My definition on dead questions are as followed

The user asking haven't been around for long. (Correct answer may or may not exist, but no best answer was chosen by the asker)

The question isn't active for a long long time, no more answers, no more comments.

Is there any clean-up mechanism for these kind of questions? As no best answer is chosen, they are left open even if there is already a good answer to it or answering it doesn't make sense anymore.

For example, this is marked as a dead question to me:


The asker haven't been around for months, and any answers to it will not be marked as best, therefore leaving it open forever.

  • Can you point to any specific examples of questions that fit your class of "dead questions"?
    – bmike Mod
    May 31 '13 at 4:19

I believe you conflate two different categories here.

If a question has sat idle for a long time, has no good answer, and no longer makes sense to answer, such a question should be closed and possibly deleted. The mechanism for this is to either vote to close it (if you have sufficient reputation) or flag it for moderator action.

If a question has a good answer that is not clearly identified as a good answer, the mechanism to fix this is to vote for that answer. The OP can issue a green checkmark, but this is far from the only feedback mechanism in place. Users voting for a solid answer lets future readers know that it is a helpful answer. Questions only show up as unanswered if they have neither an accepted answer nor any upvoted answers. Voting for answers you consider good is the cleanup mechanism for such questions; once they have an answer that has received upvotes, they are no longer "open" and no longer need to be fixed.

In any event, questions exist to draw good answers. While active participation from the OP is helpful, it is far from essential to make the site work.

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