I just had a question come through in the "reopen vote" review queue which was posted sometime in June 2014. It was quite an interesting question but perhaps overlong and I felt that the length of time it had been closed made it less of a good idea to open it back up, especially as it was closed at the time for being off-topic and, me still being relatively new here, I'd hate to step on anyone's toes using my newfound powers for evil.

That said, at least two members for whom I have an enormous amount of respect have voted to reopen it, so I've become confused by the accepted etiquette around here for reopening older questions.

Is there a particular convention I should be following? Or should I just ignore when it was posted/closed and just reopen it if I think it's a good question that will get some decent answers/discussion?

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    Your vote is just that -- your vote. Use it as you will. If 4 others agree with your vote, the Q will be reopened, which is the standard set by the network and its operators. Thus, if it is reopened, it reflects consensus, so you shouldn't feel overanxious about your personal responsibility. – Dan Bron Mar 14 '16 at 16:40
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    @DanBron But feeling overanxious about my personal responsibility is what I do best; I'm British! – John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 16:41
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    This is how I picture British anxiety: twitter.com/soverybritish/status/685796326269956096 – Dan Bron Mar 14 '16 at 16:47
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    @DanBron I actually do a similar thing if I start walking in a particular direction and then realise I should have gone the other way: I'll pull out my phone and check it, shake my head as if I've just received a text or something telling me I had to go somewhere else, and only then turn around and start heading that way, just in case someone saw me and thought I was an idiot who didn't know where I was going. – John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 16:50
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    As a native born New Yorker, I am secure in the knowledge that literally no one would give me a second glance if were wearing a chicken suit and high heels while juggling kittens and singing Ave Maria in falsetto. So long as I'm not blocking the sidewalk, of course. I don't want to get punched. – Dan Bron Mar 14 '16 at 16:53
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    Well of course nobody actually gives half a shit what we do but it would be awfully silly to speak up and point that out. Whatever would the neighbours think? – John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 17:04
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    This conversation is both comforting and illuminating. @DanBron, all the visitors to New York would certainly be entertained! – anongoodnurse Mar 15 '16 at 20:11

If the question abides by the current site standards for scope and on-topicness then it should be reopened. Age is irrelevant.

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    I don't know what the actual question is that prompted OP to ask here, but I've just found some optimistic soul has voted to reopen Is it “bear” or “bare” with me? Which I'd never noticed before, but apparently it's been quietly lurking in the background picking up a ridiculous number of votes since it was posted back in 2010 (the coup de grace wasn't finally delivered until a week ago). Whatever - obviously if a very old closed question is on topic, it should be reopened. Just not that one, please. – FumbleFingers Mar 14 '16 at 22:31
  • @FumbleFingers The voter read this question obviously. meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/7823/…. Whoever voted to reopen the question is trying to break the rules and guidelines of this community. – user140086 Mar 15 '16 at 5:22
  • The question was posted five years ago it's not "trying" to break any rules, it was a question asked by a user then, and apparently there have been over a million visitors checking whether "bear with me" should be spelled bear or bare. And @Rathony wants to delete it? Leave it closed, OK. But wipe it off EL&U's database?I am almost speechless. It makes no sense. – Mari-Lou A Mar 15 '16 at 13:40
  • @Mari That's an argument for another post - no one has been talking about deletion in this discussion. – curiousdannii Mar 15 '16 at 14:08
  • @Mari-LouA What makes you think a million people visited to check the spelling of the two words? Why do you care about the off-topic question so much? What difference does it make if it is not in the data base? Who cares? The question is off-topic no matter how many views or upvotes the question has. It is a shame for the community to allow such a blatantly off-topic question to remain here. Why do you even close a question which will generate more than one million views 5 years later. What is the purpose of this community? Isn't it for etymologist, linguists and serious English enthusiasts? – user140086 Mar 15 '16 at 14:16
  • On that infamous question, which I have never liked in the first place, there is now a vote for deletion. Somebody cast it, I didn't. Rathony has been talking about the need to delete old off topic questions, but it couldn't have been him because he hasn't yet earned 20,000 rep, maybe it was FumbleFingers. I don't know. Errata corrige: The user who voted to reopen the bare vs bear question is not breaking any rules, the rules state explicitly that users with at least 15,000 rep can vote to reopen any question that has been closed. – Mari-Lou A Mar 15 '16 at 14:32
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    Ah no, 10,000 rep is all that is needed to delete closed questions. I double checked. english.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/moderator-tools – Mari-Lou A Mar 15 '16 at 14:38
  • @Mari-LouA I just saw your comment. Just FYR, a user with more than 3,000 points can vote to reopen a closed post. But you need to check whether the question is on-topic or not before casting the vote. If a user tries to reopen a blatantly off-topic question such as that one, that is a clear violation of the policy of Stack Exchange. – user140086 Mar 16 '16 at 14:46

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