There seems to be a systematic campaign of closing question just because the OP did not accept one of the answers

Example 1:

I’m voting to close this question because it seems that OP is not active anymore and consequently (s)he will not accept any of received answers.

The question seems clear, does have a MWE, got multiple answers and the OP gave feedback in a comment with thanks and acknowledging that the solution worked.

(the question was reopened in the mean time)

Example 2:

I’m voting to close this question because OP after one and half year still not respond to comment nor to received answers.

The question might not have a MWE but looks reasonable clear and shows some code. The question received multiple good answers. The OP posted feedback and follow up questions from a new account as a (non-)answer, so maybe simply has no longer access to the old account.

(the question was reopened in the mean time)

Should the time and effort the of the users writing answers be valued and the information be preserved for future users regardless of some green tick being clicked or not?

(I'm not providing links, because I don't want to call out a user. I'll put them in a deleted answer for trusted users to see)

  • 9
    I agree that "absence" by an OP isn't sufficient reason to delete a reasonable question, especially one with decent answers and a favorable comment by the OP. (Lots of OPs disappear after a usable answer appears, and they don't yet know how the site works.) I've nominated one question for reopening. Jun 11, 2021 at 17:25
  • Not sure if my opinion matters at all, anyway, for "Example 1", my gut feeling says that it is ok to close the question. Ideally, there would be something else than "closing" that considers the fact that one or more answers obviously solved the problem ("accepting the answer by the trusted users or by a moderator"). For "Example 2", I would argue that leaving the question "open" until the end of time somehow distorts the "statistics". I would understand if there was a closing reason called "inactivity of OP for longer than x months". Jun 13, 2021 at 2:31
  • 8
    @Dr.ManuelKuehner There is no advantage to close a question. If it has an upvoted answer it will be removed from the list of unanswered question. A post does not need an accepted answer - future users can judge from votes or comments which of the answers is likely the best. On the other hand a closed question becomes eligible to be automatically deleted if it does not have enough votes. The two examples only had a safety margin of one upvote from being auto-deleted at the time of closure. A single downvote could have pushed them over the threshold - together with altogether 4 answer Jun 13, 2021 at 10:26
  • Thanks for the follow-up comment. I did not know that and now better understand what you mean. So only questions with no answer and e a solution in the comments are suitable example for "closing". I thought this is some kind of housekeeping that is considered a positive thing. Btw, I am happy that you are still active here! Jun 13, 2021 at 14:36
  • Even if a solution (or even helpful hints) are "only" in comments, I don't think closing is a good idea. Future users with the same problem will be happy to find those - which can only happen if the question does not get auto-deleted. (see also this related question tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8775/36296) Jun 13, 2021 at 18:08
  • 2
    Thanks for the link, the hint The person writing the answer can be [...] a third person, that may or may not use the Community Wiki feature. very interesting - I did not think about that! And I immediately practiced it (tex.stackexchange.com/questions/344656). Jun 14, 2021 at 2:23
  • @Dr.ManuelKuehner :thumbsup: :) Jun 14, 2021 at 8:05
  • 1
    No, do not close old unaccepted questions. I have had answers accepted literally years after the answer was provided. Jun 22, 2021 at 13:05
  • @StevenB.Segletes I can confirm this: I recently had a 4 year old answer of mine accepted and that was by far not the longest span between answering and accepting Jun 22, 2021 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


Questions should only be closed if they do not meet meet the criteria of being clear, objective and on-topic, with perhaps the proviso that things like out-and-out typos, misunderstandings and issues which are best solved by updating a TeX installation can be closed. (The latter would otherwise tend toward some rather repetitive and low-value answers.)

The StackOverflow model is that answers are for people well beyond the original poster/questionner (OP), and so whilst there is of course a need to help the OP, the majority of 'value' is in helping others. That is why the site prioritises community votes over the OPs 'acceptance' in indicating answer quality.

As such, questions should not be closed simply as the OP has lost interest, moved on, etc.


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