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  1. I have repeatedly witnessed cases on other sites where otherwise great questions generating good content were closed because:

    this question is likely to generate many "me-too" answers.

  2. Most of the time where I saw questions that legitimately suffered from "me-too" flood, that came from new users who didn't know that they should instead edit in extra examples into existing answer.

    As such, the problem could have - and, deservedly, had - been fixed via simply locking the question, which prevents low-rep users from posting new answers - but does not have the stigma of closing.

As such, I would propose that this site adopt an approach that a question should not be closed if:

  1. It generates otherwise good content, better than elsewhere on Internet

  2. And the main reason to close is the worry over future-generating a flood of "me-too"s.

And then, if we as a community see some question like that being overrun by me-toos, we simply clean them up once, and lock the question afterwards.

Of course, if the question is poor enough that it proceeds to generate useless extra answers even after locking, it fully deserves closing. But in my experience, most such questions can be merely locked to be fully redeemed.

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These two features should be somewhat mutually exclusive. Locking a post is designed to save an otherwise good post that has started attracting a lot of "me-too" answers (typically when a post goes viral). But locking a post (or turning it into a community wiki) should not excuse a post that otherwise would have been closed. If a post should be closed, it should be closed.

But I am not a big fan of preemptively 'locking' a post in anticipation of a potential problem. That is essentially censoring otherwise well-meaning users who may legitimately want to contribute content before there is an actual problem. But if a lot of me-to answers are bloating an otherwise valuable post; sure, go ahead and lock it. But locking a post because it's likely to attract a lot of me-too answers is an abuse of the feature.

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  • I edited to stress that locking is NOT seen as preventative, as per your last paragraph. – DVK Dec 20 '13 at 20:54
  • The big question is, should we have an explicitly defined category of questions that are good enough to exist unclosed, BUT still at risk of me-toos. As opposed to automatically closing any question as "bad" merely because of possible "me-toos" – DVK Dec 20 '13 at 20:54
  • @DVK I don't know if I can answer that categorically. Stack Exchange sort of breaks if the top-ranking users are there only because they were first to type "Evernote" in a boundless list of "top tools/features/books/blogs/etc" posts — rather than solving real problems. But if carefully curated, an occasional question like that can actually be worthwhile. See how AskDifferent allows (and regulates) these so they are somewhat rare and useful. It depends on the community and their willingness/ability to properly curate these. Otherwise, they should just be closed. – Robert Cartaino Dec 20 '13 at 21:18
  • Thanks. Do you have specific meta discussions from AskDifferent that you'd recommend referrning to? – DVK Dec 20 '13 at 21:45
  • Sorry, I don't. It may have even started on Super User, but the occasional question (primarily hidden-features of the latest OS release) seems to be (tenuously) tolerated, but workable in this limited use case. I haven't seen a explicit, comprehensive policy about when and how and why this works for them. But this does not come without controversy, and it does blow up in their face on occasion. – Robert Cartaino Dec 20 '13 at 22:33

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