# Can we hide closed questions?

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I am expecting this community to be quite selective, at least at first, and we already have our first closed question. I am wondering why it is still visible on the front page and whether we can decide that this is not a good idea. Currently this is not a big issue, but I am sure (for essentially entropic reasons) that we will have many more such questions to wade through. Perhaps it is appropriate to decide on a policy now even though these are early days.

Besides, this is not just a matter of aesthetics and avoiding clutter. One of the issues we'd have to deal with, sooner or later, is how to respond to all the people who troll the internet looking for ways to advertise their alternative theories. I am sure that anyone who watched a few minutes of Jeopardy can phrase their revolutionary statement as a question, then keep tweaking with it to keep it on the front page (this is not an hypothetical scenario). Maybe we want to find ways to avoid giving this sort of incentive before the site becomes public.

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There is an option (both here and on MO) that allows you to hide questions with ignored tags. On MO, there is user option that tells the system to treat the closed questions similar to ignored tags (go to your user page, and elect the perfs tab). Combining them you can hide closed questions on MO. It might be the case that there is a userscript on [StackApps](http://stackapps.com/) that would allow you to do the same thing here (or if there isn't someone might write one).

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That's what I asked below, in a comment to Grace Note answer, whether closed questions can be tagged (or otherwise labeled) so that I can ignore them automatically.

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I see. There might be a userscript that will do the same job. Most of this kind of user interface changes doesn't really need SE changing the system, users can use these scripts in place a system wide change.

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+ 4 like - 0 dislike

Closed questions are a stage towards deletion. If the question indeed does not belong (thus, solidly nigh any close reason that isn't "duplicate"), then after 2 days, it can be deleted. If it's really dangerous, it can be torched earlier. Otherwise, the natural traffic will push it off the front page until it can be deleted.

Closing isn't infallible, though, that's why there's a 2 day life period. This is a period of time for users to reopen a question that was incorrectly closed, or for the question to be revised so that it can be reopened.

Also keep in mind, a question with -4 score or lower does not show up on the front page. Things that are closed as "off-topic" or "not a real question" even get an automatic downvote from Community. As such, if you see a dangerous question that should be closed and deleted, you can expedite its removal from visibility by downvoting it. After all, if it does not belong on the site, surely it does not provide usefulness to the community?

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answered Sep 15, 2011 by (0 points)
How about automatically tagging each closed question as closed, and let users decide if they want to see it or not?

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No, tags describe the question, not a state of the post, and should not be used for that purpose.

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I am aware of the proper usage of tags, see for example how I used the "feature request" tag here...Procedural issues aside, the feature requested is allowing users (such as myself) to un-clutter their space by being able to ignore low quality questions. Perhaps I am anticipating too much, or perhaps the mechanism you detail (downvoting) is sufficient. Incidentally, it would be great if heavily downvoted answers are hidden as well. That's another avenue which can (and has been) used to promote "alternative" ideas.

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In the beginning in cstheory, we used to use the tag 'tag-removed' to unclutter the front page. we don't do that any more, because things that get closed move off fairly quickly.

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+ 4 like - 0 dislike

No, closed questions are not the same as deleted.

The content of this site is kept in top order through community self-moderation, and the janitorial cleanup of these posts falls on everyone.

If you "hide" these posts, they are not getting the attention they need. Closed posts can be fixed; They can be re-opened; They can be deleted. But they shouldn't be "hidden" just to fester and accumulate like the dust bunnies that accumulate out of reach of my vacuum, only to come out and attack me in my sleep when I least expect it.

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answered Sep 16, 2011 by (0 points)
Yes, I see the point and I appreciate it. As I said, I am anticipating a little bit here, so maybe it is best to wait and see if the issues I am worried about (some of which may be specific to physics) come up or not.

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