I recently had a question closed by a moderator as "not constructive". The full close message is:

This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

I should note that the question itself is a clear, specific question with 70 up-votes and multiple helpful and objective answers with a combined up-vote count of over 100. But the reason I found the moderator action as particularly frustrating is that I had an active bounty on the question at the time that it was closed. It seems like the users who posted answers should have the opportunity to receive the bountied reputation points, or at the very least they should be refunded to the poster.

Does anyone else see a problem with this moderator action, or could someone please explain to me why such action would be justified?

P.S. If you would like to make your own judgment as to whether this particular question should have been closed, it is available at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5253614/effective-strategies-for-localization-in-net . If you agree with me that the question was closed inappropriately and have sufficient reputation, I will ask that you vote to reopen.

  • 1
    It has "lets go shopping", "Bikeshed" and localization issues. Questions like these aren't welcome here anymore. Questions like you cited (asked when they were) only attract flags and "why did you close my question, look at this one" comparisons. This subject has been discussed ad nauseam here. If you're interested in the history, a simple search will fill your belly to the bursting. Of course, this too may change, and questions like this may once again blossom and fill with three or four good answers, and twenty thousand lousy ones...
    – user1228
    Aug 3, 2011 at 19:16
  • The real question here is Do questions with bounty have more resistance to closing?. The rest is arguing whether a particular question is on-topic on SO, and has been resolved by migrating the question to Programmers. Aug 4, 2011 at 0:26

3 Answers 3


A question cannot be closed while it has an outstanding bounty. The moderator would have had to remove the bounty before closing the question. Doing so would have refunded the bounty amount to the user who offered it.

That said, my preference for that particular question is to migrate it to Programmers. In my opinion, it's both on topic for PSE and has good/useful answers. (Disclaimer: I'm a moderator there.)

I couldn't vote to migrate it due ot the open bounty, so I flagged it for moderator attention. Unfortunately, the question was simply closed instead. I think that was a mistake and migrating the question would be preferable.

Update: The question has now been migrated. Thanks @Won't!

  • 2
    Done and done.
    – user1228
    Aug 3, 2011 at 19:23

To answer the general question -- if a question doesn't fit the format of the site it will be closed, whether it has a bounty or not. For example, the "What's you're favorite editor to do X?" type questions are quickly closed. Note this question:

Do questions with a bounty have more resistance to closing?

And also the answer by Jeff Atwood here

As to your specific question, I agree that this is a useful question, but it appears a bit more open ended than is generally accepted here. Hence, I would recommend re-wording it if you wish to have it reopened on Stack Overflow or, requesting that it stay as it is, ask that it be migrated to Programmers.

  • But if they have a bounty, you have to wait for the bounty to go away.
    – dlamblin
    Nov 21, 2011 at 5:26

You're asking two questions here, which ironically could make this question subjective/not constructive too.

Do I think that questions with bounties on them should be closable? Well yes:

  1. if a question deserves closing then it should be closed.
  2. People who wish to knowingly ask questions that are 'bad' for any reason could attach bounties to them in order to make it more difficult to 'police' their questions.
  3. Questions with bounties already can only be closed by a moderator because the bounty must be removed in order to do so. Therefore it isn't like questions with bounties on them are subject to 'drive by closing' by people who don't understand the issues.

Do I think your question should have been closed? I'm not a SO regular, so my answer is by no means likely to be very useful but - I wouldn't have closed your question but I can see why others felt it was valid to do so.

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