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I'm quite new to Stack Overflow but enjoying the experience.

Had one annoying moment the other day spending a few minutes mocking up a test case and composing an answer, to find in the mean time the question had been down voted then closed as spam.

Would of be great to have had AJAX banner that provides pre warning of down votes and closure. Perhaps even a traffic light system, orange warning of impending bad vibes and then full on red for closure or deletion.

Was 5 minutes wasted that left a bit of dirty aftertaste!

Note: The question that was closed didn't appear to be spam, but people noticed a duplicate by another user with the same image, hence the closure. Not obvious at first glance.

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I totally symphatize, and the feature request is perfectly agreeable, but such surprising closings don't usually happen often. You'll develop an eye for questions that are very likely to get closed, and such surprising spam closings as the one you describe should be the very rare exception, not the rule. –  Pëkka May 29 '11 at 11:31
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possible duplicate of See close votes as they come in (possibly as a notification) –  Tim Stone May 29 '11 at 16:37

2 Answers 2

We already notify you after the question gets closed. So you're proposing that we show a pre-warning? At what threshold should that warning be triggered? When the post gets 3 close votes? Maybe 4?

The problem is that this just doesn't work out in reality. The final one or two votes could be very long in coming, or perhaps never be cast. In those cases, the warning would hardly indicate pending doom for the question. Conversely, the final one or two votes are sometimes cast literally within seconds of the first three votes. I've seen quite a few questions closed within 2 to 3 minutes of initial posting. The warning in that case wouldn't give you nearly enough time to finish composing the answer and post it, even if we did display one.

As Pekka mentioned in a comment, I can certainly sympathize with how you felt, unable to post an answer that you spent time working on after the question was closed. This has happened to me at least once. But there's really no solution here, other than learning to spot the questions that are likely to be closed.

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Hi Cody, yeah exactly a pre warning. As for the number of close votes, I don't know whats the average number required for a close? Perhaps it shouldn't be a set number but also the rate in which they have been voted. It should just be a warning as well, so if the other down votes don't come, or take a long time as you say, its still a valid message. Then at least there is a warning allowing the user to consider whether answering is worth the risk or not. –  addedlovely May 31 '11 at 11:26

I just had this happen. Someone had pasted in some code without formatting and I was trying to format it for them when blam -- this question has been deleted, no more edits are permitted. I appreciate the headsup at that point, but can whatever magic did that also do "1 close vote has been submitted for this question", "2 close votes have been submitted for this question" etc? I can observe the velocity and either edit faster or bail. Ditto for the answerer. Ditto "this question has received 1 spam flag."

The question was a minute old when I saw it and I might have spent 2 minutes editing - maybe less - so obviously it was a quick close.

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