There are many posts about the importance of cleaning up questions, and the need for that is clear. But why would a question be marked as too broad when there is only one answer and it is a good one? It is not as if there is a disk space, server speed, or SEO concern. Wouldn't it be more respectful to the person who took the time to prepare an answer to mark the question for editing rather than closure?

Impact On Answer Author Morale

This trend of hyper-hold-and-delete is very annoying to those of us who like to provide assistance to askers. One might work an hour on a good answer (that intelligently responds to ALL of the principles and rules of the community) only to find the answer is on hold and will probably be closed.

Even if we see the points (broadness, begging opinions, inadequate prior investigation) and suggest a question answer, our time and effort is discarded FAR too often. Future readers cannot benefit from what we've written, and the interest in answering well is diminished.


StackExchange is a system of incentives. Is it the SE marketing objective to discourage thought and excellence in preparing answers? Of course not.

The question is whether there should be a TOO BROAD hold when there is exactly one answer and it received up votes. Perhaps there should be another mechanism.

Suggested Solution

Can the rep increment for a good edit of a broad question be raised?

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    Can you link sample questions so that it's clearer what questions you're referring to? Also, parts of your question ("Is it the SE marketing objective to discourage thought and excellence in preparing answers?") are just not constructive. – Arminius Feb 21 '17 at 22:49
  • The incentives actually really work to make sure we get good questions and answers. This is why SE has the commanding position in this area. – Rory Alsop Feb 22 '17 at 15:32
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    And just for clarity, Douglas, the majority of your deleted posts were deleted by you after being downvoted. Not because they were attached to a deleted question. In fact only one was attached to a deleted question. The other 7 were deleted by you, so please be a bit more honest about this situation. – Rory Alsop Feb 22 '17 at 15:40
  • After a couple times of writing an answer and finding the question on hold for any reason, I'd learn to evaluate the question first. If it looks borderline, maybe I can help the OP by fixing the question first. If I can't think of how to fix it, then others will likely vote it closed, and my answer won't help anyway. "Once bitten, twice shy" concept should make me think before answering. – user135823 Feb 26 '17 at 3:49

It's true that the community is sometimes really fast at close-voting questions. However, it's not true that anyone here likes to see good answers disappear.

If you wrote an answer to a question that was deemed too broad, you can improve the question by editing it. If you think it was closed inappropriately, you can ask for it to be reopened. If a broad question was deleted although you had a precise answer to it, you can post it in a new, improved version and answer it yourself.

  • It does work well across the site and the network. It's one of our key tools to improve posts! Edite it, and it goes into the reopen queue. – Rory Alsop Feb 22 '17 at 15:31

One thing to remember is that often Too Broad may not have only one answer (despite what you may think)

You may think only one answer is possible based on an assumption you make for the question. Looking at your previous posts suggests this is the case. Quite often the OP hadn't stated that assumption, and in fact other assumptions are possible.

So putting a question on hold (it's actually not closed in the sense of shut, but put on pause for improvement) lets the OP improve it, often by adding their assumption.

Which then makes it answerable.

However if no-one improves the held question then it should end up closed and maybe deleted, as if it's not good enough it doesn't belong here.

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