As an example:

When did merged Namecoin-Bitcoin mining start?

The event has already occured thus the question seems out of place. One option would be to simply close the question however there is a good chance we will eventually get a past tense version of same question.

I was planning to change the question to reflect that fact that the event is in the past however I wasn't sure on the protocol for this type of change so I thought I would check with the community first.

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    I think it would be better to close such questions as "too localized" since they obviously reference a narrow window of time (which has passed) and post a new, now timeless question "When did Namecoin get merged mining with Bitcoin?" My only concern is that we'd end up closing a LOT of questions as "too localized" because of the constantly-changing nature of a project so early on. Also, this particular question was valid and does have some up-votes, so I don't know if I feel right closing it when it's obviously valid... Oct 19, 2011 at 16:17
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    I'm also worried about the pandora's box we may be opening by allowing edits. Retconning may work in this specific scenario, but I'm not sure if this is a good precedent to set. It certainly deserves some community attention and discussion to say the least. Oct 19, 2011 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


If the answers still make sense after you change the question I think that it's alright. But if changing the question make answers look strange it doesn't seem fair to the authors of those answers.

Closing questions that contain good information is also not right. I'd say that if changing the question is not an option you could instead edit it and just add a note saying that it refers to a past event.


If there's no value to keeping the question around - if it pertains to an event that has passed and no longer matters to anyone - it can be closed and then deleted.

If folks will still want to know the answer for historical purposes, for instance to verify that the event did indeed happen, then editing the answer to reflect this seems like a fair idea. So for the example you gave, edit the answer to note that it has occurred and record the exact date when this occurred.

Whether or not you want to edit the question will probably depend more on if folks are missing it. There's no reason why you can't close a future question as a duplicate of this one even if the new one asks about the past while the old asks about the future. But if you find folks are getting confused by this, editing the title may help.

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