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I posted a question today on meta. Got closed in an hour! Yes that was annoying and I don't understand the reason. If you read the comments, you get the impression the big issue is that the question or at least the title wasn't formatted as a question. One of the "closers" mentioned that they closed it because it wasn't a question. The only answer (by Lance as of now) liked one of my points. The whole activity doesn't convey my question was pointless

Then you look at the close reason and it's "Noise or Pointless" and not "Not a real question, which is the gist of the comments. I hope some users are not choosing one when they meant the other.

How does the closing work? Do all 5 closers have to choose the same reason or is it by majority? I am wondering if they chose the "Pointless" just because they couldn't find a clear question. I don't think then this is fair to the question poster. I also want to add the fact I made an edit and changed it into a question but it seems that was too late; which brings me to the next question. Isn't there a time period which needs to pass first before an actual close? The question seems to have to have closed too fast. (You can answer this question with your main answer.)

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For reasons I'll never understand, a lot of people think that anything not 'positive' is "pointless", so they close what they consider rants because they're not 'positive' enough. They only want to hear the good things, not think about the problems. I get criticized all the time because I address the problems, and most people want to ignore them (not just on SO, in real life also). –  Lance Roberts Apr 29 '11 at 23:10
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@Lance The situation is getting discouraging to a point I don't want to spend any more time trying to improve SO or post any ideas. I will use the system the way it is and live with the its annoyances. –  Tony_Henrich Apr 30 '11 at 4:04
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@Lance For what it's worth, my objection to the post wasn't that it was negative but rather that the title suggested it was positive and the body did not. I expected a post titled (I paraphrase) "advice for newbies" to contain such advice but instead it turned into a complaint that didn't seem to go anywhere. For a discussion post it lacked a point and overall just seemed needlessly passive aggressive. There are better ways to bring up issues, IMHO. –  Anna Lear Apr 30 '11 at 6:48
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5 Answers

"Not a real question" is not a close option on meta.

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I was one of the closers. I felt "noise or pointless" was the best option as none of the other options made sense. Maybe I was wrong to close your question, but that's why it requires voting. As of right now you're 2 votes on your way to a reopen.

FYI - All closers do not have to agree on the reason.

You mentioned requiring a minimum time before closing. That would hurt our ability to close duplicates and very low quality posts (yours was neither, in my opinion). There are so many dupes and so much junk that I think we can't afford a delay.

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I was one of the users that voted to close it. It felt like a rant to me; maybe I exagerated. I voted to close as subjective, not noise or pointless. On meta the tone of a question is very important.

To be honest, I feel inclined to close this question as well; it just feels like sour grapes. I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's what it looks like to me. This doesn't mean that you should just quit meta. Just because people disagree with you on one topic, it does not mean we're out to get you. Stand up to what you believe if you think is right and you'll earn the respect of the community much quicker.

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Tony,

I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. Please realize that all of the discussion in the comments was not an indication your question had a use or a point, it was a rant.

The whole activity doesn't convey my question was pointless

The reason there was so much response was because people on this site try to help. They want you to understand why the question was being closed. There really was nothing to say to your question. You were upset about an issue (I'm not even really sure what, but I'm guessing it is having your questions closed quickly) and you were venting.

It does not help the site or the internet to have such a question and there really is no good answer.

This is why your question was closed.

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The other thing worth pointing out is that your question shouldn't indicate what your bias or opinion is. Instead of adding your 2 cents in the question, you should have objectively asked for advice from the community. Then if you had more to contribute, you could possibly answer your own question, but as an answer.

Furthermore, asking "Do you agree?" is just simply not constructive. I can't think of any possible gains for the community in polling users for their opinions on such a topic.

Real Questions Have Answers can give you some more detail on the subject. I've highlighted some good, documented reasons for why your question is off-topic:

Constructive subjective questions:

  1. inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
  2. tend to have long, not short, answers.
  3. have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
  4. invite sharing experiences over opinions.
  5. insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
  6. are more than just mindless social fun.

Finally, and most importantly, none of the answers that anyone can possibly give to the question, "Do you agree?" will ever actually solve a real problem here.

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Then you look at the close reason and it's "Noise or Pointless" and not "Not a real question, which is the gist of the comments. I hope some users are not choosing one when they meant the other.

As already noted, MSO doesn't have NARQ as a close reason.

How does the closing work?

We have an FAQ entry: What is a "closed" or “on hold” question?

Do all 5 closers have to choose the same reason or is it by majority? I am wondering if they chose the "Pointless" just because they couldn't find a clear question. I don't think then this is fair to the question poster.

Majority, or earliest on tie.

I also want to add the fact I made an edit and changed it into a question but it seems that was too late; which brings me to the next question. Isn't there a time period which needs to pass first before an actual close? The question seems to have to have closed too fast.

No, we don't want questions to remain open when they can be closed.


As for why I voted to close your question, here were my thought patterns:

Ok, everything you said was true. But what purpose does it serve? It doesn't inspire discussion—it's a yes or no question. Yes, I agree, or no, I don't agree. This feels like you're just looking for people to agree with you.

In addition, you've identified a solution to a problem, but there's nothing that anyone can do about it. We can't make users sit there and refresh, and this is fairly basic procedure for anyone who knows anything about SE. The solution has been documented before as an answer to "How can I get better answers?" (or something like that).

In essence, I couldn't find a point to the question, so "pointless". I'd be happy to vote to reopen your question—but first you have to make it a real question.

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