Clearly editing a closed question with the intention of making it re-openable is an honorable activity. I'm wondering more trolling-type questions (which we get a lot of!) Things like:

And dozens others that I can't find now, probably because they were deleted.

Is it worth while to edit these for grammar, spelling, etc... and perhaps most of all, is it worth re-tagging them?

EDIT: Part of my question is, are tags useful on closed questions, and therefore should retagging take place on closed questions? I suppose this would be for the purpose of searching, etc.

  • I realize the LGBT question isn't actually closed yet, but, call me clairvoyant, I predict it will be very very soon
    – Flimzy
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 2:33
  • Not just closed, it's been deleted
    – Waggers
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 8:52

3 Answers 3


Unless a troll question attracted some truly stellar, on-topic answers that shouldn't be lost, they're probably better off just reasked constructively. I certainly wouldn't waste my time on questions closed before they could attract any answers.

In general though, questions that have no chance of getting reopened—or rather are not being edited with the intention of getting them reopened—are on a non-stop flight to Deletionville.

While on older sites it may take forever and a half to build enough consensus to delete ostensibly popular but off-topic questions, Christianity—thankfully—doesn't have that type of baggage (yet). To keep off-topic or non-constructive questions around for "historical reasons" is untenable: it's only been open for 2 months!

Closed questions left around in early beta that are not indicative of what the site is about are broken windows that should be fixed. If you don't think they can be saved even with substantial editing, I'd just flag them so they can be deleted by the moderators.


If you are going to try to edit them into shape to reopen that's fine (changing the meaning and content of closed questions is encouraged) but don't bother with the usual non-content edits like spelling and grammar. It will just bump a question that isn't even up for participation.

If you think a question is salvageable take a stab at editing it or bring it up in chat. Then an edit bump will bring it to the attention of people that could vote to reopen the new version.


Caleb raises an important point, that editing closed questions will bump them to the top of the list. If we're serious about improving the quality of the questions on the site, we don't really want to bump poor quality questions. So I would say any edits need to substantially improve the quality of closed questions, to the point where they are not just reopenable but actually good quality questions, to be worthwhile.

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