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I'm not trying to gain cheap reputation points, but I've been walking through some of the unanswered questions and noticed a trend: a lot of them are irrelevant now. They are irrelevant because they refer to bugs from previous releases that are surely now addressed (or clearly addressed per changelogs).

In a previous Q&A, Adrian suggested that moderators not be quick to close or delete questions. I agree. However, when questions refer to a product releases which are clearly now unsupported (or "old"), those questions ought to be close-worthy.

Further, the SE guidelines for "What topics can I ask about here?" clearly states:

IS YOUR QUESTION ABOUT A BUG?
If your problem is clearly a bug, and you can identify which add-on is responsible (such as a PHP error), we ask that you report it directly to the developer through their official support channels, as there is very little our community here can do to help you. Even if the developer provides official support via Stack Exchange, you must contact them via email instead. Questions which are obviously bug reports will be closed. However, if you're not sure whether your issue is a bug, it's ok to ask here whether you're approaching things the right way.

So, my question is, given these guidelines, is it possible to add a close reason along the lines of the question being about a bug for a product?

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We don't have that much control over the SE platform, so we can't add new reasons (though we could close them as "off-topic"). However, I've said before that I think it's ok for someone to ask "is this a bug or am I doing something wrong". I think that is the category which many of these unanswered questions may fall into.

Generally in this case the developer might ask for email follow up, and there may or may not be comments stating that it has been fixed in a specific version. If you were to come across a question like this, rather than voting to close it, I think it would be more helpful simply to add an answer repeating any useful fix/version mentioned in the comments, and preferably with a link to the changelog stating that the particular bug has been fixed. This way, anyone who does search for that error/bug/problem will come across it and find a definitive answer stating which version they need to upgrade to.

I certainly don't see any problem repeating what someone else has stated in the comments as a separate answer if it answers the question. Especially if the OP or commenter never came back to follow up the question. Far from cheap reputation points, if the community is upvoting your answers then they find them helpful, and therefore you are providing a useful service by improving our Q&A wiki with appropriate information.

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There is still value in these questions even when they remain unanswered... They serve as validation that someone else has had the same issue... Though the answer isn't given, a person knows they are generally pointed in the right direction. I agree with Adrian... if the answer is present in a comment, by all means go ahead and post a "real" answer.

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I was going through the question review list and found that seems to be what you are asking for... You see it when voting to close a question as "off-topic". You can see a screenshot here: http://screencast.com/t/VWg3jRRv

Selecting the "Bug reports" option will vote to put the question "on hold" which will leave the question in the database but stop the ability to post answers.

  • 2
    I just saw this recently too. I wonder if the SE folks added it for us. I've used a plenty so far. :) – Stephen Callender Oct 30 '13 at 19:36
  • It adds questions to the review queue. Enough votes can close the question or a moderator can manually do it. I cleared out the reviea queue this morning and closed a number of questions. – Anna_MediaGirl Oct 30 '13 at 23:03

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