I had a question from more than a year ago (Aug 2011) here, which was upvoted 5 times and favourite twice. There exists a high quality (+12) and accepted answer on this question.

In the last couple of days, it has received another random upvote, then quickly afterwards it was closed as dupe by five low-reputation members. I do not mention "low-reputation" disparagingly, but instead to indicate that a few of them only just barely above the 3000 rep required to cast close votes, and each of them is below the 10k required to see it in the closure queue using the 10k tools. How did the 5 users all find this old question suddenly?

That attractive-looking duplicate is actually inaccurate (and I was able to get the question reopened), but that's not what this meta post is about. I'm more interested in how does this sudden closure happen? Did the upvote place it in some sort of recent activity area where it has received increased visibility, and then one close vote somehow snowballed into the necessary 5 votes?

  • 10
    Just because they have "low" rep doesn't make them unworthy of closing questions.
    – user176326
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:20
  • No, the initial close vote placed it in the Close Votes review queue, where it then snowballed. Nov 27, 2012 at 7:21
  • I thought the close votes review queue was only visible to people with the 10k tools, which is not any one of the voters who closed this question.
    – wim
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:23
  • @wim: Really? Hmmm. I have no idea then. All I know is that I recognize many of the close voters for generally being careless with their close votes. Nov 27, 2012 at 7:24
  • @simchona I'm not saying that.
    – wim
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:24
  • Sorry, it sounded like you had because you made sure to differentiate them as "low rep". It sounded a bit like "I have high rep so how dare they"
    – user176326
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:26
  • Not at all. I have been helped many times on SO, by members with much lower rep than my own. I will edit the question to better reflect what I meant in that bit.
    – wim
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:27
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    Just as a info: the close votes review queue in /review is open for anyone with >=3000 rep.
    – Ral Zarek
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:50
  • 5
  • 1
    Now the question has been closed again by just one ♦ level moderator (and it looks like he's not really a python guy, so may have also missed the subtleties of the return value vs returning values). I assume the moderators know what they're doing, but what's the point of closing a perfectly fine old question with a well-written and helpful accepted answer? I feel strongly that anyone who takes the time to read them both carefully enough will agree it's not an exact duplicate.
    – wim
    Nov 28, 2012 at 23:44

2 Answers 2


Thank you for bringing this question here constructively, without pointing fingers or creating a "meta rant". It looks like 4 other users agreed that your question wasn't a duplicate and reopened your post.

This is a good example of how to approach the meta community for help when you think something has gone awry.

In many cases, the crowdsourcing nature of Stack Exchange works great, as many low quality and off-topic questions are quickly closed. However, there are occasionally "mistakes", or even just questions that need a bit of editing before being reopened and released into the world.

Your result here on meta proves that the system works! :)

  • 6
    No, it does not show that the system works. If anything this shows that you must bring unfair closures to Meta to get the post reopened and that is not how the system is supposed to work in my opinion. Nov 27, 2012 at 16:06
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    @EmilVikström, you're right. They goal should be to minimize the likelihood that a question is incorrectly closed. But I think what jmort253 is getting at is also right. Given that any system with qualitative judgement will sometimes go awry, this is a good example of that system failure being raised constructively and then being remedied, which is also desirable.
    – Jaydles
    Nov 27, 2012 at 16:33
  • Hi @EmilVikström, regarding my point, Jaydles hit the nail on the head. Most questions that are closed are not closed incorrectly. A closure such as the one here is an exceptional circumstance, and for exceptional circumstances, we have Meta.
    – jmort253
    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:33

Maybe an old question with lots of up votes should not be put in the close vote queue when it gets its first close vote. It has lived for a long time; therefore I can’t see why it is important to get it closed quickly.

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