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A question I saw was closed for off topic on SO but I don't believe it was at all off-topic. It had 7 down votes but I don't believe it deserved that; it was a valid question and I had an answer to it.

So, if a question is on topic (which it obviously was because it was a programming question to do with Android) and it was answerable, is it still going to be closed?

The purpose of this question is more to discuss that questions are being closed for incorrect reasons.

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If you want this to be a general discussion about questions being closed incorrectly, then you'll need to revamp the title and the content considerably. As it stands, it is a question about the treatment of a specific question, and has been answered as such. You'd probably need to open a new question. –  Jonathan Leffler Sep 18 '12 at 0:56
    
Will do, I shall think of something and acquire more evidence of this poor treatment of questions from low reputation users –  FabianCook Sep 18 '12 at 0:57
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This isn't a case of the OP being treated badly. The original question was junk and the community closed it as such. –  The Anti-Santa Sep 18 '12 at 1:15
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And now it's been closed again as an exact duplicate. –  Keith Thompson Sep 18 '12 at 2:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The title of the question (is) was abysmal and may have triggered a knee-jerk response. The body of the question (needs) needed improvement too (both now edited multiple times by various people). Those probably counted sufficiently heavily that people didn't see the real question behind the poorly phrased one.

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However it was still answerable and wasn't off topic at all? –  FabianCook Sep 18 '12 at 0:40
    
I just fixed the title. And voted to reopen. –  Barak Sep 18 '12 at 0:40
    
@Barak Unfortunately, the question has been deleted since then. :( –  Anderson Green Mar 3 at 17:28

If anything it should be closed as duplicate instead of off topic:

Android 2.2: Reboot device programmatically

Programmatically switching off Android phone

how to shutdown/reboot android device?

Runtime.exec() : Reboot in Android?

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Third one is a duplicate of the second one which isn't the same question, the first one never had an accepted answer. –  FabianCook Sep 18 '12 at 0:42
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@SmartLemon the fact that no answer was accepted isn't necessarily a sign that it doesn't have a correct one. –  Pëkka Sep 18 '12 at 0:45
    
Sorry I just collected that list pretty quickly, but there's probably tens of questions with similar titles. Here's one with an accepted answer, and another highly voted answer almost identical to your proposed answer. stackoverflow.com/questions/5484535/… –  Tim Sep 18 '12 at 0:47
    
I know but it doesn't mean it does have a correct one either. Js –  FabianCook Sep 18 '12 at 0:47
    
The fact of this question was to state that questions are being closed wrongly. –  FabianCook Sep 18 '12 at 0:49
    
@Pekka: While true, I would hope that at least some answer on one of the duplicates gets accepted. If it doesn't seem like the asker on the duplicated question will ever accept an answer, I'd let it slide. Maybe even reverse it and mark the older question dupe of the newer if the top answer is underwhelming and an answer on the newer one trumps it. –  Jeff Mercado Sep 18 '12 at 1:07
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The question in question is now awaiting closure as a duplicate. –  Daniel Fischer Sep 18 '12 at 1:14

Let's take a look at the question's first, original revision:

Hi I was wondering programatically

Hi I was wondering what the command was to hot reboot an android. When I say hot reboot I mean a fast reboot or it goes straight to boot animation.

Thank you

The most important requirement for a question to be on-topic on Stack Overflow is that it must be a programming problem. Although somewhat unclear, in the very poorly written title, it does say programmatically.

I won't get into too many details on the title, but in general, the title should entice people from the main page to view the question; thus, it should summarize what the post is about.

Instead of being closed as off-topic, I would have closed it as not a real question:

not a real question
It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.

The best questions on Stack Overflow show research effort. They list what was tried, where the asker is stuck, what output or error messages the person is getting, or otherwise include details that help the answerers write awesome answers. After all, nothing is worse than writing a really detailed answer and then having the asker exclaim "No! I tried that already and it didnt work!!".

With that said, I want to address one of your comments to the other answerers:

However it was still answerable and wasn't off topic at all?

First, let's ignore the fact that it's a duplicate for the purpose of this discussion. After some very helpful edits from Barak and Jonathan Leffler, the question is now somewhat more presentable, and was reopened. This by no means suggests that the question was unfairly closed or that the original 5 close voters don't know what they're doing.

In the close reason, in all of the close reasons, is this last sentence, or something similar:

For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.

It's important to understand that the purpose of closing a question is to put it into a state of remission so that it doesn't get any answers while the asker, and/or the community, work on reformulating the question so that it meets the guidelines outlined in the FAQ.

Closure is not permanent, and it's not designed to tell anyone to go away or to mistreat them. In this example, the system works! A few well-intentioned passerby's edited the question to clean it up and then cast their reopen votes.

It's not uncommon for the same close voters to vote to close, edit, and then reopen a question, as the end result is generally something that will help not only the asker, but many future visitors for years to come. This is the goal of Stack Overflow. Hope this helps!

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