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Should a user have to add a comment when they vote to close

I've asked questions before, and someone has come along and marked it for close, despite others attempting to answer it, and various other participation.

The problem here is that I have no idea why they wanted to close the question. Some people leave a comment, but most people make no effort. A lot of the time simply clarifying the question further would satisfy the people who think the question does not belong somewhere ( when actually it does, it was jsut worded ina way they didn't 'get' ).

It's also problematic because if users keep asking questions, make the same mistake over and over again, and get their questions closed, they're going to keep making that mistake, as there's no room for learning any bad behaviour on what closes a question.

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marked as duplicate by Adam Nov 30 '11 at 21:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

They were closed because they were begging for it. – Won't Nov 30 '11 at 21:41
Re your newest, now deleted question: With 4,000+ new questions a day, it is simply impossible to leave individual feedback on every one that gets closed. (Also, on a second look, you have not had a question actually closed yet, do you? I see only one close vote on a question that is clearly off topic.) Please refer to the resources available on how to ask a good SO question. The primary one is the FAQ – Pëkka Nov 30 '11 at 21:47
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you force people to post a note explaining why they want to close, people will stop closing questions. The result will be that many bad questions will remain on the site and the signal to noise ratio will go up, significantly.

As it stand, one does select a reason for closing when voting to close.

Admittedly, you will not see why it was voted to be closed until the question has actually been closed (unless you have enough rep, where you will be able to click the close link and see what reasons were selected).

You can suggest to make this information more visible to lower rep users.

I am sympathetic, but can't support this. I will on occasion leave a note when closing, in particular if the user a a newb, but there are too many bad questions for me to make it a habit.

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Wouldn't you just write ("Here's my note for why I'm voting to closing") – Some Helpful Commenter Nov 30 '11 at 21:27
@ConradFrix - Not every time. Too much friction - and definitely if I am required to. – Oded Nov 30 '11 at 21:28
@ConradFrix It's becomes rather time-consuming. Not to mention that most people will not want to get into fights in comments over close reasons (and I can't blame them). Each close reason has a description and in most cases that should be enough to convey why a question is closed. – Adam Nov 30 '11 at 21:34
Sorry I guess I was being too clever (or not clever enough). In addition to creating unnecessary friction it wouldn't work, people would just put in junk. – Some Helpful Commenter Nov 30 '11 at 21:35
@ConradFrix Ahhhh, yeah, that too. :) – Adam Nov 30 '11 at 21:52
@ConradFrix - don't know what you mean. adsfadsfads ajfhalskdfhasdfa ajhflaksdfhadsf – Oded Nov 30 '11 at 21:58

Each of the close reasons have an explanation that indicates why the question was closed. It seems redundant to require that a person casting a vote regurgitate this. Each user should be able to make an independent decision as to whether a comment would help the user - frequently I do this when closing as off topic when there is another, more appropriate site to which a migration is not availble, for instance. Ditto for when a question is just crying for more information to qualify it as a real question. I don't think it should be required, though as the close reason explanation suffice for most closures.

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This misses the point entirely. If I were to close one of your questions, I know why the question needed closing, ( but you don't unless I leave a comment ). – Tom J Nowell Nov 30 '11 at 21:31
It boils down to, if my question is bad, what am I doing wrong? Users can't be trusted to always explain why they want a question closed ( nor is it always as apparent as the closer thinks ). – Tom J Nowell Nov 30 '11 at 21:32
@TomJNowell No it doesn't, the poster can read the automatic close reason too. Besides, forcing a comment doesn't mean the comment will be relevant. I'd be tempted to put a garbage reason when closing as OT for something like "Where do I dispose of my old broken toaster?", for example. It should be obvious. – Matthew Read Nov 30 '11 at 21:47

It's also problematic because if users keep asking questions, make the same mistake over and over again, and get their questions closed, they're going to keep making that mistake, as there's no room for learning any bad behaviour on what closes a question.

I'm sympathetic with your situation when some close votes have been cast, before the question is closed. However once it's closed, the system displays the stock reason/explanation. From here, a user would be able to read the faq to brush up on what prompted the closing. So I disagree that it's anything more than part of a reasonable learning curve.

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The closing reasons are reported in the FAQ, and the description is quite clear.


The same description appears when a question is closed, and the OP is able to see the reason why the question has been voted to be closed even before the necessary number of users vote for closing it.

If a user keeps asking questions that are closed, then that user should try to understand why the questions have been closed; asking on the meta site is a start.

Forcing who is voting to close to leave a comment about the reason they are voting to close doesn't seem necessary, and it could just cause a flow of comments about the question not deserving to be closed, or deserving to be closed.
In some cases it's not necessary to further explain why the question is being voted to be closed. What would a comment about the question being closed as duplicate of another one add?

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