People sometimes ask questions that need clarification. That's quite understandable. But I can see that occasionally, some people just leave such questions and don't come back to improve them in response to the comments. Some examples: 1, 2

Is there some policy on how such questions should be treated? I imagine that there could be some period after which such unfinished questions should be closed.


I see a need of clarification. The case of questions that can be given a useful answer is rather easy, as covered by Jeff's answer. The problem is when an orphaned question presents a rather clear problem, but can have many solutions depending on the details not covered by the asker.

2 Answers 2


It depends how unanswerable or speculative it is.

If the question, even without clarification, could be useful to other visitors, leave it and answer it.

If it's totally unclear, to the point that you'd be outright guessing what the question was, it should be closed as Not a Real Question.

  • That part about answering useful question sounds obvious - but the problem I'm trying to approach is questions that cannot be answered without additional clarification from the OP. Aug 28, 2011 at 12:34

I think the problem might even be that people forget about their questions and/or don't know how to check their inbox. It would be quite handy to have an automated feature that mails a user if there have been comments and no resulting question-edits - let`s say for two weeks. If after an additional two weeks there has been no edit to the question it should be closed/deleted automatically.

  • I added the flag "feature request" to the original question for this.
    – Nils
    Oct 29, 2011 at 21:21

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