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tl;dr

There should be a comment automatically appended to a question for every unique close vote. This helps users understand their question is at risk of closure and explains why.

Rationale

Currently, there are two closure reasons that trigger auto-comments:

  1. Duplicate close vote

  2. Custom "off topic" close vote.

The duplicate comment helps other users (and the OP) to see that duplication is possible and act upon it, either by ignoring, flagging or voting to close. The custom "off topic" close comment is nicely phrased and gives the OP a warning that at least one voter feels their question is invalid.

I see no reason not to extend this behaviour to all comments, for the following reasons:

  1. Low reputation users cannot see pending close votes on their questions. They will not realise what action is needed unless the voter leaves a comment. They just stare at their down-votes in confusion.

  2. Low reputation users are the least likely to be familiar with the closure reasons. So they are forbidden from seeing their question is en-route to closure and they are unlikely to know why.

  3. Many questions are closed without any comments at all. I don't have stats to back this up, but I feel like I see it often. Or, perhaps a question with close(4) under it and not a single comment.

Possible Objections

But there will be floods of comments - what if five different closure reasons are selected?!

On some questions, multiple closure reasons are selected. But I'd prefer to see two auto-comments posted rather than silence from the voters.

An auto-generated comment is evil - it will lack context and won't help

The comment can be edited! The sort of dutiful people who leave comments anyway can edit the contents to their hearts content. However, at least the fly-by-night voters leave some trace.

Implementation

I believe the way the "off topic" custom closure comments work are very nice (see below).

example

I would like to see all closure reasons posted in this fashion as a comment.

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Related question that spawned this request: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/186292/…. It felt wrong to savagely edit my first question to make it a feature request. Happy for the first question to be closed if necessary. –  Duncan Jun 27 '13 at 13:57
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Note that you can see close votes on your own question even at 1 rep, so point 2 isn't an issue. As to point 3; if they're seeing the exact same information as a comment, it's not really any better; they could see the exact same information by looking in the close menu, so it's not really changing anything dramatic. –  Servy Jun 27 '13 at 14:04
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A problem I might see coming from this is cross-posting. "A better choice might by Cryptography". Oh! Cool! I'll just ask it there then!. –  Second Rikudo Jun 27 '13 at 14:13
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I'm not even sure I like that any of the close reasons currently add a comment, though I understand why some of them do even if I don't necessarily agree. I certainly don't like the noise potential of having every close reason add a comment. –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 27 '13 at 14:15
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@Servy I thought there was still a 250 rep limit before you can see close votes. If that's not the case, then I agree that the feature is not needed. –  Duncan Jun 27 '13 at 14:17
    
@Duncan I believe that only applies to questions that aren't your own. The owner should be able to see those (but they don't get any kind of notification when a close vote occurs, AFAIK). –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 27 '13 at 15:07
    
@AaronBertrand I'm quite confused on that subject now. This meta answer suggests 250 rep is when you can see close votes on your own questions, but perhaps the answer is out of date. –  Duncan Jun 28 '13 at 7:18
    
@Servy, AFAIK, users are not notified when their question receives a close vote, so although close votes are visible to users, the gray link with a number in parenthesis can very easily be missed since it blends into the page because it is dim. Adding the comment will hopefully alert the user to the close vote being issued. Or what may work better is if a notification could be sent to the user when a close vote is cast. –  Sly Raskal Feb 18 at 3:40

1 Answer 1

I've made a userscript to automatically add a comment, when closing a question, with the text taken directly from the close reason you chose.

It is disabled for Duplicate and Off-topic > Other since they already add a comment.

It's also disabled for Off-topic > Migrate since they don't really give much text.

The script automatically converts the HTML to Markdown, so links, italics etc. are also preserved.

You can get the script at Auto-Add A Comment When Closing.

Demo

With a formatted close reason:

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