SE already has code somewhere that links related questions in the side bar. Is it possible to have the system tally the # of related questions that have already been closed & use that metric to warn users that their question is likely to encounter a similar fate?

Basically I'm envisioning a soft filter in between submitting a question & actually posting it that attempts to preempt bad / off-topic questions. Thoughts?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ While I'm not in favor of this idea I do think it would be useful if the related questions display indicated that a question was closed or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Aug 23, 2016 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


This probably isn't a good idea, even if it technically doable.

The fact is the related questions already exist, but people either don't read them or do but think their question is still unique enough to warrant asking again, and post anyway. The Help Center also exists, but people don't read it or think their questions are an exception.

It's quite unlikely these folks would find an additional warning against asking a particular impediment. They'd just ignore that too.

Meanwhile, it would annoy or inconvenience users asking legitimate questions that the system just guess wrong about.

StackOverflow itself does have (or had) additional heuristics that go into questions and warn users of certain things, I believe. I don't post there enough to know. But there's a ton more traffic and proportionally more off-topic questions there.

Here, I don't think we have a problem with lots of egregiously bad, duplicated off-topic questions. They're easy to close and don't present too much of a moderation burden, even given our relatively low population of active close-voters.

I don't think the cost of trying to add more automated protections against this class of questions is worth the effort or the downsides it would bring, personally.


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