A few days ago I flagged a question to be closed/removed since it is old, the user is not around, the question hasn't seen any activity in years and the problem didn't got a solution, or at least, the OP never mentioned anything, the question is Subdomain still times out after being set up a month ago. Also the situation seems not just too specific, it seems so unusual that doesn't look right. I think that there was a misunderstanding or misconception on the question, but that is just my opinion and is not too relevant for the situation.

Well, it got a good answer from Stephen Ostermiller, from a good knowledge about how assigning IPs work. Which the user didn't seem to have.

So, I got a very reasonable answer about that, it's unfortunate, but having a question that was abandoned is not uncommon. My opinion is that, yes it's unfortunate and yes it's not uncommon, but that is not a good reason to keep the question around, isn't?

And just by coincidence, I stumbled upon this message Cleanup: unanswered questions from 2011. I don't think a new answer should be written since there is no point, the same applies to upvoting, the same to editing the question, so, the only option is to flag it, which I did.

So, no just for this question, but as a general rule, should questions like that one, which are not just old, but obviously not going to get any good answer and even if they do, there is no way to know if that answer helped, be flagged to be closed or not?

By the way, I saw some old answers to related questions, but I didn't feel that those addressed the situation. Although some are good guidelines.

2 Answers 2


Answers on this site are not just for the person who asked the question. In fact, we close questions as off-topic if they are so specific as to be only applicable to the person who asked. We hope that questions on this site will be found by others that have similar problems and thus be helpful to a wider audience.

Questions shouldn't be closed just because they are old and abandoned. They should only be closed if they are also not good questions.

The StackExchange system is designed to promote questions without upvoted answers. Those questions:

  • Appear in the unanswered queue
  • Get "bumped" by the community user periodically

Answering a question or upvoting an answer to an old question can go a long way towards getting the old question off of the radar and letting users here focus on newer questions.

Your other option is to down vote the question itself. Even if it isn't so bad that it should be closed, a down vote with an explanatory comment is perfectly appropriate.

  • You mention "Answers on this site are not just for the person who asked the question.", exactly, how many people have you seen on your life asking that question or with the same problem? Lets assume somebody else finds that question and has the same problem, is the answer going to be useful? I don't think so because the details on how that IP was "added" is where the problem was. Who could/can get static IPs, not everybody, only a small bunch in the world and they know what they are doing.
    – PatomaS
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:27
  • I think the user was mixing local configuration with hosted resources. Do you, honestly think that combination of question/answer would help anybody, honestly. Please if so, I'd appreciate an example because I may be lacking perspective.
    – PatomaS
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:31

I have actually answered a few questions from early 2012 to 2013 that are really inactive, which I now regret, but somehow they got attention as if they were a new question and I sought to share my knowledge, then I realize it is an old question with someone who is most likely not coming back.

I wouldn't mind closing them, but I honestly don't mind answering them either. If someone comes across the issue and finds my answer useful, more power towards the information which I am happy to share, even though the question is dead and old.

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