You all know we're fighting our zombies.

I check the "Unanswered Question" from time to time, like some of you I guess.

I happen to see "poor quality" questions (or super complicated one, but those are ok). By poor quality I mean questions that don't show the whole code, questions without context

Now, I'm wondering what should be done to deal with those "poor quality" zombies. Most people (including myself) won't review them, because it's hard to follow OP's intent, or the reviews will be poor because the question is poor. (I know this won't always be the case, I am generalizing)

I feel like starting a close vote on unanswered questions might be "cheating" and I don't want to be targeted as "the guy who tried to close zombies so we have less of them". But at the same time, some of these questions might never get answers because they are unclear.

Here are some questions I feel are "poor quality" :

I'll stop there, maybe some of these won't be good example to your eye or maybe I'm too difficult.

What is the community's feeling about this? How should we deal with poor quality zombies? Or, am I too demanding toward questions?


2 Answers 2


There is nothing wrong with leaving some poor-quality questions unanswered. By analogy, 0% unemployment is a worthy ideal, but actually achieving 0% unemployment isn't necessarily a good thing for the economy.

Let's be careful about closing questions mainly for the goal of achieving a 100% answer rate. We should only close questions that are actually off-topic, unclear (to the point where nobody can write a decent review), or primarily opinion-based (e.g. brace-style wars). Otherwise, closing answerable questions would be a cure that's worse than the disease — and I'm not sure that we have a disease.

If you encounter an old unanswered question that you feel is low quality but not closable according to the rules, you can…

  1. Leave a comment explaining what's wrong with the question, if there isn't already one.
  2. Downvote at your discretion.
  3. Write a short answer anyway. (This will also have the side-effect of drawing attention to the question, and perhaps someone else will want to review it too.)
  4. Improve the question by editing (which will also bump up the question).
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding 3), how can we do that if the intent is not clear? Isn't it a rule/policy not to change the question outside of OP's intentions? \$\endgroup\$
    – holroy
    Nov 26, 2015 at 23:27

IMO bad/unclear/poor questions in the queue should get closevotes no matter if they are zombies or not.

There is no need that such questions will survive no matter how long ago they had been asked.

Related: clarification-as-to-why-a-question-was-closed-as-off-topic

If questions had been on topic at the moment of time they had been asked doesn't mean they are on topic in the present.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While the questions linked are not necessarily the best fits for Code Review, I haven't found any of them close-vote worthy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast one of them doesn't even compile. :p \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TopinFrassi Not being proficient in most of these languages, I can not check that. I was just talking from the point of how they were stated and what they were asking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:10
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mast I understand that! That's the point I think, most of the time these questions look fine, but there's some weird stuff when you dig and you realize there's a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TopinFrassi Agreed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:15

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