I stumbled upon these two questions which made me think:

In my opinion the first one is more "idea generation" than the latter. Are there any specific criteria we can rely on?

My concern is not about these two particular questions. Any problem-solving question can be called an "idea generation" question, since it asks for a proposed solution, not a fact. How can we ensure fair criteria for such questions?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The first one is 9 years old and would have been closed if it were asked today and received those answers. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also this seems to be pretty much a duplicate of the question I linked above. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 11:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov the linked answer is "take a harder line on unsupported answers", so it's not about distinguishing “idea generation” questions from “asking for a solution”. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 8, 2021 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doppel's answer seems to address your question here completely. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov btw, why shouldn't we close this 9-years old question now? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 8, 2021 at 12:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There are steps we can still take to improve the answers, such as commenting with reference to our citation expectations and using post notices if necessary. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov so where's that line between closing the question and improving the answers? Doppel's answer mostly describes criteria for answers, not questions (a whole paragraph is about "Identifying & managing bad answers"). \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 8, 2021 at 12:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ mxyzplk's answer tells you: "Some of the questions you link have stayed open because they have at least some experience-based answers, because closing questions is a last resort we usually use when basically none, or none of the high voted, answers are GS/BS supported." When our efforts to steer answers in the right direction fail, we close the question, as we saw on the Manual of Bodily Health question. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 12:27
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ We can't ensure fair criteria, and we shouldn't. There is no practical gain, and we have to do it case by case. The most observable criteria are it generates an uncommon quantity of ideas presented with little to no introspection. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 13:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu looks like an answer \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 8, 2021 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I care not to receive downvotes or to go into detail, so it will have to do as a comment. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 13:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The antihero question was asked in 2012, when the whole stack was different. We don't usually dig through old questions just to find questions to close, unless we have reason to do so. That question might just have evaded closure for years by being piled under others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jul 8, 2021 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mxyzplk has updated his answer to more directly address the general problem. It should provide a more satisfactory answer to your question here. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 20:24


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