Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

It seems that many of my own questions have been closed simply because I misworded them and they assumed it was a duplicate question. Indeed, sometimes there was a duplicate question with an answer I could use, but many times, there was simply a miscommunication and my situation was indeed unique. However, I then come back to check on the answers to find no answers or comments, and the question had been closed.

Would it not be reasonable to require a user to give their reasoning to close a question, or to deal out a -2 rep for voting to close a question? I'm not saying that no question deserves to be closed, as I've done my share of close voting, but many don't deserve to, and once one person votes to close, it seems that every next person that sees the question also votes and it's closed without even asking the original poster if the other question indeed helps them.

share|improve this question
There is a lot of history to the way things are now. Putting an obstacle to closing means that many questions that should be closed will not be. We also used to have a reputation penalty for downvoting questions which has gone away for the same reason. – Oded Apr 16 '13 at 14:03
"I then come back to check on the answers to find no answers or comments, and the question had been closed" How long does it take you to come back? If you're asking a question and disappearing you can hardly complain that this happens behind your back. Keep checking, every minute for the first 30 or so and then regularly thereafter so that you can answer any comments asking for clarification or to explain why your question is not a duplicate.# – ben is uǝq backwards Apr 16 '13 at 14:08
"It seems that many of my own questions have been closed simply because I misworded them"; if this is happen regularly you should consider whether you should change how you ask questions. If you're constantly being misinterpreted it would seem like you should modify your behaviour rather than the site its. – ben is uǝq backwards Apr 16 '13 at 14:10
Closing does require selecting a reason. If you mean they should have to type their own message, you should take a look at this question from yesterday on that topic. – David Robinson Apr 16 '13 at 14:11
@Oded according to, the downvote reputation penalty still exists. – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:23
@benisuǝqbackwards less than a day, usually. – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:23
@Supuhstar - Yes. To the asker of the question. Not the caster of the downvote. – Oded Apr 16 '13 at 14:24
@suphstar: there is a downvote penalty (to the caster) on answers, not on questions. – David Robinson Apr 16 '13 at 14:25
@DavidRobinson ah, I see. – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:28
@DavidRobinson ... doesn't that mean I can just go around -1ing every question I see because they're not about invisible pink flying unicorns? – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:44
@Supuhstar, a day is far too long for your first check to see whether you've got any answers. Most questions get answered inside 10 minutes. You have to stay around and answer comments otherwise people will just close your question if it's difficult to understand. – ben is uǝq backwards Apr 16 '13 at 14:58
-1 because I didn't read the question I just joined the bandwagon of downvoters! – ryan Apr 16 '13 at 15:13
@supuhstar: if every poor question were left open for a full day to wait for the sender to get back, the site would become impossible to maintain. Answerers and reviewers pay much more attention to new questions, and that's not going to change (it's one of the greatest qualities of the site). Furthermore, you're talking about respecting the value of your time. Have you considered respecting the value of the time of the answerers, who are giving it up for free just to help you? – David Robinson Apr 16 '13 at 17:27
You wouldn't go to the bank to talk to your loan officer if you have class in ten minutes. Likewise, you should set aside a small chunk of time to post and keep an eye on your question on SO; it doesn't have to occupy your full attention, but you should be checking in a least half a dozen times in the first hour, especially during the more active periods of the day (late morning/early afternoon in each of Western Europe, SE Asia, and mainland U.S.A.). The high response rate here is a feature; it's not quite the same as a forum, and I think you'll come to like it if you give it a chance. – Josh Caswell Apr 16 '13 at 19:44
"That's not my fault, but theirs. They're working in an instant-satisfaction mentality" Nope. That Stack Overflow generates good answers to good questions fast is a decidedly a feature and not a bug. For that matter, that it closes bad question fast is also a feature. – dmckee Apr 16 '13 at 21:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Closing is not the end of the world. Unlike forum closings, "closed" on SE means "temporarily put on hold till the question is fixed".

Is something misworded? Fix it and flag for reopening. Is your post not a duplicate? Make that clear by editing.

Don't look at a closed question and feel "Oh, great! They destroyed my post." Think "Oh look, they closed it till it gets fixed! That way I won't get answers that misinterpret my question!" and then fix it by following the advice in the comments.

Of course, there are some closed questions that aren't fixable, but that's a different story.

share|improve this answer
True, but I feel like not many people look back over a question that's been closed. I think they'll see it and think "Oh, the asker didn't know what they were talking about. Guess I should go back and continue searching" or something like that. – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:29
@Supuhstar: The moment you make an edit, the post is added to a reopen queue where people review it. And you can always custom flag "I have fixed the issues, please reopen." – Manishearth Apr 16 '13 at 14:32
I see... It still feels, to me, much too easy to close a question, and too easy for a close cascade (voting to close because someone else did) to occur – Supuhstar Apr 16 '13 at 14:41
@Supuhstar: So? It's reversible. Think something went wrong? Custom flag. – Manishearth Apr 16 '13 at 14:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .