On my opinion, the current question voting/deleting mechanism is bad, because it often closes(deletes) valid questions as well. But it is my opinion only - until now.

Now, I've found an idea to get evidence to prove that. I can see a possibility to audit the question closing/deleting system.

This is very simple: First, I sample the site for closed, but good-looking questions. On my own experience, especially the questions dealing with the solutions of the Einstein Field Theories are somehow disliked by some voting machine, but probably there are other, misteriously disliked areas as well.

Then I get good physics question with google from believable sources. For example, I ask things to which I already found an answer on arxiv (of course only in old and well-referenced papers).

And then I put them on the site as my questions.

My hiphotesis is, that these questions will be closed(deleted) as well.

And my actual question were: if I did this, were it an acceptable behavior, or not?

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    $\begingroup$ On Meta sites, downvotes are a sign of disagreement of the post and shouldn't be construed as a personal attack. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos My problem wasn't the downvote, but that I got it with very low time difference with another unexplained downvote on the main site. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ (Another possibe target for a sudden removal identified) $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 7:19

2 Answers 2


I would be very annoyed to be presented with test questions. I put a lot of effort into answering people's questions because I would have loved someone to do that when I was a spotty kid interested in physics┬╣. The thought that all that effort was just to prove a point about the suitability or otherwise of question subject matter is not a welcome one.

┬╣ this would have meant inventing the Stack Exchange back in the 60s but who knows, CTCs may one day make this possible :-)


I really doubt that there are some "mysteriously disliked" fields. Especially general relativity and the EFEs; that's one of the most popular topics on this site.

It's acceptable to test the waters with your own questions, but try not to jump to conclusions when a question is closed. It may not have been closed for the reason you think, Physics.SE has a lot of policies when it comes to the types of allowed questions to maintain a good signal-to-noise ratio, it may have hit one of those.

10k+ users have access to overall review history. While I'm not as active now, in the past I used to go through this and look for any places where the review system failed, so far I haven't found any.

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    $\begingroup$ It's acceptable to test the waters with your own questions - no it bloody well isn't! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie eh, rule-wise. In the end, the answers will help other readers, if not the OP. But yeah, I get annoyed when that happens too. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie I think the point is that asking a question which gets closed is not itself a punishable offense - in other words, we understand that asking questions which have a chance of being deemed inappropriate is part of the process by which people come to understand the site's scope. Of course we still expect that questions should be asked in good faith, because the person actually wants to know the answer. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ: Of course we still expect that questions should be asked in good faith - and that is the key point. The OP is suggesting asking test questions purely to decide what is and isn't acceptable. When Manish says It's acceptable to test the waters this implies approval of this practice. Now I'd guess this is either unfortunate wording or my pananoia, but either way consider my disapproval expressed. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 5:53

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