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Brand-new user likely only have 1 rep point, but trusted Stac kExchange users have 101 when they make their first post here.

When they post an off-topic question, they usually get downvoted and then closed as off-topic for whatever reason.

Should we be deleting these questions promptly so that the user can retain their reputation?

I agree that we at least should let them know how to fix the off-topicness and then repost or undelete their post.

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I don't think it has to be deleted right away. After four downvotes, the question will leave the front page, thus it'll be out of the way. That should also give the OP time to revisit the question and notice the off-topic dialogue message. They can then delete it manually if they choose not to improve it (or if it cannot be improved at all). You can still vote to delete if it's unsalvageable crap, but it'll otherwise get cleaned up eventually by Community ♦.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's 100% a moderator decision. SE sites are community moderated. Just because we don't have a diamond and the extra privilidges doesn't mean that we aren't this site's moderators too. If a crud question comes in (unsalvagable question) I don't see why regular users with sufficient privileges wouldn't VTD a question. I think the issue is we need a guideline about what should and shouldn't delete. \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Oct 15 '14 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RubberDuck "guideline"... in what way does the trusted user privilege page - for deleting answers - and the moderator tools privilege page - for deleting questions - not satisfy your need for a guideline? \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Oct 15 '14 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RubberDuck: I probably didn't word that second paragraph well. I didn't mean that only diamonds should delete, but that they can only delete right away (binding), so they have more of a decision to make. I'll just remove that part to reduce confusion. \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Oct 15 '14 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RubberDuck: That'll work. But from the deletions I've seen, most of them have been done with gimmetehcodez and non-programming-related questions. Other posts, even very broken code, usually don't need to be deleted manually. \$\endgroup\$ – Jamal Oct 15 '14 at 16:17
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It doesn't matter whether the question was asked by an old or new user. It doesn't matter how much reputation the poster had. If a post is closed and is unsalvageable, then it should be deleted.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, but should we do it more promptly? \$\endgroup\$ – Malachi Oct 14 '14 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Malachi as mentioned in Jamals answer.. as soon as it got 4 downvotes it's off the front page and eligible for deletion by the roomba. If it isn't total crap / harmful why would we need to take needless additional action? \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Oct 14 '14 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612, because we take pride in the site's quality. =;)- \$\endgroup\$ – RubberDuck Oct 15 '14 at 15:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 the roomba will take 30 days to act on a down voted open post and 9 days to act on a down voted closed post. It will not act in either case if the question has an positively scored or accepted answer. \$\endgroup\$ – user22048 Oct 15 '14 at 20:26
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When should I delete questions?

Closed questions that are of no lasting value whatsoever should be flagged and deleted.

Before voting to delete, please check that there are no good answers; if so, then the question should be flagged for moderator attention as a potential merge candidate. We don't like to lose great answers!

Also, be cautious when deleting questions closed as duplicates; they can serve as a signpost, directing users to useful answers on another question.

Help Center >> Privileges >> Moderator Tools

As the help center states, closed questions that can not be salvaged can be deleted by the community. Questions that have quality (upvoted) answers should not be deleted.

I personally see no reason to wait for the roomba to get around to it. Community will not remove a negatively scored, closed question for 9 days. So, it depends on how bad the question is. Actively harmful (spam) questions should absolutely be deleted by the community without waiting for the roomba to clean it up.

The only point where I disagree with the help center are the duplicate questions. It seems the only duplicates we get here on Code Review are direct duplicates posted by the same OP. I see no reason to let these questions remain on the site either.

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