, but as questions like this pile up, it becomes more difficult for us that want to answer questions to identify the questions to answer. \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 9 '16 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @slightlynybbled sort by new instead of by votes. Problem solved. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 9 '16 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sort of, if I sort by 'new', then I find lots of questions with answers already. It would be nice to have an amazon-style checkbox filtering... 'unanswered' sort by newest... \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 9 '16 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @slightlynybbled oh. Caveat, unanswered means any question without at least 1 answer with a score of 1 or higher OR accepted answer. Any question with 0 or negative score answers are still considered unanswered. System wide, not just EE.Se. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 9 '16 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @slightlynybbled technically, THIS question is still unanswered lol. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 9 '16 at 22:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ lol :) I guess I'm spoiled, but it is still active an only an hour old. \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 9 '16 at 22:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since we don't have "abandoned" as a close reason, we'll have to make due with the close reasons we do have. One way or another, these old questions should be purged from the system since they add no value and become clutter in search results. Maybe the system should do this automatically when there is no upvoted or accepted answer after 3 months. In the mean time we'll have to do it manually. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Mar 10 '16 at 13:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @olin Stack Exchange is intentionally set up not to do that, and provides incentives via badges to answer old questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 10 '16 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @slightlynybbled Actually, we have an option for finding questions with 0 answers. Attach is:q answers:0 to the end of the query. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 10 '16 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ None of this addresses @slightlynybbled's original point about questions that are clearly not answerable for one reason or another, based on subsequent comments. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 10 '16 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev Great, do you have a link to where I could find some documentation on the strings? I love that \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 11 '16 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @slightlynybbled Why yes. Here. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Mar 11 '16 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is good enough for me. I still think that StackExchange should naturally float some of these away from prime-time, but this will do. If you post as an answer, I will up-vote. \$\endgroup\$ – slightlynybbled Mar 11 '16 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ It does, for questions that are down voted sufficiently. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 11 '16 at 14:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @davetweed his point is that old & unanswered is the same as bad or off topic. I answer that directly. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Mar 11 '16 at 16:47

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