The recent consensus is to close all trivially reverse searchable image identification request questions as duplicate of this question.

However, since the question closed as duplicate can't be viewed by general public (they are redirected to the target question), is there any use in keeping these closed questions in the long run?

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    My opinion was that they should be downvoted & then deleted, but that didn't seem to be a popular opinion. Can we delete closed questions? Commented May 25, 2015 at 7:01
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    @ToshinouKyouko: Yes, but even for max privilege user, you need to wait for 2 days if the question's score is more than -3.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 7:40
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    I actually haven't thought of that aspect. The duplicate feature works against us in this instance. Needs more thinking. Commented May 25, 2015 at 8:29
  • Too me it feels like this rule is relevant to this post and should just be answered and downvoted as any other question that showed only little effort from OP: meta.anime.stackexchange.com/q/249/6166 Commented May 25, 2015 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


I'll admit that I was wrong about something when I proposed this. I had thought that the Roomba would delete these questions if they were downvoted and unanswered. However, it seems the Roomba does not delete questions marked as duplicates. So yes, if we follow this policy and don't put any effort into deleting the questions, we'll be left with a large number of posts which are duplicates of the tutorial.

Your question is "is there any use in keeping these?" and to that I think the answer is usually "not really". The questions don't contain any interesting new details. They might sometimes be useful for search engine optimization, and logged out users will immediately be redirected to the duplicate target. However, this is a rather rare case and hard to predict. They also might occasionally gain a bit of rep for the asker or an answerer, but that's not a big concern. There's also a rare case where the OP wants to find their question after leaving it for a while, which deleting would make harder, but that's quite uncommon if we wait for a few days before deleting.

On the other hand, we could also ask "is there any harm in keeping these?" and I think the answer again is usually "not really". If a user is insistently editing a question to get it bumped to the front page or flagging it to try to get it reopened, that might be a problem. But most of these are going to silently drop off the main page and then be basically invisible. It's unlikely they'll get a lot of activity, especially since logged out users will be silently redirected to the tutorial question. So long as the question isn't getting any views or activity, it's just sort of there, and doesn't really do much other than occasionally help with SEO for the tutorial.

So, in the end, I think there's little to gain or lose from deleting these questions. I don't think it's worth the effort to go through every time, but I also don't think it would hurt much if these questions do get deleted. I personally don't think it's worth putting in the extra effort to do this (it increases the number of required votes to deal with the question from 5 to 8 and only has a visible effect for logged in users who manage to find the question), so I wouldn't bother. But if other users perceive a real cost in keeping such questions around, I think there's little harm in deleting most of them.

  • Actually, now that I'm looking into it, it looks like only the 9-day cleanup procedure would be affected by duplicate status. The 30-day and 365-day ones would seem to still work even if the post is marked as a duplicate, so long as it isn't answered and has a sufficiently low score. If that is the case, I see even less reason to bother with the extra work.
    – Logan M
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 3:04
  • But if it is a trivial search, they tend to receive a answer quite rapidly. Won't that harm the clean up ?
    – Dimitri mx Mod
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 12:43
  • In the end, what was the consensus here? Is there any worth closing them as a duplicate, as technically speaking they are not a duplicate? The reason I ask is, because I have been voting against closing such questions as a duplicate and have downvoted them instead, but if the consensus says otherwise I'll stop doing so. Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 11:47
  • @PeterRaeves The consensus is to mark such questions as duplicates. That was decided at meta.anime.stackexchange.com/questions/2359. This question is more about what we do after that, and I don't see a strong consensus either way, but my answer says that it probably isn't worth the effort to individually delete all of these.
    – Logan M
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 0:01

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